Saturday, January 10, 2004

Meeting people offline... 

So, I came across this thread today, which asks if you've ever met someone in person that you first talked to online. It turns out I have extensive experience in this area. Here's what I had to say on the subject (in case the thread dies out some day):

You know, the more I thought about this, the more I realized I've met A LOT of people offline that I first talked to online. Probably 40 people or more from a variety of different circumstances and hobbies.

First was the BBS days back when I was 16 or so. Went to a couple of parties, had some parties at our house, talked to some people on the phone (including someone from Texas that was on a sister board that came in through telnet), and met some people individually. Both chat and game people (one of the gamers ended up being a comic artist who's done stuff for TMNT in the past). Got into a couple of relationships that ended up not working out. However, I know of at least two sets of people from back then that got married one of which first met at a party at my house.

Then there's the fact that I've been big into yo-yos. First I met someone locally and we became friends. Eventually I met more people as I went to some semi-local contests. Also ended up doing some work for an Australian company at one point so met the guy from there. Also, at one point a bunch of people online pooled money together to buy me a ticket to California (I live in Mass!) to go to the Nationals, and I met a lot of people there. There was also someone who stopped at my house while in the area and people who've come to local club meetings that I first talked to online.

For poi, after talking to people on a board for a while, there was a getogether at someone's house in Vermont, with someone coming from locally. I hitched a ride from her (someone from Austrailia that was in the area came with us also) and I spent the weekend up there, and it was wonderful.

For anime, I met Paul Vasquez (who is a priest and hasn't been posting so much lately unfortunately) while he was in the area. Was great fun exchanging DVDs and watching stuff together. Eventually I plan on going to a convention or AoDVD party and will meet more people.

For a local juggling club, first I e-mailed someone there before actually going to the meeting. Dunno if that counts..

For Esperanto, a lady stayed at my house for a couple of days while in the middle of a speaking tour, which was really cool. There's also local people which I want to meet up with eventually...

The latest thing is a comic blogger who I e-mailed (after he mentioned a local comic shop) and it ends up he lives down the street from me! Due to holidays and sickness we haven't met up yet, but it'll likely happen very soon now.

So, I guess when you get right down to it, I've met a ton of people over the last 10 years or so. I haven't been quite so directly involved with people online for a while now, but I'm still making new aquaintences all the time. Overall I've met a lot of great people... I guess I'd be more cautious if I was female, but generally you can get at least some idea of how people are if you talk to them enough, take things slow, and use some common sense. And when you start to get into mini-communities like AoDVD, you can probably talk to other people if you want some more information on someone before meeting them in person yourself.

An interesting topic...

For someone as shy and socially akward as myself, it is funny just how many people I've actually met offline. What have been the experiences of any of you that are reading my blog? Hopefully I'll meet some of you some day, too.. :)

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