yesterday - "real life" as opposed to "internet life". It was a very enjoyable meeting too. I hope she and her husband enjoyed it as much as I did. I think they did.
While we were talking about people she knows in real life and I only know in my internet life she remarked that it must be very strange for me to know people only in that way. Yes, it is.
I went home thinking about it.
I think internet "friendships" must, for the most part, be artificial. You can't really know what people are like until you actually physically meet them. Even then the circumstances under which you meet them will colour your impressions of them - or they seem likely to do so.
I remember my first meeting with my chief doctoral supervisor. We had never made contact before. I duly turned up for the preliminary "I might take you on as a student" meeting feeling very nervous. More than one person had said he was "very difficult" to work with. (Yes, he was.) I wondered if he would be abrupt and impatient. (Yes, he was.) I wondered why he was bothering but assumed he wanted something from me. (Yes, he did.) I wonder now how he would have come across in social media. I don't think he would have come across well. I can think of more people like him - although not quite as difficult.
But there are other people I have chosen to make contact with - such as writers and knitters (and sometimes people who are both) - who seem very different. They come across as individuals. I think I would like some of them more than others - but that is true of everyone I know.
One day I may be fortunate enough to physically meet more of the people with whom I have virtual relationships. I will be interested to see if they are, to me, like the impression they give.
But, it bothers me a bit because one of them once said that I came across as being "very assertive" - and that is not the case. I would have said the reverse was true. She is very assertive and I am hopeless at sticking up for myself! One day I might find out.