On Meeting Online Friends

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Liv recently wrote about her meeting up with some blogger buddies. That reminded me to write this post that I’ve been wanting to write since last August or September. Ack! Talk about procrastinating . . . moving on! *ahem* I love meeting online friends. I’ve always loved meeting online friends. In fact, whenever I know there’s a chance — whether they come to Korea or I travel to where they’re located — I take that chance and arrange a meeting. There’s something about meeting someone you’ve interacted online with for months or years. Don’t get me wrong — I love interacting with people online. But meeting in person feels more rewarding, and that’s not obtainable online. The closest we can achieve that is through video chatting, but I actually hate that method of communication. Give me face-to-face interaction over that, please!

36. That’s how many online friends and acquaintances I’ve met over the years so far. Some of them are friends I’ve known online for years while the others I’ve known for a bit and then met in person. Some of them even attended my high school, and while we knew of each other, we met “online” first and then found out we go to the same school, haha! Some are fandom friends, and others are blogger friends. Some are friends I met in Japan, while most are those who came to Korea. I still keep in touch with several of them, but not with everyone. I am thankful for meeting each and every one of them, though.

I’ve never had an issue meeting online friends and acquaintances. Oddly enough, when I go to a new place, I’m pretty shy and reserved, and I will not talk to anyone that much. Yet with people I already have interacted with online, I’m comfortable meeting them face-to-face for the very first time. I read that some people are afraid that they will disappoint whoever they meet because they’re so different online and offline, or they’re afraid that their “awkwardness” will scare people off, but to me that’s not really an issue — or so I say. I like to believe I act fairly the same online and offline amongst friends, and that I don’t come off that awkward. If I am different, I don’t think they are drastic. The main difference I can see is that I articulate better through writing and typing rather than speaking, I am not as short-tempered online, and I’m more sarcastic in person.

Anyway, I’m always up for meeting online friends. If you are ever in my neighbourhood, let me know in advance! I’ll be more than happy to take a day or two of leave to meet you! I’ll be thrilled to be your tour guide and take you to my favourite coffee shops, restaurants, and other sights. It’s always a pleasure for me to show people around my favourite spots because I like nothing more than relaxing in my favourite coffee shop with friends. And please, I hope you won’t feel nervous around me! I don’t bite :D

I hope to meet up with more online friends in the future. It’s a challenge when most of my online friends are living super far away with oceans and landmasses in the way; however, sometimes situations arrange itself nicely, and then a meeting can occur. I just have to remind myself to “never say never”, because it can happen. Or in some cases, it will happen. And when a meeting happens, I’ll enjoy that moment in my life.

Have you met up with online friends? Were you nervous prior to meeting them? Do you think you act differently online? Let me know your thoughts on this!

Comments

  1. Holy wow! That’s so awesome that you’ve met up with 36 people! I’ve unfortunately not met up with anyone that I’ve met online but I think that’s because of my location. Most of the bloggers I know are on either coast or overseas and I’m smack in the middle of the US. Since it’s not a huge city that a lot of people visit, not many opportunities arise. But hopefully someday when I’m traveling I can meet up with some online friends – perhaps even you!

    I think I would probably be a little nervous at first – even though you know the person, you’re still meeting them essentially for the first time. But I think I would relax and then it would just be fun. I don’t think I act any differently online (at least I hope I don’t) except that I am probably more articulate and clear on what I am thinking because I can go back and edit.

    • I hope you will get future opportunities to meet other bloggers and online friends :3 If we’re ever in the same area, I’d definitely want to meet you! ^^

      And I think that nervousness at first is pretty normal! I know I’m nervous, but I don’t like it overcome me when I meet online friends.

  2. I’ve met lots of people online in my lifetime, most of them are gaming friends. I’ve not met any bloggers though as I haven’t been that active in the blogging world, it always go on and off it really.

    I understand what you mean by meeting them in real life, it’s something special. Especially those that you talk you regularly! it really bring you closer to that person and you learn loads more about them.

    • It’s definitely something special. I cherish all the moments I get to spend with online friends and acquaintances :D

  3. That’s amazing that you’ve been able to meet so many online friends. I’m very different in real life to how I am online, so I’m very worried about letting people down in a way. I’ve met up with 5 people I was in a WoW guild with, but that’s it really. They were friends with my sister more than me, but I got to know them really well in the end!
    If I’m ever in Korea I’ll say hello! If you’re ever in Liverpool let me know!

