I've never really met anyone online in real life. Unless you count the time I ran into Ant on the Glasgow subway.
And in two weeks time, I should be in Manchester meeting several other bloggers and twitterers (tweeters? twits?). I've been a bit nervous about it - read this post if you don't know why. I've done and said silly things when nervous or drunk - like accusing a stranger of being a necrophiliac. Or asking another stranger if she was an escort. When I say something stupid, I go ALL OUT. (That's a guarantee.) So understandably I'm a little bit apprehensive about the whole thing.
ANYWAY, that''s not the point here. Here IS the point...
The other day, I mentioned to a male friend of mine I was going to Manchester. He, of course, asked who I was going with. When I said some girls I knew from the internet, his shock was fairly apparent.
I momentarily wondered if I had accidentally said I was going with a selection of famous murderers from the past, but I knew I wouldn't say something THAT strange. (Mainly because I wasn't drunk!)
He went on about it for the good part of the next 20 minutes, asking me if I had ever met these girls before, did I think it was wise to be going . . . he just couldn't IMAGINE travelling for miles to meet a bunch of people he'd never met in real life before.
I asked if it was any different from internet dating. Or going home to a random person's house for a party you met for the first time while on a night out. Or even going on holiday with a friend you hadn't known for very long.
To me, it seems less harmless than any of those options. He didn't seem to agree though.
I understand that not everyone UNDERSTANDS blogging or what goes on in the blogosphere. Even people who DO blog do it for different reasons - but one of the things I have always loved about it is the connection, the interaction between us. The friendships that form. Sometimes I feel like my readers know me better in certain ways than some of the people I DO know in real life. Surely then the logical next step is to MEET these people?
That's how I see it anyway.
Tons of bloggers who I read on a daily basis have meet ups all the time. Have formed lasting friendships with one another. Hang out at one another's houses. I'm a bit jealous of that. I wish more of you lived closer to me so we could go out to the pub and get drunk and have a gossip and puke on the street together after we are kicked out at closing time. (Too far? Sorry.)
I don't really know what my mate's issue is but I know he's not the only one who has this opinion.
I couldn't disagree more though.
Despite my nerves, I am still pretty excited. My first meet-up!
(I just hope the other girls still want to meet up with me after reading this!)
ONE MORE (MAINLY UNRELATED) THING . . . if you have time (and think I deserve it) I'd appreciate if you pop over to this site and vote for me. Did I mention how good you all look today? No? Well, you do!!! ;)