How Twitter changed my ASHA11 experience
Last year, I was so excited. I had recently started following Tweeps on the #slpeeps list on Twitter, but didn’t really have a lot of tweets under my belt at that point in time. I went to my first ASHA convention in Philadelphia, which was amazingly overwhelming and exciting. I loved all the speech stuff that surrounded me!! I went to courses, spend many hours in the exhibit hall then went to my room at night. I did all this pretty much by myself. I met an SLP at the hotel the first day and we would eat dinner together or walk to and from the convention center together, but once everything started for the day, we went out separate ways.
I went to the first Tweet-up last year. I had the experience of meeting several #slpeeps at that time, although the #slpeeps were still in small numbers. I Tweeted all the top and actually was ASHA’s top tweeter.
Over the past year, I have made many friendships through Twitter. Although I haven’t met so many of the #slpeeps, I feel like I’ve known them forever. I’ve Tweeted, joined in many #slpchats, friended on Facebook, joined circles on Google+ and connected through Linked-In. When I have a question and have nowhere else to turn, I look to Twitter or Facebook, knowing that so many people may have some wonderful ideas.
This year’s ASHA convention was equally exciting but in many different ways. Through Twitter, I connected with Barbara Fernandes, better known as @geekslp. Through this interaction, I learned of her creating an Advisory Board for her company SmartyEars and was selected. I also got the opportunity to author an app that she created. Through this connection, I had the opportunity to work in the Smarty Ears booth and connect with so many SLP’s. I had people that I knew to sit with at sessions, to go to dinner with, to attend the recreational activies such as the Awards Ceremony and the Closing Reception. So many things that I missed out on last year for not wanting to go alone.
This year at ASHA, I was most definitely not alone. I had all my new Twitter friends to talk to, text, sit with, eat with and to share so many laughs!! I can’t imagine a better ASHA expereience, although I’m pretty sure next year may top it.
Here’s to wishful thinking!!