Monday, March 17, 2014

Meeting AJ In Real Life

Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting, in person, someone you've me online?  I had that chance for the first time last week.

AJ, whom I met last year, and I met up for coffee last week and we couldn't stop talking.
Her hair is a little less curly, mine is a lot more crazy gold/red, but we recognized each other right away.

Some people make distinctions about "real" friends and "online" friends, but I've stopped doing that.  I've realized that as our society has changed and online is an increasing part of our daily lives, then the "status" of those we meet and hang out with online needs to change also.

Did you ever have a pen pal when you were growing up?  I did.  My Swedish friends and I wrote hundreds of letters that traveled across the ocean so that we could keep our friendship up to date until the next time I could visit Sweden.

I feel like the friends I've made online are like pen pals.  We've shared some deep stuff in the emails and text messages and phone calls we've exchanged. Also, when you're "hanging out" online ALL you're doing is talking.  You're not distracted by the movie you went to see, or by the shopping you're doing.  

You're just getting to know each other, and I think you do so much more quickly than someone you meet in person.  It takes a lot of get-togethers to reach the level of sharing that comes more quickly in an online friendship.

AJ and I got together in a local coffee shop.  Of course we talked "shop" since we're both co-hosts.  (You've heard of this alphabet thing we're doing, right?  If you're new to this, click on the tab above that says A-Z Challenge and go sign-up.  Now.  I'll wait.) That was a small part of it, though.  We talked like real friends talked.

We shared our lives, our struggles, our hopes and dreams and frustrations and were both amazed to see how long we'd been talking when "nature called." That's friendship to me.  Real people.  Real life.

Have you ever met someone you first met online?  Do you think there are "real" friends and "online" friends? Explain.  I'd like to hear your opinion.

~Tina, who is trying to play nice with blogger and composing directly in the window instead of cutting and pasting for OpenOffice, but still gets wonky formatting as a gift...


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great you two hit it off and had a good time!
I've made some great friends online. There are subtle differences, but that doesn't make it less real.

JoJo said...

My online/FB/blog friends are real friends. We interact daily, I watch their children and pets grow up, I share their happiness and good fortune and grieve when they experience loss. I forget that I haven't met some of them in real life.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've met 6 or 7 people I'd met online first. probably more when I count all of the authors. Often they are even more amazing in person.

MorningAJ said...

This is really strange - since I'm known as AJ. And that's not me! :)

I met my partner online. In fact, most of my really good friends were cyber pals first.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina and AJ .. so pleased you met up once again and carried on as you'd left off.

I've met a few on-line friends and have some great relationships with other bloggers - just sometimes we can get along so well ..

Lovely to see both your photos ..

As you know I compose in Word and then post .. which means Blogger restricts some of its gadgets etc .. but one day I shall get to sort that side of my life out! I don't think I could draft most of my posts straight up ..

Cheers and great to meet AJ here .. and to see Morning AJ in the comment box .. have great weeks - Hilary

Anonymous said...

How nice for you and AJ to be able to be together in real time. There are some differences in the friendships, but online ones can be just as real, deep and fulfilling.

I still handwrite ('cuz I think better) then type to Word then copy/paste. Thate might change as my learning curve on blogging increases, but that's what works fir me now.

Question about A ti Z - the Theme Reveal this Friday - do you know the URL to link to?? I have to prepare my post early this week and schedule it to publish Friday 'cuz won't be near a computer on Fruday morning. Thanks for any help on that!


Brian Miller said...

that is very cool...i have met about 13 bloggers in real life now...and plans to meet at least one this year once it gets warmer...they have all been great experiences...and its very cool to 'see' the person on the other side....

CA Heaven said...

No, I've never met an online friend in real life.

Cold As Heaven

A Beer For The Shower said...

I've met a few people online. Hell, I met my wife online. Only cost me $150 and they shipped her right to my door!


Interestingly enough, though, with all of the blog friends we've made we've never met one in person. We have a writer friend who's also in our blogger circle, but we knew her before we started blogging, so that doesn't count.

Anonymous said...

Tina - I figured out the A to Z Theme Reveal URL, so I have my post all scheduled for Friday morning. Look forward to reading everyone's themes next weekend!

shelly said...

I've met two people from our blogging community, it's pretty cool.

Hugs and chocolate!

Andrew Leon said...

I compose right in my blogger window and haven't ever had any problems. I used to transfer the posts out after I'd written them so that I would have my own copies, but I don't always remember to do that anymore. I should probably, actually, fix that, now that I'm thinking of it.

I have made a habit of meeting people IRL that I met online since... '94? 95? Something like that. And, yes, actually, I did meet my wife online.

Jo said...

