The world on the internet is a big place, and yet sometimes its also a very small place. Take for example today. Somewhere out in the interwebs somebody was reading along the "feisty for the family" series I had written a few months ago. Via the feedback form I got a little email asking for some help on the whole issue and thanking me for the podcast series.
Hearing stuff from listeners is always great. It puts me in touch with those people out there who listen to the show and enjoy the content I put out. I was more then happy to help and before we knew it emails where flying back and forth with instructions, comments and some honest to god hair-scratching moments where I was honestly a little stumped on how to get this little technical problem i got presented to me, working.
Since we are all empowered with the power of skype, and since I was setting up into the merry afternoon, i decided to suggest a phone call to help this particular user (did i say user ? i meant "listener" ) out with his problem. I’m happy to help and if you respect my timezone (and unlike the people who call me at 6am to ask i’f i’m masturbating) i’m more then happy to chat.
So about a few hours later I got a phonecall from Chris in Australia. We chatted and laughed a bit and I honestly got some very very strange looks from people around me as I was on the phone with the Aussie guy while taking my trash to the local recycling center. We got talking and i learned that Chris drives one of these GIANT trucks in a mine in Australia. And as he hauls this immense machine around (carefull not to crush any Landrovers as he does so) he checks out .. my podcast .
I am a citizen of the interwebs so "distance" is dead to me and the world is my playground .. but still .. it makes you smile to wonder that out there somebody (on the other side of the planet) is chuckling away at my banter while hauling an gigantic amount of ore from one place to the other. It is sometimes mind blowing to think where the bits and bytes that I put on the net end up.. That the person who reads this very article might be in the us, in china, in the Uk. Might be somebody I never met or probably will never meet, yet for who "Knightwise" might be a household name.
I had a great time talking to Chris (who was a little starstruck at first .. imagine that) but we had a hoot talking about the job he does and how they sometimes "accidentally" plow a pickup truck into the ground without even springing a flat tire. And while he does this the Knightcast yaps away in his Cabine 25 feet high above the ground. For me the buzz is likewise. Here I am, little Belgian guy who has never been outside Europe and who hardly knows ANYONE in his own street.. talking gingerly to an Aussy Supertruck driver on the other side of the planet. Just imagine ! ! ! Without the internet that would have never been possible.
Sometimes people say the internet pushes us apart , isolates us, deprives us of human interaction. Well : I say you are wrong. My entire day is filled with twitter tweets keeping me company in the car, emails from all over the world. Voices on my ipod of people i have gotten to know all over the planet. Its amazing ! How else would I ever have mett all these people, how else could I ever have had an insight in the life of a supertruckdriving geek on the other freaking side of the planet ! 🙂
Listening to "A short History of nearly everything" by Bill Bryson has made me appreciat just how massive our planet is (i’m at the chapter about the size and the weight of our planet) and how infinitesimally small our planet is compared to the rest of the galaxy. And here we are on our little blue ball.. most of us only talking to people in our own little country or so .. Others chatting away with ones and zeroes to all the other little microbes on this iny tiny blue ball. The scale of it all boggles the brain .. I smile and finish my coffee , thinking about a giant dumptruck rounding a corner and running over a humvee because the driver was distracted by listening .. to me :p