Social Networking -Brotherhood Style

Posted By on March 3, 2011

I’ll bet that most of you guys are taking advantage of some type of “social networking” site whether it be Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn or Facebook.  Hell, even The Brotherhood of the Leaf is on Facebook so we can stay connected to our members from all over the world to share stories and pictures from our Cigar Nights.  I admit I was one of thetechnology-overload2stubborn one’s who said “I’ll never use Facebook, why the hell do I need to know what people that I barley know are making for supper?”  Actually, I can still do without those aspects of these sites, but staying and or getting connected to old friends can be a lot of fun.

Regardless of what, if any, type of social networking sites you use, we have all become use to instant communication throughout the last decade as we’ve become attached to our email, cell phones, pagers, voice mail and now multiple online networking sites.  Does anyone remember actually sitting down to write a letter to a friend or having to look up information in a book?  In our society that demands instant gratification in everything from obtaining information to our drive thru fast food, it’s no wonder we rely heavily on connecting to cyberspace because it gives us exactly what we want as fast as we want it.

I’m honestly a big fan of technology because it obviously allows me to connect to you you mugs whenever I want, but I’m still in WAY over my head on even the most basic electronic thing-a-ma-giggies that most nine year olds would have no problem with.  If my computer doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, good luck on me getting it fixed.  Hey, I turned it off and turned it back on and it’s still messed up, that’s as much techno-fix it skill as I possess.  So whatever your made up name is over there in India, tell me what the heck I need to do because those pictures of Ave Zoli aren’t going to download themselves!

I still recall sitting around with my Granda Frank listening to him tell stories while my grandmother made uslawrence-welk lunch and we would then all sit down together and talk late into the afternoon.  There was no Internet or Google to instantly find answers to any question, Grandpa didn’t have Facebook to stay connected with old friends and he only had a handful of channels to watch on television, and I believe Lawrence Welk was on all of them, but he stayed connected to the world with his radio and newspaper.  Looking back now I realize just how different his life was from mine where I am surrounded by reality TV and instant messaging, he had black and white movies and handwritten letters.  Very different times but the value of staying connected remains the same.  There was one afternoon that we sat around pretending that the pretzel rods we were snacking on were big cigars, we puffed away as we planned our imaginary bank heist and plotted a flawless get away.  Sad to say we never pulled off the robbery, Grandma called us to the dinner table before we could ever implement our great plan.  Damn foiled again! I still joke to my Dad that his pop’s was the one that hooked me on cigars that very day.

The only difference between our generations on how we stay connected is the medium we use and time frame we have to do it in.  It’s been years since I’ve sat down and physically written a letter to anyone, but why would I when I can just shoot them an email or text to stay in touch.  How many of you text a buddy and then feel slightly pissed off if he doesn’t reply in the next few minutes. 
“Dude I sent you a text like 15 minutes ago. ”
Yeah, I was in the hospital getting my leg set from falling two stories off my roof onto the concrete.
“Well I sent you that text 15 minutes ago so you should have let me know you were busy.”
Could you actually imagine having to wait sometimes weeks before getting word back from somebody.  Hey, that’s all there was back then, mail a letter and then wait for their reply.  And yet they all got by just fine.

It seems that the hectic and fast paced always need it now lifestyle has trickled down into almost every aspect of our lives from any task at work to how we function at home and socially.  We look for immediate results in everything we do or want and spend the vast majority of our free time connected globally to people we have never even met, sharing our personal lives when we often refuse to get to know our next door neighbors. There are some great benefits to using many of the social networking sites but like my grandfather showed me, nothing beats connecting directly to someone in person.  That my boys is what Cigar Night is all about.

The Brotherhood of the Leaf does exist online and continues to grow in the cyber world, but we use it as  a means tobigtable share our passion with fellow cigar smokers who can’t make it to our functions and to spread the word of what the club has planned. The true purpose of our group is to spend time enjoying each others company in person, telling stories and planning fun times just like I did years ago with my Grandpa Frank. 

Thank you to everyone that made  it to Cigar Night on the first. We had a great time and even have some new members that will be joining the ranks of The Brotherhood.  Which of course means I’ve got a few referral cigars to pass out  next month.  In case you can’t wait until next month to hang with the boys, we do have a little road trip planned to Prime Cigars in Brookfield to sample the new Isabla Miami Series cigars.  I just happen to have a very nice sampler pack of the new sticks to test out before we head down compliments of our buddy Johnny from Prime.  If you plan to go down I have a cigar with your name on it so please email me so we can plan to carpool down.  Oh wait, I almost forgot what we have planned for the second part of the day, on the way home we’ll be stopping at MJ Stevens for prime rib and maybe a few more cocktails.  Yummy!

Log off your computer and put your phone on silent for the afternoon so you can join us for some REAL social networking and I promise no one will ask you to play Farmville.  A day dedicated to cigars and friends in the flesh plus the chance to meet some new friends without having to send them an email.  We’ll do it just like my Grandpa Frank used to, with a  firm hand shake and friendly hello.  Now that my Brothers is how we cigar guys send out a “Friend Request”.

The Cigar Soldier

In loving memory of my Grandpa Frank, who taught me that you can never replace the time spent with a good friend and a great story.

About the author

The Cigar Soldier is the founding father and President of The Brotherhood of the Leaf, an internet community of cigar enthusiasts and Northeast Wisconsin’s only true membership based cigar club. As the main writer for Cigar Night, his rants can sting, stir or inspire your emotions, as he leaves no topic of enjoying the cigar lifestyle off his hit list.


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