Why Blogger Meetups Are Like First Dates
It has been awhile, but this week I went on a first date. Well, kind of sort of.
I finally had the pleasure of meeting two fellow blogger friends, expatlingo.com and lostnchina.wordpress.com, whom I follow as they both happened to be in Seattle this week. We had a lovely dinner on a beautiful evening in Pike Place Market that was full of food and insightful conversations about blogging, living abroad, Hong Kong, and how weird it is to live life as an expat. It was a lot of fun, and it was satisfying to finally meet virtual friends in real life.
Here’s the pretty photo I snapped on my phone just after dinner down by the Market:
All of us also agreed that our three-way meetup was a bit like a triple first date in many respects. I was a bit nervous leading up to the dinner and I asked myself many of the same questions I ask during all pre-first date jitters: What do they look like? What are they like in real life, and do they sound like they do in their blogs? (They do.) Will they like me? I hope my hair isn’t too crazy and that I don’t come across as being an idiot.
And of course, stupid me, I committed a major first date faux pas by arriving late (gah Seattle traffic, and holy crap I’m 15 minutes late!) But my fellow first-daters were gracious.
A blogger’s first meetup with another fellow blogger (whom you’ve only had the pleasure of meeting online) has uncanny similarities to a first in-person date after being “matched” and chatting online. You’ve somehow met virtually and you just seem to resonate more with certain blog writers, and so you’re a regular follower of each others’ posts. Much in the same way that you’re attracted to certain people, you’re bound to like and to follow certain types of blogs and voices. There’s a unique chemistry to forming friendships (online and in real life) that is somewhat similar to the chemistry in forming romantic relationships.
In our age of online dating and blogging, the two are also similar in that you know a little bit about the other person from his/her public and online profile. But you are also left wondering if the author in real life might be the same person you imagined from reading his/her profile or blog. And in many ways, I think blogs are more authentic versus online dating profiles. I mean, who actually really tells the truth on their online dating profiles anyways? (Case and point: How long ago was that online dating profile photo taken again? Heck, when was your Facebook profile photo taken?)
My guess is that you probably learn more about a person (and what kind of person they are, what their sense of humor is like, etc.) by reading their blog versus their online dating profile. And the blogging world is self-selective in that bloggers are writers who not only love instant gratification, (oooh goody, time to hit PUBLISH!) but are probably writers who are also avid blog readers.
I really like what letmeseeyousparkle.com wrote in her blog post about why blogging is like online dating, and why she loves blogging and the blogging community:
“I am in a committed relationship with blogging. I love everything that has come from it. I have made friends with women I never would have known without it. I have gone and will go to places I normally wouldn’t have. I have an awesome way to express myself.”
Yes, I am in a committed relationship with blogging too. And I hope that our relationship is a long and fulfilling one.
Happy Friday, and may your best online blogging friendships become real ones.
(Oh, and a special shout out to expatiallymexico.wordpress.com, who we missed at this Seattle bloggers get together!)