    • Don’t worry about letting people down! I am never let down by people I meet because I know a part of me understands that some people do act differently online than offline, but as long as they’re still the same ol’ nice person, it’s isn’t anything to make a big deal out of!

      And yes! Do say hello if we’re ever in the same vicinity! ^^

  4. 36?? WOW! I met one. She said she’s coming to Germany, I said come to my town Munich, she said yes, I picked her up from the airport :) I was nervous but mainly because I didn’t know if we’d have things to talk about or not, but we chatted lots.

    • I’m glad the meeting went well! ^^ I think meeting someone new always give us opportunity to find out more of each other, so I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t shut up, haha!

  5. I have a few stories of meeting online friends. I am usually nervous about doing it, but I have my story of meeting Monica, and we just bumped into each other accidentally! I am surprised I have not encountered that many bloggers in Sydney even though I know a few.

    I did have a bad story a while ago which is somewhere in my blog archives. A much younger “friend” wanted to meet up with me but I wasn’t keen. I guess I already had an inkling she would make me feel insecure. She just seemed so desperate to meet up. In the end I tried to keep contacting her then her parents tried to stalk me and a whole heap of other strange stuff. :/

    I guess the majority of people I’ve met afterwards have been great, but there haven’t been many, haha. You shall definitely be one of them because I’m planning to visit Seoul some time!

    In person I am probably more or less the same as I am online. I have put a lot of myself out there. And I sort of try to make my online appearance and demeanour match me in real life. I guess the thing to note is that I’m shy at first but once we get talking I would very much warm to someone who I know well :) With other people, I don’t approach people but rather wait for them to start a conversation with me. So anyone who is game enough to approach me will probably be glad they did, hahahahahha.

    • I’m really sorry for that shitty experience :( That’s just really awful!

      On the flipside, it’s good that your other meetings went well! And I hope you’ll make it over to Seoul soon! I’d love to meet up with you! ^^

  6. Wow Tara! You’ve met so many online friends! Truthfully, I am quite envious! Ive always wanted to meet up with my blogging friends especially those I’ve known for such a long time, It’d be so awesome to talk over a cup of tea or coffee in real life rather than waiting for a comment or a reply on Twitter haha!

    I am very much how I am online; offline. I always encourage myself to be 100% transparent online and that reflects how I am offline. Meeting a blogging friend would be so cool, at first I would probably be quite awkward but then as the questions come in and the conversation flows, I’d be my happy, bubbly self haha!

    I am planning to visit Korea when I graduate, i’d love to come and see you then ;) I looooove coffee shops!

    • WOOT! I’d love to meet you! Hurry up and graduate :D There are tons of coffee shops here that you’d love, so definitely make that a priority! ^^ I agree that it’s way more fun to talk to someone over coffee or tea.

  7. It’s awesome how you met 36 online friends in person so far! Hopefully there will be more to the count (and I am one of them XD). I can imagine how great it is to meet people in person. It can be awkward at first since you are meeting in person for the first time, but after some time, it’ll be like you two always knew each other IRL XD.

    I’d like to meet you some day when I travel to SK! I’ve only met an online friend once (Isi). It was pretty awesome! I’m still the same person IRL and online XD. So there were no transition needed :)

    • I hope you’ll be someone I meet in the future! It’d be awesome to meet you in real life after being online friends for years! ^^ Girl, come to South Korea, and I’ll show you a ball. I’ll even go to the fish market with you XD

  8. Wow, you’ve met a lot of online friends in person! That’s pretty cool how some people you met online ended up being at the same school as you. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before. I actually have that fear that you mentioned when it comes to meeting online friends. I’m worried that I’ll be boring, and we won’t make much conversation in person. So far that hasn’t happened yet, but it still worries me, haha.

    I’ve met maybe… 4 online friends in person? 3 of which were because they are in Texas too. I’ve also met some cosplayers at Anime cons who I originally knew from online. I can’t tell if I act much differently online than in person. I’d like to think I’m the same person, but who knows!

    • I don’t think you should be worried XD Everyone of us have something to share and talk about, and you have so many interests and hobbies, that it’d be fun to talk to you about! If we ever do meet, I’m sure we’d not be able to stop talking XD

  9. Wow, 36 is a lot! I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone in real life. The closest real-life interaction is sending snail-mail and Christmas cards.

    Korea trip will happen one day!! I swear! I should have gone last month when there was a bit of down time at work. Sure, it would have been an expensive last minute flight, but I don’t know the next time I’ll be free for a long international trip. T___T

    • Korea trip should happen soon! I wished you’d come last month! I’d have definitely tried to meet up with you at least once :D I hope you’ll get another chance soon!

