"Let me get this straight. You're traveling half-way around the world... for a party?"
Lately I've been reconnecting with some of my former high school classmates on FaceBook. It's been kind of fascinating to me because we've never been close as a group, even though some of the close friendships are still intact. Case in point: our 25-year Class of 1984 reunion fell apart before it ever got started this year. It's sad, but not a big deal to me because I undoubtedly would have been traveling and couldn't go anyway (just like our 10-year). But we all served time together in the public school system so there's a common bond there that can't be broken no matter how hard we try.
So far as I know, only two of my graduating class are blogging. One of them is me. What this means is that I'm pretty easy to track down, even though I'm not so much tied to my "real name" but my "online identity" of Blogography. All it takes is a Google search and there I am. And now that I'm connecting on FaceBook it's even easier to find me because I'm linked to a bunch of former classmates there.
And this is where it gets interesting. Because my blog entries are duplicated on FaceBook as "notes."
It's interesting because my blog is highly superficial, as I don't talk about work, family, relationships, or anything I consider to be "personal." So while people from my past can find me easily enough, they can't really know me online. This is a paradox to be sure, and lately I've been trying to grasp what it must be like for old friends and acquaintances to stumble across my online life.
And let's face it, the online version of my life is pretty bizarre.
To say the very least.
This was driven home last Wednesday when one of my former classmates wrote and said "Let me get this straight. You're traveling half-way around the world for a party?"
Answering this question in the affirmative just raises more questions, namely "You're traveling half-way around the world to stay with random people you met on the internet?!? Are you crazy? And there's no real way to explain that to somebody who isn't involved in a blogger community and still appear sane. Believe me, I've tried.
Though, even if you remove blogging from the equation, it doesn't make much difference in my case. I once flew to Copenhagen for just 9 hours so I could attend a birthday party of a non-blogging friend. I guess I am crazy like that.
At some point you have to stop trying to explain your life and just live it.
I guess I'm there.
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I had the same problem when I went to Las Vegas and to Kentucky. To me, meeting someone online is not that different from meeting someone on the street. Sometimes you hit it off, sometimes you don’t. Some people you just can’t trust, some people you can tell are clowns, but their heart is in the right place.
I know there are people out there who think, “Oh, you can’t be friends with people online. How can you really know them?” Well, I always wonder how you can really know your non-online friends either. People only are going to show you the side of themselves they want you to see. And with blogging, you might even see more than what you see in a person offline.
This is why I don’t keep in touch with people from High School. They didn’t get me then and will definitely not get me now.
Besides, every day life is like High School, except now everyone has more money. 🙂
Yep. Me, too. Only maybe it’s a little harder for a woman to be going to the house of a man (married or not, it doesn’t seem to matter) who’s throwing the party. A lot of people thought Adam was maybe a homicidal maniac. I just said, “He’s not homicidal!”, and let it go. 🙂
I have had a similar experience, albeit in a different vein. Since my blog is only one aspect of me, it’s been interesting to see what my friends who have known me for 20 years think of the blog and the people who read my blog and know me through it.
And what a great place to be, it is!
I gave up trying to explain to those “real life” people why I so enjoy the company of my “online” friends. Lately, trying to be defensive or explanatory is just not worth it. I smile, nod, and try to change the subject. Why bother? They’ll never understand no matter what I say.
Hey, if I could travel halfway around the world for a party, I would.
Certainly there has to be some upside of all the traveling you do for work. Being able to go overseas on a whim is a good one, I think.
Non-bloggers won’t get it. They don’t understand the friendships made through this medium. I think living your life, not explaining it, is a GREAT way to be.
I’m also getting the “you’re going to Orlando for a Halloween party? With people you’ve never met?” comments. Some people think it’s cool, some think it’s weird. I don’t care. Twitter and Facebook have made crossovers between blogging and non-blogging life easier, but not necessarily better. Sometimes I don’t want them to get all up in each other’s bidness, but now it’s inevitable.
And what a great party it was!
I did the travelling thing to meet online friends for years before I started blogging – some people get it and some will never get it. Doesn’t matter – it’s your life and you are certainly living it!
Trying to explain online friendships to those who don’t spend much time online is really quite difficult. And in fact, almost impossible in my experience. They just won’t “get it”.
“Let me get this straight, you are marrying some man you met on your blog? And he’s CANADIAN?”
I hear you, brother.
If I could live life that way, I totally would! It’s funny how non-bloggers don’t get the whole blogging relationship. They think it’s really creepy and weird.
As far as I know, I’m the only person from my high school class (1982) who blogs. Then again, I went to a very small school in rural Tennessee. I’ve also been reconnecting with former classmates via Facebook. The biggest reaction I seem to get from them is, “You live in LOS ANGELES?” You would think my profile said I lived on Mars or something. LOL
I met my ex-husband online about 12 or 13 years ago. I definitely went through the stage of people not “getting it” and calling me crazy when I told them we were getting married. Then again, considering he is my EX-husband, perhaps they were on to something. 😉
At this point in my life, I no longer feel the need to differentiate my friends as “online friend” vs. “real life friend”. They’re all just friends and I love them dearly. 🙂
When people ask me crazy questions like that I try to just smile and say, “Yep!” I’m trying to embrace the “what other people think of me is none of my business” concept. As long as no one gets hurt, I’m going to do what makes me happy. Life is too short not to be enjoyed.
I met my wife online and we have been together 10 years. I recently hosted someone who I met online who wanted to tour Los Angeles. With no more than a brief introduction, I took someone from Germany around LA for 2 days and had the time of my life.
Here’s to online friendships!!!
regardless of how you met, i think it makes you a terrific friend if you travel halfway around the world.
Nope. I’m right there with you. It’s so strange for me to see blog friends, college friends, high school friends, family, paranormal geeks, all blending and melding in my Facebook account. And the high school people don’t “get” me now. The 37yo me. *Sigh*
It’s enough to make my head explode.
I think it’s awesome, Dave. And with your Netherlands posts in particular, I loved them and could tell how much fun you guys were having!
Lemme get this straight. You wrote ALL this words just to tell us THAT?!?!?