Internet People

5 08 2008

Not like this or this, I mean the people who become your friends, the people who you meet in person, the people who change your life in small or large ways. I can’t even begin to list all the people I know from the internet, or how I am a better person because of them. But my life and the internet and forever intertwined, and how grateful I am.

It seems to be the season for meeting internet people right now. BlogHer just happened a few weeks ago – I used to have this passionate drive to go, but then I sat back and realized that I am not real big in the blogging world (personally) and that mostly I would be clinging to Elaine’s arm and desperately trying to remember who all these people I was meeting were. Someday I *will* get there, but my time hasn’t come yet.

But Bethany is on a mission to fill up her proverbial Bingo card with all her Flickr-mates and I think I may get a little of that action, hopefully sooner than later. But if it’s very soon, I hope it’s somewhere air-conditioned. And if not before, then certainly during the next run of 7 Days on Flickr, we have made tentative plans to have a great big So Cal meetup so I can add Sonja to my own Bingo card.

Two years ago, my AP message board had a big gathering in St Louis when I went over there to visit my dad and it was phenomenal. For a socially awkward and shy person, it was heaven walking into a room of women who I knew so very well although I had never seen most of them face-to-face. So well, in fact, that I drove someone’s car and, after hanging out alone (with my two kids) in their hotel room, I answered the door and let them in while I was, technically, topless. I rarely do stuff like that within hours of meeting someone for the first time.

group photo #2

Well, they are doing it again, this time in Colorado*. And DAMMIT but I am not there. If I wasn’t much jealous of BlogHer, it’s only because I was concentrating all of my jealousy on this one. These women are some of my best friends, who have supported me, and loved me, and helped me change who I am for the better. And they are all having a blast without me. UNFAIR.

And the internet complicates things and puts an entirely new perspective on relationships just by it’s mere existence. Last week, I took M in for an acupuncture appointment and my acupuncturist introduced me to a woman I had referred to her. Follow that? It has amused me all week.

Overall, meeting people online has a bad rap. I don’t really like to refer to the fact that I have online friends because it simultaneously freaks people out while diminishing the reality and validity of my relationships with people. But how is it any different than keeping in contact with friends or family who have moved far away? Can you not have meaningful relationships with them? Of course you can, and no one thinks anything of those situations.

Of course, since most of my readers are bloggers or internet-savvy, I am probably preaching to the choir.

That all said, let’s wrap up this post with one more YouTube video featuring the many internet people we have all come to know and love.

*There may be more blogs I’ve neglected to include, and there certainly are more people gathered there.

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2 responses

5 08 2008
Jess

I hear ya, babe! But next year (if there is a next year APU gathering) I swear I am saving every penny so I can go! πŸ™‚

5 08 2008
Sonja

Oh, I KNOW! When my Bradley instructor told us to check out shapeofamother, I got real excited and said “I know the woman who runs the website!!!” (with at least 3 !s). Next question was, of course “How do you know her?” Ummm. “I read her blog.” Awkward. πŸ™‚

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