Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Taking relationships from the web to real life

I woke up today and decided to try something new. I want to meet as many people from my online community in person as I can. The impetus? It already started to happen on it’s own. So far this year, I’ve met 5 or 6 people in person that I only knew online before. I really like being able to put a face, voice and body language behind an account.

There are a couple of other things behind this. I’ve lived in NYC for 2 years now, and have found it ridiculously hard to meet people who might become friends. I’m also kinda bad at getting out of my apartment, especially when it’s 90 degrees outside. It’s helpful to have the draw of company.

There’s some stuff to be examined here about taking web-only relationships to the real world. How does the relationship change? Positively or negatively? How much do people act in person the way they do online? How do my perceptions change, and how do the perceptions of others change?

If you want to have lunch, coffee, or just take a walk, I’m game!

  • It truly depends on the person. I find that many people I know online are a little more socially awkward in person (myself included) because speech doesn't have the luxury of a backspace. But nearly every single Twitter follower I've met had much more depth and smarts in real life than their Twitter feeds let on.

    Some are more vivacious, some are more shy. Some are more annoying in person, some are more humble. Some are not what they seem online, some are everything and more. That's part of the joy of meeting these people face to face. I think my favorite part is simply the depth and breadth of conversation you can have in person — and you have a million starting points for those conversations, because you already know what their interests are.

    Next time I'm on the East Coast, I will make it a point to go out to NYC and say hi!

  • I also feel pretty awkward in person, although I've been told I hide it well. I think meeting someone you know online is a little easier because you already know all these things about them – what their interests are, people you both know – so you get to skip a couple of steps in the “getting to know you” phase.

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