Friday, May 10, 2013

Meeting Online Friends

I am SO lucky!
I have been in the position to meet people In Real Life who I actually initially meet online.
We are still in the infancy of the internet and in some ways we are learning about online etiquette and social rules.  And there are many stories out there of frightening and negative meet ups with online acquaintances.

But I have been so lucky!
In my travels I have been able to meet up with five online friends.

A friend that John has made through an online friend.
This is Eli on the left and John on the right in Redcliffe QLD.
As the internet has matured, I have been a part of several online communities of atheists or homeschoolers, or other special interest groups that have been important to me over the years.  Because of the intimate nature of some groups, I have made friends with several people from these groups, people who I count as actual and true friends.  Today that is more acceptable, but several years ago that would have sounded socially-awkward, quite pathetic, and terribly embarrassing.  But I think Bollocks!  I have had the good fortune of befriending wonderful, smart, funny, caring people who live all over the world!  So I was one of the few people who has always been willing to call my online friends friends.

Our family has the good fortune of being able to travel quite a bit.  Through this travel I have been able to meet these friends face-to-face! A couple of years ago we went down to Florida for a rather lengthy stay as we considered the possibility of Jerry taking a job down there.  While on the coast I met my first friend!

Shay.
Shay and her husband Doug met my kids and I at a restaurant near Tampa, Florida.  Doug was worried that I might be a Christian about to swoop down and try to evangelize them...LOL.  But Shay and I had already been online friends at that point for at least two years.  So meeting one another was as easy and walking across the street.  She and Doug were as cool as I knew they would be.

Then came Rayven.
Rayven and I somehow really bonded online.  We met on an atheist parenting group and just *clicked*.  We had been online friends for two or three years when she and her boys flew into St. Louis from their military station in Okinawa Japan.  We had planned on her flying in and then driving up to Ohio to see her family.  When I picked her up she was exhausted, hungry, and carrying tons of luggage and two boys.  After a little snack and some sleep, she was back!  That amazing, sharp woman that I knew and loved.  She was a bit taller than I had expected...!

Julianna.
When we moved from St. Louis to Brisbane we stopped for business in San Francisco.  Yay, the chance to meet Julianna!  Although we only had time for one luncheon together, she was the kind of woman you would want to hang with.  She is family-oriented, strong, funny, sweet, and GAME!  She is a risk-taker who grabs life by the horns.  Seriously, I'm thrilled to be her friend!

Kylie
Kylie and I "met" online as our family was planning on moving down here to Brisbane.  She and I 'clicked' online and it was a delight to meet her!  She was so kind that she held a pool party in our honor, to welcome us and to introduce us to people down here.  The kids and I were very moved by that.

And most recently, Cathy!


Cathy is an absolutely beautiful and gracious woman who befriended me just weeks before we moved down here to Australia.  I met her at her blog Beautiful Life.  Upon our arrival in Brisbane I met a tidal wave of people, including Cathy.  We finally had the chance to sit and talk the other day at a beach day for a group of homeschoolers. Let's just say, she is the fifth SCORE! of my online friends who have surpassed their online presence in awesomeness!  Cathy is gentle and strong, and sweet and genuine.  She is lovely.

Maybe it is still a bit of a faux pas to call people you meet on the computer friends, but I don't care because the people who I am honored to have met ARE my friends.  Really and truly.


3 comments:

  1. Karen, what wonderful stories! I, too, consider some of my online friends "real" friends and hope to meet more of them someday.

    I am so grateful for the internet. :)

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    Replies
    1. I will not enter the state of Kentucky again without also hoping to meet up with YOU.
      <3

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  2. Awww what a gorgeous post, you are so lucky to have met all of these people in real life too, so often that just doesn't happen.

    It was lovely having you here, hoping we get to catch up again very soon.

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