10/30/2008

Have you met a cyber friend in person?

Not too long ago it was considered weird/taboo to meet people in person that you initially met on the internet. I still remember the first time I heard about someone getting married after meeting their significant other online. My first and lasting impression at that time was “That’s strange!” Nowadays online match making is much more common and mainstream. People are not only using online dating sites to meet people but also meeting via chatrooms, social networking sites (Facebook, My Space) and forums. Blogging is also opening a whole new online environment for meeting new people in person. This month I’d appreciate it if you could cast your vote in my online poll available in the right panel of my blog. I’m interested to see whether you’ve ever met a cyberspace friend in person.

In addition to voting in the poll, I’d also be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. Would you meet any cyber friends in person? If not, why not? If so, where did you meet the person online? What mutual interest brought you together e.g. romance, hobbies, business etc. How did the face to face meeting turnout? Do you think most people still consider online to face to face meeting as weird or is it accepted as mainstream?

Come on share your thoughts click the Comments link now and get typing.

18 comments:

Beverly said...

I’m single and live a couple hours from Denver. This is a VERY rural area. So yes, I’ve computer-dated some. I’ve been burned a time or two…put a lot of energy into letters only to have them disappear before meeting. Once I met a guy and dated him regularly only to discover he was married. So now…I meet sooner than later and I pay attention to red-flags. [sigh] It’s amazing what people will tell people.

Anyway, people are getting more and more comfortable with the idea of computer-dating. I don’t want to call it online-dating because I insist it has to be real-time before all that much time goes by. I like to meet for lunch at a place where there are lots of people. I would never meet for a movie or drinks first…as the whole point is to talk and get to know one another. I also insist we’ll meet for lunch and that’s it. Course, lunch might last four hours…but there is no leaving and continuing the first date elsewhere. It just makes things easier. You can’t believe how much different people are in person than from online notes and such. Yeah…meet sooner than later; no strings attached. I always offer to split the bill; it’s gotta be hard on men…some women are just out for a free meal. Ugg…

Yes, either interest in a partner has usually been why we met; mutual interests were what started the communication in the first place. Oh...and generally I prefer to correspond with people who live less than half a day away. Distance is another issue...why bother? Though, I have heard it works out, sometimes.

Just my thoughts,
Beverly

Owlman said...

Beverly I was actually watching one of these Oprah-style shows the one day and they mentioned all of the suggestions that you've made i.e. meeting for a lunch date at a public place, making sure it's juts a lunch deal, setting the meeting soon after meeting etc. See you could write a book about this and make some cash!

I hope you meet Mr. Right soon!

Eve said...

Hi Owlman! No computer dating here! I got married before I had a computer.....hummmmm....that's a thing of the past! But I am now getting phone calls from my good blogging friend Jenny http://wrensnaturenotebook.blogspot.com/ from Somerset, England! We plan to go birding when she takes her next trip to the states! There are definatly people that I feel I know very well and would love to meet, you have to use caution tho if you were planning on dating, yikes, I don't think that would be for me.

Beverly said...

Why do you feel it's okay to make friends on the computer you'd like to meet and spend time with and yet don't think you could 'date' in the same way?

I like to be friends with those I date, I go slow...I don't expect anything more than a pleasant lunch with someone I've come to know, online. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. (astually, more often it doesn't...as I said it is amazing what people say and what they expect in letters).

As long as one keeps things on the table (don't meet at a motel and wonder why the guy thinks he's going to get laid), goes slow even after meeting and takes the time to continue to get to know the other person while building trust...I just don't see why this is different than a cousin introducing me to a friend or meeting someone at church or a birding-club.

Our families are all spread out, few of us are as close to our extended families as we were 50-100 years ago, we move more often, and work longer hours...where dating co-workers is discouraged!

What's a girl to do? ...even if she is an old broad? LOL

Beverly said...

Hey...did you see this:

http://beavertonbirdblog.blogspot.com/

Happy Halloween!

Christopher said...

Haven't met any cyber-fields in person... yet. Looking forward to doing so in few months though!

Beverly said...

You may have noticed I used the term "On-line", as opposed to ‘cyber’. If you are new to making friends online…know that often ‘cyber’ is the same as ‘cyber-sex’. Some people enjoy that anonymous, online, sexual satisfaction. I meet FRIENDS online…but I don’t cyber. I also do not suppose every friend I meet might be a partner. I often wonder why it is okay to make friends online, but somehow finding a partner is a line drawn in the sand.

Who, in their right mind…makes a partner of someone they haven’t first befriended? That’s what I’d like to know. Well…in addition to why you ask this question, Owlman. And what are your thoughts on meeting online friends? I rather doubt we’d meet unless with a group…you are younger than my son! Generally even 'just friends' are ‘birds of a feather’; no? ;)

Owlman said...

