From Virtual to Reality

My illustration of the virtual people who read my blog for the first time.

When I began blogging, I remember getting the jitters. I had worried about using my real name. Since I was blogging for a writer’s platform, it made sense to send it into the blogosphere along with my words.

My friends and family wondered how smart it was to expose myself to strangers. Some thought I could be conversing with thugs from prison. “Hey!” I retorted, “Everyone makes mistakes and if they enjoy my blog, well, that’s a great sign of positive reform!”

They wondered how I could possibly make friends online.

What I write is more revealing about who I am than anything I say in public to my real friends. Writing gives me time to collect my thoughts which are usually whipping around aimlessly in my pea brain. People who read my blog know me better in some ways than people I met in real life five years ago.

Pretty strong statements, eh? Well, I believe they are true, for me anyway.

Blogging is one-sided like a lecture. The feedback given through the comments is where the magic happens. Conversations have continued on Facebook, Twitter and through email.

Flash forward a year and a half and I have made some pretty amazing friendships. Do I even know what these people look like? Some use photos of themselves on their blogs and others use avatars of furry little creatures. Does it matter? Hell no. It’s what they say that matters.

Writing is the great equalizer. Words draw people together by interest, content, depiction of beauty and sometimes just by support.

The most wonderful surprise of this whole blogging experience has been the community I have found.

Now, when I go on a vacation, I want to meet my virtual friends in real life. My husband Danny and I recently traveled to California. I contacted a few bloggers located in the area and we met for dinner.

Lynn Kelley, me, Debra Eve, August McLaughlin, and Debra Kristi

Those same jitters returned as my husband and I walked into the restaurant. As soon as I spotted Lynn KelleyDebra Eve, August McLaughlin and Debra Kristi, I relaxed. It was like meeting old friends for the first time. We knew everything that was going on in each other’s lives since we all follow each other’s blogs. The connection was instantaneous. We were able to fill in the little details, talk about future plans and share ideas.

The night raced by. When they stood to leave, there was still so much I wanted to ask them. Knowing that I would “see” them on their blogs, Facebook and Twitter made it a little easier.

We will come back again. In the meantime, Danny and I would love to meet my other blogger friends when we travel. He says that his goal is to be Mr. Susie Lindau and carry my bags around the world. Good thing I didn’t use the name Little Miss Granny Panties!

Have you ever met bloggers in real life? 

161 thoughts on “From Virtual to Reality

  1. Wow….such a brilliant way to look at blogging life!! I just began blogging in January and have already made some great connections through writing those same random whirling thoughts. I look forward to reading more of yours!

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  2. My timing is perfect…just as I was about to type my comment…El Guapo popped in before me….I began to follow you, after becoming a follower of his!……even though I haven’t gotten to know you very well yet…I enjoy the way that you express your thoughts and entertain us all….same with Guapo…some day I hope to meet fellow bloggers…there is the possibility of meeting one at an art show in Cincinnati next spring…and it would be just awesome..congrats to you for getting to meet your friends “for real” and judging by the long list above, you’re going to meet many more…jealous!,,,in a good way :)…awesome post!

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    • Awwww! Thanks so much! I am looking forward to meeting more of my virtual friends. You will really enjoy meeting yours! I think conventions can be a great way to plan to meet others too. Guapo rocks!

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  3. I agree that the comments are what I value the most about the blogging process. It’s where you can make relationships, especially with people who follow the blog and what you write. I haven’t met any of my online friends in person, but mostly because they’re on different continents. How did you ever get a group like that together?

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  4. What great post. Some of the things you point out about blogging and acquaintances are definitely true. Sometimes what I write is more revealing than what I tell people in real life. And you do make connections with adventurous wild riders. Sorry that I missed you this time around. Maybe the next time you come down here we’ll hang out.🙂

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    • I think people really find out what our interest are and what we are into, enabling all kinds of connections!
      You had a triathlon to participate in. You really rock the wild title! I definitely will give you the heads up next time we come out.🙂
      Thanks so much Guat!

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  5. Love this (and your illustration, too!). I think you hit the nail on so many points here – the part where we get personal on blogs, nervousness at the thought of meeting ‘for real’. And yet, there’s already such community. I’m getting warmed up to the idea of a literal ‘blog hop’ myself!🙂

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  6. That is a good illustration. Of course use your name, I could not imagine not. It is funny how we meet and make good friends we may never meet.

    I’m hoping to meet Roxy someday, and shake her paw.

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  8. I have not yet met any real blogger. I have met about 8 different women cyclists from cycling Internet forums where I’ve been alot longer than blogging. At least if we had nothing else to chat up, it would be cycling stuff that binds us together.
    My partner however has met 2 of my blogger readers since he cycles all over the continent: they each wanted to give me a cheap little gift which was nice of them.

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    • Awww! That was nice! I think that it may depend on what a person blogs about. When people blog about their lives, it opens up a perspective into what is going on. Each blog has a unique feel just like the blogger, so when you finally meet them, they are so familiar especially when we have had many discussions in the comment section.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I met my future lady on Facebook, and she lives some 1,000 miles from me…for now. She is one of many that I have met from online social sites. Never met a blogger though since I am relatively new to the blogging arena.

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    • Congrats!
      I really believe that in a way the online person can get to know your better depending on how revealing we are. I blog a lot about my family and activities using my goofy sense of humor, so my readers get a pretty good glimpse into who I am!
      Thanks for stopping by Bryan!

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