  10. I miss reading your blogs! I’ve been too busy but I’m now catching up on the updates in my feed.

    Now that you mentioned that you’re open to meeting online friends, I hope I can meet you when I fly out to Korea next year! I intend to spend a few days in between Seoul, Daegu and Busan and it would be nice to meet and make new friends. There’s still many, many months before my flight but I am just too excited. :D

    • Glad to see you around here! I hope we can meet up, too :) That’d be awesome. Definitely hit me and let me know in advance your travel dates :)

  11. I’ve only met up with a few blogger friends from online and even formed a relationship with one (my ex) but regardless, I learn to be careful about them, because they still can be different from online, but granted that’s the exception. I met Cat and love her to death. She’s awesome and I hope to meet more people that can come to my area of Texas. Lol I always love video chatting for those I can’t meet in person, but if you are close, you bet I wanna meet you and hang out!

    • That’s good you met some friends :) I can see why you’d want to be careful, though, but I don’t think a lot of us are that different — if we are, it’s all probably minor things, really.

  12. I haven’t met anyone in the online blogging world. But I have already met some online friends in the gaming world. Unlike you, I think I act differently online and offline. I can say I’m fairly talkative online, but really shy in person. Haha!

    I am planning a trip to Korea, probably next year. Let’s meet! Lol.

    • Sure :) Just let me know if you want to meet and let me know your travel dates in advanced! ^^

  13. Holy shiz Tara, I should have posted about going to Seoul sooner!! I just went there and I badly needed a friend there >_< The language barrier was hard for me especially when ordering at restaurants in Hongdae @_@

    And wow 36! I hope to meet you again someday. Planning to go back to Seoul sometime in the future and I'll be sure to let you know. I agree that meeting online friends is easy because you already know sorta how they think. I'm quite shy as well to strangers but give me online friends any day!

    Also.. do you know when the sale months are in Seoul? So want to buy more skincare products! haha

    • I honestly have no idea when sale months are — though, I did notice stores having massive sales after New Year’s . . .

      I hope we can meet up the next time you come up here :)

  14. This makes me smile because you know I’ve been planning to go to SK for a while now haha. I’m really intent on going there soon, and the tickets for April/May are really cheap right now (compared to other months), but I’m afraid of taking in Seoul all alone hahaha. I wanted to have at least a week or so. We’re also planning a trip to another part of East Asia, so I’m afraid that my pockets will be empty!!! lol

    • Don’t be afraid of Seoul! Seoul is pretty easy to get around :3 If you come, just let me know ahead of time so I can take leave and meet you for a day or two!

  15. Wow! You’ve met a lot of online friends! I haven’t even met one – although that is mostly because we’re really miles away but still. I think I’ll be really awkward at first tho! I’ll be visiting SK this October tho, maybe we can meet up? Hahaha!

    • Sure :) I’m always up for meeting fellow bloggers and online friends ^^

  16. It is such an amazing experience meeting online friends for the first time. I have met a few and it was so great that I remember each moment very fondly. :D Hopefully we can meet each other one day!

  17. In all my years of blogging I’ve never met any of my online friends until my trip to London/Paris last year. It’s interesting how I’d meeting the ones abroad before I meet any local ones (though I’m not sure who’s in the DC area currently).

    I’m the same way with meeting “offline” people vs. “online” people, since it feels like I’ve known the latter for a long time. Reading blogs can help you learn a lot about the person!

    • You’re right about the last sentence! ^^ Blogs definitely help us get to know someone, so when we do meet up with them in person, we already have some ideas on who the person is :D

      I think that’s so interesting you met your online friends abroad and not locally so far! Perhaps that will change sometime in the future :D

  18. WOWW that’s so many! Which is AMAZING! I’m meeting one of my long-time online friends this summer and I know she’s met someone online who went to the same university as her! Meeting people from the internet used to be a scary thing but heck now I think me only meeting 3 is very little – everybody uses Tinder and that junk to meet people all the time.

    I’m so going to hit you up when I visit Seoul. I almost was going to go on a trip to South Korea this summer but looks like that isn’t happening anymore :( but of course it’s always going to be on the list. Will you be able to take me to the Ansan memorial by any chance? I have no clue where that is but I really want to visit.

    • Definitely hit me up! Shame you’re not coming this summer, but hopefully you will come in the near future.

      If you want to go there, I’ll look into it. I’m not sure where it is either, but I’m sure it won’t be difficult to find!

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