Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meeting Internet people

Despite the many stories going about of how some gullible teenager was lured into the arms of some predator she met online or some insane psycho killer hacking up someone who met him to buy something advertised on Craigslist, I am not against meeting in person the people I know through the Internet. I have actually managed to meet a couple of people who I met either through email or through a social media site. No bad experiences YET!

But there HAVE been times when I tried to meet someone in Internet land in real life, but something or other mucks up that encounter. And we never end up meeting in person at all! (Have to wonder if they decided it’s best not to even try again. Or that maybe just knowing each other only through Internet is better. Hmm.)

Well, today, I FINALLY did manage to meet someone I have known online. I have actually communicated with her on and off through Facebook. It helps that she lives in the same neighborhood! (This reminds me of the time I lived in Desert Hot Springs and was going to College of the Desert. I was a member of the online community CollegeClub and was surprised to “meet” on that site a fellow COD student! The bigger surprise was that this dude lived right down the street from me! We did end up meeting in person and it went off nicely but I never saw the guy again and I never got to meet his fiancee, either. Still kept in touch with them both for a while there, though.)

I was actually hoping to meet her yesterday but there was an emergency that came up. One minute, Jesse was sitting on the couch, eating a snack and watching TV. The next, he came running to me with blood on his hand and in his mouth! We could not get him to a dentist that time but we DID stop the bleeding in his mouth. He saw the dentist this morning and we found out what was wrong. Still, I was waaayyyy too nervous to focus on anything else, let alone meeting a new friend, to leave my son’s side and not keep an eye on him. So we decided to meet today.

So, what finally brought about this meeting? She was selling something we’ve actually been thinking of buying for some time. We decided to buy it from her and I’m glad we did because, yay! I finally got to meet her in person! She was really nice and the meeting went well. I look forward to seeing her again sometime or even around the neighborhood.

One of my friends is someone else I met through Facebook, too. She is a friend of a friend. We met through Facebook thanks to my friend and, since she lived in the neighborhood, we met in person, too. We hit it off right away. She is just awesome! She has since been one of my dearest friends.

With some people on the Internet, yes, you DO need to be careful about meeting them in person. I think I would feel more comfortable if I knew them via email or social media first, and for quite some time even then, or if the meeting was entirely for professional purposes and therefore in a public setting. The Internet is certainly one way to reach out to other people in the world and creating new friendships with other people we may have otherwise never have had the chance to know had it not been for an online presence.


Nancy M. said...

I have met a few people in person that originated online, with good or great results, too. I think as with any new meeting you have to be cautious, but it can turn into something good. There are red flags we are aware of now, that we didn't know about ten years ago, and it is slightly easier to recognize bad people and steer clear of them! :-)

Dawn Colclasure said...

Thanks for the comment, Nancy. I completely agree. This is why I would rather "know" someone online for a while and communicate with them instead of jumping up to meet them in person right away. I have found that I end up seeing a person's true colors when they don't get what they want from me through the Internet. Also, when the time does come to meet, I think it is a good idea to arrange a day, time and place for the meeting, and to keep it in public. The meeting CANNOT happen by accident. This is especially true for me because I have a horrible tendency to run or walk right past people I know -- even people I have known for YEARS! -- without recognizing them or seeing them. I just get too caught up in my thoughts or what I am doing. One time, a friend I've had for years and I were at this event, and I had to take Jesse to the bathroom. I walked right past her in the line when we came back! She had to grab hold of me to let me know where she was. LOL I also cannot recognize people I do not know very well in real life. So, yeah, arranging a meet is better. Also, I would NOT meet someone online at my house. The safety of my children come first. I must protect them at ALL cost.