I grew up in a little town called Bethany in Connecticut. It’s so small that they’ve only had their own zip code for about fifteen years, and there’s a regional system for the middle and high schools. It was a great place to grow up – and it’s still a great place according to my college friend, Jack Nork, who lives there now with his family. I love reading Jack’s posts on Twitter because it astounds me that little Bethany has a robotics club at the elementary school. Or that all classrooms have computers. Modern! Bethany is modern!
At the regional high school, Amity, every year they have a show called POPS. It’s pretty much a variety show – akin to a cabaret. They had it when I was a student there, and the tradition continues. It’s an honor to be in the POPS concert, and it’s even more of an honor to host it.
Here’s where the social media part comes in. A few hours before the concert, my friend Jack, whose wife teaches at the high school, posted that he was excited to attend the concert. He used the hashtag #POPS. Apparently the concert was trending.
I replied on Twitter (where my handle is @TokyoWriter, btw) that I was jealous – I miss POPS. I remembered to use the hashtag.
Jack replied, using the hashtag, about POPS even having a following in Japan.
That’s where it got silly. Apparently, there was a running topic list behind the announcers of POPS – anytime the hashtag would be used, it would live-scroll. Throughout the concert. Every now and then, the announcers would read out the more interesting tweets.
Well, they read out my tweet, according to Jack! He tweeted me later telling me that I had been IN the POPS concert, technically. For the second time – since my best friend Betsy and I sang “My Guy” with a really cute little dance and matching outfits our senior year.
So there you have it – the power of social media. Someone in Japan watching a hashtag via a friend from college who now lives in her little hometown participates in a concert at a regional high school.
It’s a tiny little world.