Hi Eve,great to hear that you're going to be meeting a birding friend - VERY exciting! That’s actually the reason why I decided to do this topic for the month. I noticed that a lot of the bloggers met up at Cape May this month for their birding event and I was wondering how often this happens. I was actually invited out by Lynne, but I couldn’t make it. Having said that I’ve met up with Patrick for a birding trip and I’ll be joining him and a couple of other bloggers in Jan (more details to follow). For some reason dating people that you met online is more taboo, although I totally agree with Beverly that it can be a great way to meet people.

Christopher, I’m sure your birding bloggers are also looking forward to meeting you ;-)

Beverly, interesting distinction between online and cyber. I have never really thought about it that way, which is why I’ve used the words interchangeable. I’m happily married so I’ve never tried online dating, but I guess if I was single I might give it a shot. I’m open to meeting people that I met online, especially fellow bird bloggers as I feel that they are pretty open about who they are. Sharing a mutual hobby/interest is a great way to start a friendship in my opinion. Actually with birders age isn’t such a factor for friendship. I have been on several birding trips with the county where I am by FAR the youngest birder.

Thanks for stopping in all and adding your thoughts on this interesting topic.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Owlman,
I have personally met several birding/nature bloggers at birding festivals in Minnesota and North Dakota (Lynne, Deb, Mike Hendrickson, LauraHin NJ, Julie Zickefoose) and I must say that those meetings have been pretty wonderful. I'm not a person who makes friends very easily (somewhat awkward in social situations), but meeting and getting to know these people on-line (through blogs and e-mails) takes away most of the awkwardness of meeting someone new for the first time because we already know so much about each other and we can just take off with sharing our common bond--birds and nature. It's been fun and amazing and I can honestly say that I'm probably closer to some of these blogging friends than I am to some members of my own family!

Susan Gets Native said...

I met my husband online, 9 years ago.

I have met Lynne, Laura, Delia, Kathi, Julie and Bill, Birdchick, John Riutta, Amy Hooper, Mike Bergin, Patrick, and others.
I get around.
; )

Owlman said...

RuthieJ, I think many of us bloggers are reasonably shy and meeting people online can be a great way to get to know someone. I’m glad you’ve met so many of the awesome bird bloggers.

Susan, boy oh boy do you get around ;-) Do you still get weird responses when you mention that you met your husband online? Do you think people think that its stranger than meeting a blogger in person?

As a general reflection I often wonder how our imagination influences the discrepancies we see when we finally meet someone. When you read a blog regularly you start to create a persona for that person and when you meet them they may be quieter than you imagined or maybe more wacky. Does some of that translate into online dating? Obviously there is purposeful deception with profile pics, but some of it may be more subtle. Your thoughts?

Patrick Belardo said...

I've met plenty of bloggers, including you! I also met my wife online!

Lynne said...

I've met quite a few bloggers face to face to and found every meeting quite comfortable. We choose how much of ourselves to reveal through our blogs but I do think it's possible to get a pretty good feel for the person. I'm pretty comfortable with it.

Haven't met an axe murderer yet (that I know of...)

Owlman said...

Patrick, looks like we'll be meeting up again pretty soon. Do you get any weird looks from people when you mention that you met Beth online?

Lynne, you have to watch out for the people in new Jersey - they are weird! Some of them even support the Jets UGH.... I keep telling people I'm a Favre fan, not a Jets fan. The again some people support teams where grown men running around with purple outfits - go figure!

Kathiesbirds said...

I am very careful about who I meet, but I met Beth of Beth's stories in Maine and Doug Taron from Gossemr Tapestry. Both are fellow bird bloggers. I made sure my husband was with me when we met Doug, but by the time we did I knew him fairly well from his blog and from the interviews with local media he posted on his blog. He is an entimologist with a research facility in Chicago so I knew he wasn't faking his Identity. I would like to meet other Bloggers, including Susan of Susan Gets native and Lynne of Hasty Brook and Mary of Mary's view. I might even like to meet you someday, but I have to get to know you better!

dguzman said...

So far, I've only met fellow birders in person after reading their blogs and such. It's been a wonderful experience each time, leading to real friendships in many cases.

Computer-dating, however, seems way too scary and crazy for me. I know many people who've gotten together with eHarmony-type sites, but it seems to me that such luck is rare. I'll take good old-fashioned face-to-face meeting. Of course, maybe that's why I'm single!

Owlman said...

I agree with both of you ladies-it's better to be safe than sorry. I think our generation is more careful about online interactions, whereas the kids in school take it more in stride. I guess having grown up with text messages and the internet does make a MAJOR difference.

Tony Perrotta said...

I have met quite a few people online. I am an artist also and have met many people that I paint with to this day online. I also met an artist who became my painting teacher and she is my BEST friend now ! The art community is like the birding community we think alike and get together. It is great.

Tony