Monday, September 15, 2008

Welcome to the Neighbourhood

As you may or may not know, I know a little something about meeting people on the Internet. The initial moment of that in-person meeting is always slightly awkward as you introduce yourself using the moniker you are usually only known by in cyberspace. “Hi, I’m So-and-So. You may know me better as Typ0.” The usual response is, “Typ0? OMG, I’m RandomMonicker!”

It should be noted that there are worse ways to introduce yourself to your online buddies. “Hi, are you RandomMonicker?” This method usually causes the person you are speaking with to fear that they have a stalker. I know, I tried it on Friday night and I think I gave the very cool Miss Four a heart attack.

Since I first started chatting online back in 1995, I have gone through this introduction process countless times and met some very good friends. From the folks at #altmusic to the ladies from ecfans, the one thing that always takes time to get used to is calling people by their real names. The weird thing is that with only a few exceptions, despite having met and shared meals with some of my online buddies, I still think of them and refer to them in person using their online identities.

Thus it was amusingly odd to meet a few of my fellow Cairo bloggers over the past week. Allow me to clarify. It was wicked cool to meet these people whose lives I had been reading about for months and whose blogs I have looked forward to reading every morning. What I found odd was that the three of the people I met all use their real names online. Thus the weird nickname real name introduction was more on my side

(An aside for a moment if I may. For those of you not in the know, it may come as a surprise that my mother didn't christen me Typ0. Whenever people ask me about my nick, they want to know its origin so here it is: I have been using Typ0, or some derivation thereof, since I first hit the online chatting scene in 1995. And while that makes me feel old, keep in mind that Hubby has been on even longer than I have. I call myself Typ0 because I can either type quickly or accurately but not both. So no, it has nothing to do with blood types, just my inability to spell without the aid of Spell-check™.)

Before any raging anti-internet-meet-up types start flaming me for encouraging people to meet, please don’t. As I have often pointed out, my first big meet-up was back in the good old days before the Internet became evil and scary. And later meetings were all arranged with due diligence or serendipity. I’m not an evil Internet freak. I’m just a regular freak so meeting me in person has never scarred anyone except mentally.

I always think that it is fun to meet people in person that you have only imagined from the Internet. They’re never quite what you pictured and almost always cooler than you dreamed. My week of accidental blogger stalking was fun and helped put faces and personalities to people I had only previously suspected of being uber cool. Now I can fully appreciate their levels of coolness and only hope that I haven’t scared them all off for good.


Connie said...

The difference between real-life friends and internet friends is only location and time. For ex. I just got in from a meeting, am sitting down stuffing breakfast (finally!) and coffee in my face, before heading out to finish errands and housework. I'm busy! I hardly have time for family (number one priority!), much less the people I live right next door to! I do not accept random social invites from anyone, on-line or otherwise, because there is only 24hrs in my day. I'm not anti-social, just human. Limited by physics. Nice thing about internet groups, chat rooms, blogs, etc. is that I can sit alone in my house, and still 'have coffee' with a buddy or relative I wouldn't otherwise be able to :-)

Lynda said...

Well aren't you just the charmer... and it takes 'one cool chick' to know 'another cool chick'! LOL

You have had a busy week... better catch up again so you can share in the spoils of my post office visit.

The Stewart Report said...

Just de-lurking! I stumbeled on your blog a couple of weeks ago and have had a blast going back and reading from the begining. I'm just living vicariously. I grew up in Africa and travled all over the world before 18 and now as a "grow-up" have gotten stuck in Tennessee :)

Anonymous said...

Aw, I'm blushing.

Actually, you didn't give me a heart attack. What you don't know is that I had been stalking you! I was asking around trying to figure out the identity of the Canadian who had just moved from Nairobi. Yes, you finding me was all part of my secret plan. Bwah ha ha!

Jack did the same thing to me a few months ago. "Are you the Four Family?" Because, really, we might be the only family in Cairo who matches even a vague description of white parents and two black kids.

Great to meet you!

Aurenna said...

You know what, when people call me "Julie" and I'm in 'Ren-mode, I don't always remember to answer. I call myself Juju or 'Ren in the head anyway, so just call me 'Ren when we meet up and make sweet, sweet lurve. on yahoo more often. *kicks*