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Old 06-18-2009, 11:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
meeting friends online

What do you think, what's the difference between meeting a stranger online and meeting a stranger in the real world? Thoughts? I actually have a few good ones to share, but here's the best: I went to meet a guy – just as a friend cuz I was new in the area - and he turned out to be a cult leader auditioning followers. He took me to the Hare Krishna temple for charity food. He kept looking at me funny, I thought he was looking at my belly – when I asked him why he was looking at my waist so much he said he was trying to see if I had good birthing hips because he needed to repopulate the world. Maybe at least I can win an something for that one...

Got any good ones yourself?

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Old 06-18-2009, 12:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
Halanna's Avatar
Location: Over the rainbow . .
I don't have any sorta scary stories like that! I have never met a person in real life that I met online.

My husband and I have formed some friendships with people that we have met in online games. When the game Guild Wars was released, (in 2005) I met a person from Australia and one from Michigan (I'm in Florida) that after some months we traded phone numbers and call each other regularly. We talk about our lives, our kids, finances, the state of the world and of course games.

It's weird in a good way. My husband talks to both of them regularly (they are both male, I'm female), so there is no jealousy. I actually think he's become better friends with them than I have!

But we have never met in real life.

Weirdest part? I'm certain if either of them called and asked for us to come help them with something, we would be on a plane immediately to help. I can't say that for some people who live within minutes of me that I have met in the flesh.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
part of the problem
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Location: hic et ubique
Originally Posted by SpottedThinker View Post
...... when I asked him why he was looking at my waist so much he said he was trying to see if I had good birthing hips because he needed to repopulate the world. Maybe at least I can win an something for that one...
i don't care what your hips look like. are you available? wanna meet?
onward to mayhem!
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
lostgirl's Avatar
Location: Edge of the deep green sea
I've met people in real life that I got to know on line. I knew them for a while before we decided to meet up. No horror stories here. They turned out to be cool people, some of them are still good friends.
We're about to go through the crucible, but we'll come out the other side.
We always arise from our own ashes. Everything returns later in its changed form. - Children of Dune
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Massachusetts
I remember back in ye olde days of the 'net, people were all scared to meet those "weird strangers" out there. Strangely enough, it was probably safer as those weird strangers were just socially-maladjusted geeks rather than the cross-section of people online today.

I met someone IRL from online for the first time in 1994. Other than online dating, I've never regretting meeting people I've known from online.
"Never regret something that once made you smile."
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
Kick Ass Kunoichi
snowy's Avatar
Location: Oregon
I've made some really good friends right here on TFP. I've had the opportunity to meet a few of them, but there are a few people I consider friends here that I haven't met. One of them in particular is close to me, and I would jump at the chance to meet him in real life some day. But given that we live many thousands of miles apart, it's just not in the cards for now. Perhaps someday he will become a famous musician or I will become a famous trashy romance novelist and we will finally both have the financial resources to swing a meetup, significant others and all.
If I am not better, at least I am different. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
Extreme moderation
Toaster126's Avatar
Location: Kansas City, yo.
I've met some people from "online" and all the ones I was interested in the possibility of "real life" friendship with turned out even cooler than I thought. Some are even on this board.

I have repressed the horror stories of the people who seem a little crazy online and are actually batshit insane.

I figure there shouldn't be some sort of stigma about the whole thing. Just make sure you aren't going to be raped and pillaged by a psycho, I guess.
"The question isn't who is going to let me, it's who is going to stop me." (Ayn Rand)
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." (M. Scott Peck)
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
After School Special Moralist
Location: Large City, Texas.
I've met some really cool people through a couple of other forums on which I'm active. The music jams and GTGs were & are a group thing; if anyone had any serious problems or hang-ups it wasn't readily apparant.

One fellow did come by the house to meet me and my wife. He was a normal & decent guy, but I pretty much knew that in advance, otherwise I never would've extended the invitation for him to visit. Being om my home turf was a plus, but I would not have had a problem meeting him at his home.
In a society where the individual is not free to pursue the truth...there is neither progress, stability nor security.--Edward R. Murrow
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
I'm a family man - I run a family business.
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Location: Wilson, NC
I've met one person in real life that I had talked to online for years and it was really weird because he was just 100% completely different than what I expected in real life. Wasn't a bad thing at all, it was just weird. Not what I was expecting.
Off the record, on the q.t., and very hush-hush.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
comfortably numb...
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Super Moderator
Location: upstate
i've met numerous people from tfp in real life and a few of us still get together periodically to party, commiserate, etc...
"We were wrong, terribly wrong. (We) should not have tried to fight a guerrilla war with conventional military tactics against a foe willing to absorb enormous casualties...in a country lacking the fundamental political stability necessary to conduct effective military and pacification operations. It could not be done and it was not done."
- Robert S. McNamara
"We will take our napalm and flame throwers out of the land that scarcely knows the use of matches...
We will leave you your small joys and smaller troubles."
- Eugene McCarthy in "Vietnam Message"
never wrestle with a pig.
you both get dirty;
the pig likes it.
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Old 06-19-2009, 05:12 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: The Danforth
Only people that I've met online, and then subsequently met in public have been TFP'ers from the Toronto Meet ups. A great group of diverse people. Not to mention the lunch road trip to Dangerous Dan's burger emporium.... so all in all, it was a good experience.
You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey
And I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr

