The wonder of social media

This morning shortly after 1 am as I was finishing writing my previous post and about to turn off my computer, I got a surprise email from an old friend, a college classmate from China about 33 years ago. She invited me to join a networking group on the social media Wechat for our class 1981 that was just established, probably hours ago.

I responded right away. Within minutes, I was in the group. Within hours we had more than half of the classmates in the group.  The chat started.

Our class 1981 of the German Department at the Beijing Foreign Studies University had only 31 students. For four years, we lived together (five in a room on bunk beds, male and female in separated dorms), had classes together, ate together in the same cafeteria,  studied together in classrooms and in the library. We had developed quite close bond with each other. Some romances and marriages grew out of this small group.

But after we graduated, people went different ways. Some stayed in Beijing, some went to other cities for different jobs, some went to Germany. Some stayed in touch, some lost contact. Remember, we didn’t have computers and phones at that time.

We had a memorable 20-year reunion in 2005 in Beijing. The majority classmates attended the reunion, a few didn’t come. I haven’t seen them for over 30 years now.

I was so excited to get reconnected with the group, I couldn’t sleep for a while. I totally enjoyed talking with my old friends

I just love Wechat. I have been using it for a year now.

Wechat is popular in China as Facebook is in the US. It originated in China, is the fastest growing and most popular social media tool in China, but it’s also popular among the overseas  Chinese. Since you can select your language preference, it’s also gaining popularity in other countries, including the US.

With Wechat, you can share articles and photos. It  offers features like push-to-talk voice chat, live chat, group chat, and video calling .  With it shake feature you can also find friend using the Wechat.  You just have to shake your phone and the app will help you connect with other people, who are shaking their mobile at that time.

The best part, Wechat is free. You can use it anywhere around the world as long as you have a smart phone and wifi. It’s especially handy when you travel. It helps you keep in touch with families and friends without paying telephone charges. 

WeChat is available for windows phones, android phones and also for the web.

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