A funny thing happened last weekend. I had a part in a short film, and we did some filming on Saturday. The next day, one of the film crew wrote a comment on the ‘About’ page of my blog to say that he knew there was something familiar about me when I arrived at the film shoot, and then later he realised it was because he is a follower of my blog! I’ve often wondered if I would recognise somebody from the blog world if I bumped into them in the real world, I figured it would be just like last weekend’s incident, where I would know they were familiar but wouldn’t be quite sure why, like he did.
I’ve also recently been thinking a lot about blog friends and whether they are in fact real friends. Because of social networking, the word ‘friend’ has come to mean different things in different contexts, but if I take a random dictionary definition of the word friend – ‘A person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard’, from www.dictionary.com, then yes, there are many people I know in the blogging world who I would apply that to. People I have never met, but I still care about. I feel for them if they are going through a bad time, and I’m happy for them when things are going well. I’m interested in their day to day lives, and I like hanging out with them on their blog or mine. I would feel a sense of loss if they suddenly stopped reading and writing blogs and disappeared. But how much do I really know them, and how much do they really know me? Some photos. Some words that we choose to write. Is that a person that we can really say we know?
There are hundreds of thousands of bloggers on WordPress alone, and yet as I commented in my post ‘The mind-blowing world of informal blogging networks‘ we tend to form little network groups and keep bumping into the same people, and there are quite a few of those people who I would love to have the opportunity to meet in real life. I’ve often thought to myself that if I happened to be traveling through their town, I might contact them and say “Hey, wanna meet for a coffee?”. There are a few who I would do that confidently with, in the pretty safe knowledge that they would be up for it, yes, I’m thinking of you Robin Coyle. Others I may hesitate, unsure whether they may prefer to keep their blogging world and their real world separate.
On the other hand, I have the concern that we could end up not liking each other in real (not specifically you Robin, but anyone!). I think we’ve all had the experience of hitting it off really well with someone electronically, perhaps through work with email exchanges, or through a social forum, and ended up being slightly disappointed when finally meeting them and discovering that it all seems to fall flat. I would hate anything to negatively affect how highly I regard all my lovely blogging pals!
I don’t have a conclusion as such here, I was just airing my various thoughts and, as always, would love to hear yours… Have you met anyone in real that you first met through blogging? If not, would you want to, or do you prefer to keep your interactions strictly within the blogging arena? (Just so that I know who I can invite for coffee!).