The internet is a crazy weird ass part of our lives.
The internet makes the world such a small place, distances are not relevant.
I started off chatting to people in a bingo chat room, I made some really lovely friends. I know I know, I can hear you saying “how can you call them friends or know they’re lovely without meeting them” well that’s true you don’t. People can hide behind a computer screen, they can tell you what they want you to know, they can look how they want to look, unless you know me personally you don’t know if I am the person in the pictures, if I am who I say I am, or do what I say I do.
For all you know I could be a man, I could live in Outer Mongolia & have 3 heads. I can tell you whatever I want you to believe. The internet makes you anonymous to the whole world.
With social networking dominating our society it’s opened up a new way of meeting people. Facebook, Twitter, Myspace even Google+. We can chat to our hearts content either via FB posts, FB chat, twitter feed, Google hangout’s to name just a few. MSN was 1 of the earliest that offered free computer to computer chat’s, there was ICQ & now Skype is a massive free communications system.
I have met up with quite a lot of my early internet buddies & we have a great group of friends & have even had a few internet weddings with internet friends travelling far & wide to attend. We’ve had parties & they were 1st on list for invites.
But don’t get me wrong not everything is rosey! I did meet up with 1 guy who I’d been chatting to along with others for quite a while & both being at a loose end over Christmas one year we arranged to meet. I had been warned he wasn’t quite what he seemed & was a little “odd”.
Stratford was the meeting place, outside the tourist information centre, I got there 1st & he appeared, lmao oh dear what a shock, he looked nothing like his picture (not that I was meeting him with any kind of romance in mind, it was purely as a friend). He had an anorak on, ok anoraks are ok but this was DIRTY! It had food all down the front! His hair was greasy also! Ever wanted to turn back the clock???
The 1st thing he did was complain about the girl who walked past with multi coloured hair! Whoops better keep my hat on then & keep mine covered! Lol
We decided to have a mooch round the shops & he said there was a shop he wanted to check out ………….. off we trotted to a die-cast model shop & spent about 2 hours looking at toys! Ok sorry to all you die-cast collectors but they really don’t interest me in the slightest!
Lunch was calling, we headed to McDonald’s, oh nice (I’m not a fan of Maccy D ‘s!) anyway he went to the counter, ordered his food & walked away, now don’t get me wrong I wasn’t expecting him to buy mine but it was the walking off that concerned me, he headed to the door! I got my food & followed him & we headed down to the river bank & tucked in. What’s wrong with that I hear you say ………… well it was bloody freezing, it was December for goodness sake!!
After that I rarely spoke to the guy & a few who had met him laughed when I told them, well they had said he was odd!!
Now on the other side, when we went to Australia it was totally different. I’d been chatting to a few people via facebook & we had been offered a place to stay over Christmas by the wonderful Kelly who even just handed the keys of her house over to us whilst she was still at work! They made us so welcome & we even went & stayed with her parents when we went to Perth, yet they didn’t know us from Adam! I met up with Kim & Stephen in Melbourne also, we were met in Adelaide by Heidi & her girls & Laurence & Kate for a tour round their home town. None of these people knew us apart from messages we’d been sending backwards & forwards in the months before we went.
As I said earlier we’ve had a few weddings & parties which we have all met up at, we’ve had friends come up for lunch, stopping over when they’ve been travelling through etc, our friends know our door is always open to them any time they might need it as was shown to us in Australia by all our friends.
I have met some really nice people on facebook & twitter & also met the bad & the ugly who don’t normally take too long to show their true colours, but I am wary now, as everyone should be the 1st time you meet anyone new.
Even now “grooming” takes place & regardless of how “savvy” you appear to be, please take care & if you are going to meet someone make sure you either take someone with you or tell them where your going to be, meet them in a public place, even have a back up plan that if you need rescuing a friend will ring or text you so you have to leave. Never be afraid to say NO to someone who asks to meet you, that’s your choice.
Here’s a couple of pics of my internet friends to show you we’re not all monsters! You can see more here, but please no laughing at the dodgy hairstyles!!