Do you remember the days before Facebook and Twitter? I do. I actually only got involved in social networking because of this blog and let me tell you, it’s addictive! Sometimes, an hour can go by while I mindlessly spy on other people’s lives. I should really be using the time for productive things like, well, blogging (ironically enough).
Twitter is the king of The Hobby
In the miles and points hobby, Twitter (not Facebook) is the main choice of communication. This industry is extremely fast-paced, and things change constantly. Deals, deals, deals… They are everywhere, and are begging to be used/abused. In case you haven’t seen my update on Hyatt bonanza, they would not match me to Diamond status. It appears I was too late to the party (story of my life). If I only checked Twitter feed the night before, I would have gotten it.
Of course, there was a happy ending since my husband got the top Hyatt status via email after all. I estimate we will get $160 worth of free breakfast from this perk, waived resort fees (savings of $50), late checkout, plus an excellent shot at an upgrade to a 1-bedroom unit. And that’s just on a 2-night stay. I love status when it costs me nothing to obtain.
But the thing with hot travel deals is most are only alive for a few hours. I’ve missed many $30 flights to Hawaii and Alaska, $10 hotel rooms at the beach etc. because I was busy with my kids. You snooze, you lose. Or rather, you live your life, you lose (or win, depending on who you ask).
I actually started limiting Twitter involvement because it’s like a black hole that sucks out your time. To me, potential gain is just not worth the energy. Of course, since I’m in the blogging business, some interaction is inevitable and in fact, necessary. I’ve mentioned this before, but in case you’ve missed it, the easiest way to be updated on latest hot stories of the day is to check my Twitter feed on the right side of the blog. Obviously, I can’t write about every $10 coupon out there, but will re-tweet the post if I can.
Facebook comes to Belarus
I think fascination with social networking runs in the family. My mom is now an avid Facebook user. She has 150 “friends” (what?), and is constantly communicating with them in her spare time. I don’t even know what will happen when she finally retires. Do they have a rehab for Facebook addiction?
When we were visiting Belarus few months ago, she proudly displayed her list of friends (loosely used term), among them my former flame who is now a “fancy pants” doctor. It was bizarre to see photos of his family lounging in a hotel pool in Turkey. And apparently, he now has a tattoo on his arm.
My mom was always into other people’s business. Back in pre-internet days, she subscribed to various magazines following Soviet celebrities. There was one popular publication (an equivalent to “People” in US) that had a column where regular folks shared their musings. Well, one lady wrote in to reach out to her long lost love, with whom she had an affair 5 years prior. Yes, at the time, the man was married with children.
The thing is, she mentioned the name…which happened to be my uncle’s name. I clearly remember my mom picking up the magazine and running to the phone to call her brother. He said he didn’t want to talk about it. Oops. I told you my family is dysfunctional.
So, my point is, we are nosy kind of people. That’s partially why I avoided social networking sites in the first place. What can I say? I’m really curious about folks and their lives. Not “stalker” kind of curious, but still.
Sometimes, though, my curiosity comes in handy. One of the friends started her own blog and I saw a link on Facebook to a post on IHG PointBreaks. Naturally, it was yours truly who educated her on this promotion and enchanting world of The Hobby. And she even added my site to her blogroll, how nice!
So, I was reading the post, and Emily mentioned that she booked a stay in Tennessee for 5,000 points per night. She added that other friends were planning to come along, but they were waiting for their IHG points to post. Hmm.. I started wondering if it could be my brother-in-law and his wife. They just got IHG card and are good friends with Emily.
So, I called him, and turns out yes, my suspicion was correct. Since IHG PointBreaks availability is limited (see current list here), I just offered to use my IHG stash for his stay. It was only 15,000 points for 3 nights, no big deal. I don’t know why he didn’t ask me in the first place. So, he agreed and the stay was booked. Only a few days later, the hotel dropped off the list. The power of social networking!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.