Oh definitely. I belong(ed) to a group of people interested in cooking and have met most of them f2f over the years. Many from the UK, one from South Africa, another from Portugal, some from Ontario as I am. Since becoming a blogger, I have also met Jeff Hargett and L. Diane Wolfe both from North Carolina. When I met all these people it was as if I had known them for years which, I kind of had.

ayjay said...

Tina! It really was lovely to meet you. You're only a coffee shop away! I can't wait until we have our April meetup!

Oh, and you caught me on a straight'ish hair day - today it's nice and wild ;)

Claudia said...

very cool... i met some of my online friends in real life and it was always a very good experience... will meet two again in april and totally looking forward to it

Elsie Amata said...

I haven't met any blogger buddies IRL yet but I may after the summer is all said and done. I have plans to travel to their state so if it pans out, we'll get to meet. That would be a ton of fun.

I love that you guys met and had loads to talk about. I could see that with most of the people I've connected with on Blogger. You're right, it's a true friendship although none of us have met. I think of them even when I'm not online, like, "Oh, so and so would love this" or whatever.

It's a changing world for sure!

Jane Jazz said...

I have met a couple of people in the online community, but they live fairly nearby. What feels really special is being able to get close to people who are on the other side of the world, and realising you have so much in common, despite the vast number of miles separating you and the different cultures etc.
Sounds as if you two will be good friends now :o)

P V Ariel said...

Hi Tina,
Today I posted a comment to this post but its not showing now, i wonder it got deleted of it went into the spam mail. so sorry to note this, anyways let me say few more things about this wonderful meet of two like minded people. Great to know that you both met and have a wonderful time together. I too have some similar experience with two of my online friends and indeed that was few years back and that was really and amazing encounter. I am sure in future i may meet many such dear ones from my blogging arena
Have a happy blogging time ahead. Keep inform
Hope this comment will find its place in its good health here!!!
I send the earlier one thru my mobile :-)

Pam Margolis said...

i'm so JEALOUS that you two could meet IRL without me!! I'm so HAPPY that you had a great time!

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Tina...

They are ABSOLUTELY REAL FRIENDS! I had to please of meeting several blogger buddies on my travels throughout the country.

Although I've lost contact with a few because they no longer blog, the others I'm still very close to and I visit them whenever I'm there.

One blogger in particular lives in my city. Although she is way south and I am way north (about 30 miles away from each other) We still meet every few weeks downtown at a cafe. We talk for HOURS and I mean HOURS. From 11am to around 5:00 pm. It has been this way since our first meeting a few years ago.

I treasure my time with her. It's awesome to have another friend who shares SO many of your talents and interests. Our other friends may understand our obsession with writing, but not like another writer!

Susan Scott said...

I'm hoping to meet a few online pals when I arrive in the States this coming week from South Africa. It's not the purpose of my visit but if it happens this would a cherry on the cake! I really have formed a meaningful friendship with a few ...
Life is good!

Garden of Eden Blog

Arlee Bird said...

This is so very cool. Glad you had this opportunity. It would be great if someday we could have a meet-up of all the co-hosts. Or maybe a big A to Z Convention. There I go dreaming again. But who knows.

I never did too well keeping up pen pal relationships. Much easier to stay in touch with on line relationships. I've met several bloggers in person. I'm planning to do a post about this someday.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Rachel said...

When I was 13, my mom told me I could use the Internet providing I never gave too much personal information and didn't EVER meet anyone online. When I was 17, I flew to Texas (to meet Sissi) and later to Ohio to meet two different friends who I had been talking to since about two months after I began using the Internet. And ironically, the day before I went to Ohio another friend (Sis) was driving through my state so she made a detour and we had dinner together. Last year, I came out to meet my boyfriend (at age 19) after talking to him since I was 17 and dating him for about 8 months. Now we live together and have been together for going in 2 years. Not to mention, I met another friend (Brother/Tony) who moved to this state about two weeks before me, even though we've been friends since I was about 13. I've had my fair share of Internet friendships, meeting them, even ending up with them as "family" or a serious relationship. My only thing is to be smart. Meet in a public place, make sure you know them, tell EVERYONE where you're going, don't do it unless you've known them for a while, etc.

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

So fun you met in person! I always wonder if my "online friends" are really how they seem online or are totally different in person. Although I guess it doesn't matter as long as they are consistent in the medium i "know" them!

Kat R said...

I have to agree. Some of my blogging friends are much more real friends than people I see every day.
I am a very lucky girl.

Glenda said...

I have online friends I wish I could meet in person and I no longer think of them as online friends but as family. Plus I have meet a lot of the people I work with online which I love and I a closer to them than people I meet offline.

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