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Old 06-19-2009, 08:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: ....a state of pure inebriation.
Some of my best friends I met online...

I've also met some people that turned out to be real douches...

It's really no different than meeting people outside of the interwebz.
"The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion..." - Henry Steel Commager

"Punk rock music is great music played by really bad, drunk musicians." -Fat Mike
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
Sitting in a tree
Location: Atlanta
Met a lot of people via the interwebz. Mainly through online dating services, but I did meet one ex on another forum. He lived in the UK - we were together for 2 years. There've been plenty of disturbing meetings but nothing that couldn't be remedied by faking a migraine and then never answering their calls again.

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Old 06-20-2009, 03:05 AM   #14 (permalink)
Leaning against the -Sun-
little_tippler's Avatar
Super Moderator
Location: on the other side
I have only met a couple of people from TFP in RL, and once I went on a 'date' with a guy I met online, who was from around here.

The TFP people I have met has been great, nothing weird and it was fun to finally meet them. No regrets there.

The 'date' guy was a pretty big mistake. He tried to grope me during the date and spent the entire time talking about himself, and never once thought to ask me much. I was bored and felt zero chemistry. Online we had got on really well. Was strange. When I told him I wasn't interested he turned into an asshole and was really rude and childish.

I think meeting strangers or meeting internet friends is quite different. With strangers you have no expectations, and you couldn't care if you ever see them again, or if by some connection during the time you meet (through friends or out and about somewhere) you may become friends or more. Also if you meet them through friends you are a little more trusting because you know your friends chose to hang out with them so there must be something right about them. With internet friends, you are going to meet them specifically to see if you get on in RL. There is a degree of pressure. You don't want to reject the person who you have become close to but have never been in the physical presence of. You hope there won't be anything weird about them in RL.

I like to get to know people online before I meet them, it's very interesting - It just means any physical pre-conceptions you might have had about them if you'd met them before you 'knew' them go out the window. Like it or not, everyone makes judgments on people when they first meet. The internet puts a more even keel on things. Reading what someone wrote gives you an idea of their personality, sure, but it also is removed from its RL context which helps us all understand each other a lot better.
Whether we write or speak or do but look
We are ever unapparent. What we are
Cannot be transfused into word or book.
Our soul from us is infinitely far.
However much we give our thoughts the will
To be our soul and gesture it abroad,
Our hearts are incommunicable still.
In what we show ourselves we are ignored.
The abyss from soul to soul cannot be bridged
By any skill of thought or trick of seeming.
Unto our very selves we are abridged
When we would utter to our thought our being.
We are our dreams of ourselves, souls by gleams,
And each to each other dreams of others' dreams.

Fernando Pessoa, 1918
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
part of the problem
squeeeb's Avatar
Location: hic et ubique
i once met a guy through the internet. we ended up drinking and climbing up a bridge at night. highly illegal and fun. good times.
onward to mayhem!
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
Young Crumudgeon
Martian's Avatar
Location: Canada
I've met the Toronto TFP crowd. amonkie, aberkok, baraka_guru, Charlatan (who needs to come back for a visit), fresnelly. There may be others.

Other than that, I don't think I've met anyone in meatspace that I met online first. There's a few folks here that I wouldn't be opposed to meeting up, but y'all are so far flung that it doesn't seem likely to ever happen.

I'm an online hermit. I stick around here because this community space puts up with my crumudgeonly ways. Other than that, my online presence is pretty slim.
I wake up in the morning more tired than before I slept
I get through cryin' and I'm sadder than before I wept
I get through thinkin' now, and the thoughts have left my head
I get through speakin' and I can't remember, not a word that I said

- Ben Harper, Show Me A Little Shame
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
Let's put a smile on that face
blahblah454's Avatar
Location: On the road...
I don't think that I have ever met anyone online before. Well I suppose on some local band forums I meet some people at shows, but that does not really count. Its more like you meet someone at a show then its like "oh hey you are bruceC19 from suchandsuch.com".

But there are a few people from TFP who I would not be opposed to meeting, some of you folk seem alright.
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