Thursday, April 5, 2012

Social Theory

Lately I have been participating in a lot of happy hours and tasty beer imbibing, and it.  There is the inconvenience of suddenly realizing it is 9:00 p.m. and I have to pee soooooo bad and I haven't eaten dinner yet and I have to get the heck home to prepare for the next day.  But having the evenings free instead of being in the office has turned me into a social slut.  

Some of it these events are purely social, and some are more "marketing" -- which is me trying to gain a relationship with other lawyers in Alameda county, as I begin to focus on figuring out what kind of law I want to practice rather than just taking what I can get (ahem, litigation).

Speaking of social.  I'm about to use my sociology degree (UCLA 2006, double major political science wha-what) for the very first time ever.  And I'm probably going to use it alllll wrong.

Here's something meta to think about, as it is always meta to blog about blogging.  Blogging has invited a new and unexpected social element into my life.  Sure, I was already enveloped in social media through Facebook and MySpace and AOL IM way before this baby blog came to life, but those sources were always for socializing with people I already knew, from the comfort of my couch, in sweatpants, with a pint of ice cream at 1:00 a.m.  Liz Lemon style. 

She eats AND wears dessert

On the other hand, blogging introduces me to many people that I would never have met otherwise, because I generally don't stop spunky girls/boys while running around the lake to shout "Hey! You like running too??! Cool, let's talk about it!"  Same goes for expos and races, although, I have made a few temporary friends during a race.  We suddenly turn into lifelong buddies who have been bunking together in the army and are like "we got this! let's do this, together!" but then since you don't actually know each other, one of you zips off and the love story is over.

Our moment of friendship lasted about 0.8 miles

I was hesitant about this whole "meeting people through my blog" stuff.  I certainly did not pursue it.  I think, if my memory serves me correct, I can blame it all on the incredibly warm and inclusive president of the unofficial bay area cool kid runners, Aron.  She spotted me at a race and said hello, and from then on out, I was on the e-mail invite list for social runs and cookie parties.

We ran around the house while eating cookies, cuz we are runnnerrrsss.  We actually mostly sat.

I have grown to seriously, crushingly, appreciate these bay area runners -- even if 84% of our interaction continues to be online.  It turns out, most of them are just as cool in person as they are online.  Most, not all.  I'm teasing, but seriously, ohmygod what if they all think I am a lamewad in person? Balls.

I started really thinking about my appreciation for meeting new peeps last Monday, when I met with Sesa, Megan, and Megan's bff Jacqui.  The Bay Area girls (that's me and Sesa) met the New York girls for the first time in person, and after getting past the introductions, Megan said something that cracked me up.  To paraphrase, she said "it's a relief to meet you guys and learn you aren't weirdos in real life." I think it's fair to say we all made the cut for real life interactions.

However, this cannot always be the case.  There is definitely not a 1:1 correlation between what someone is like on the internet, and what someone is like in real life.  Myself included, for sure.

While some excellent internet personalities may not translate into real life, I do not necessarily think that is a bad thing.  As a person who has a tendency towards introversion, it shouldn't be embarrassing to be eloquent and outspoken on the internet (or any other positive combination--funny, witty, bright, supportive, excited...) while in reality they are.....not that way.  Or straight up awkward.

Two choices: a) Awkward, or b) Tubular  Just Do It.

Not everyone is going to be George Clooney, stepping into a room and stealing the spotlight.  We're not all charmers.  Some of us HATE the spotlight.  Which kind of contradicts having a blog in which you mostly talk about yourself.

I just wonder, I wonder what potential there is for discomfort in this whole meeting-people-through-blogs thing.  Nobody's going to jump back to their computer after a meet-up and type about how AWKWARD the whole thing was, so I have no feedback from the blog world on how often meet-ups fail.  I also wonder, really wonder, what juicy gossipy stories there are out there about meeting a blogger or reader in person, only to learn that a conversation couldn't be held past two minutes.

We're in the future, it's 2012, so it's not surprising that some may be very comfortable with a keyboard, but not with flesh and bones.

Another thing that I wonder, is how bloggers who have a really high readership balance their sanity with the vast number of readers/bloggers they meet, or who ask if they can meet.  I'm sure the bigger the blog, the more everyone wants a piece of them.  There's a bit of that celebrity factor, where I guess everyone thinks they "know" that person.

So. What is your best met-on-the internet story?  Whether you met your BFF, your Significant Other, or someone who straight up scared you, I want the deets.

I worked from home today ($10 gas money in my pocket + one extra hour not in my car + refrigerator 4 steps away = love working from home) and I got outta the house around noon to run 4.5-ish hilly miles with this fine lady, around a gooorrrrrgeous part of El Cerrito.  East Bay forevvaaaa!

Then in the early evening I drove into the city that shalt not be named (ohhhh, San Francisco you are so HARD to travel in and out of), to run with these fine ladies for another 5.5-ish fresh windy miles.  And I admit it, San Francisco is absurdly beautiful to run through. 

Photo stolen courteously from Jana

The run was co-organized by a company called Strava that I initially assumed made some running product like clothes or sports drink, but it turns out they have a daily-mile type app....I gently waded away from a conversation about the app because we know my historic rant about Daily Mile.  However, since a lot of you find Daily Mile really useful, feel free to check out the link.  They are cool in my book because I walked away from the run with my pockets STUFFED with free peanut butter Gu.

Fitting that I ran twice with friends today, given the social theme of this post. 


  1. Yeah, but did any of the Strava people strip for you? in front of a graveyard? ;-)

    I didn't think so.

  2. Hey - there is a guy in the picture as well! And, a little kid.

    I've ran into Aron in a race (twice) and ran into another blogger at the Napa to Sonoma half. Nothing exciting, except that I I ran a trail race where it was muddy and almost ran Aron over because I could not keep my balance (it would have been a good story only if I had actually fell on my face). Oh, and I did run pass Roger Craig at the SJ R&R half. That was exciting as I am a 49er fan.

  3. Ever since I met you I've been reading your blog with your voice in my head. Same with Megan from Runner's Kitchen. Does this usually happen after meeting bloggers in real life?

    Yeah yeah you have reservations re: Daily Mile ... Don't forget to set up your Strava account so you can be my Strava friend :)

  4. I love the second photo of the old guy!!

  5. i felt the same way about blogging and twitter... but when i moved back to cle after 8 yrs in nyc, i was needing to find some local "like-minded" runner friends. i've met some awesome people via my blog and twitter and besides being running buds, i've also learned so much via the blog and gotten so much support from "blog friends". i wanted to hate blogging but actually love it for those reasons as i'm not a natural writer. maybe we'll eventually meet and celebrate healthy butts on a long run!

  6. Just read the DM post. I use DM to keep track of my miles (which is how I know I have almost 700 miles on my shoes, go me!) but I truly run out of things to say on that site! People are SOOOO complimentary and I feel like saying, "Thanks, but really? 5 easy miles is NOT a 'fantastic workout'. Please."
    I've only met a few other bloggers, but that should change at Boston. I think there will be several thousand of us so I should bump into somebody!

  7. I've met a few bloggers in real life and overall I've actually been pleasantly surprised. The only weird thing is when someone opens their mouth and has a REALLY different voice from what you were expecting.

  8. I'm pretty sure that I've met people from the Internet and as much as I hope we're BFFs FOR EVAAAAA it's definitely a different scenario in real life. Sort of a "smile and nod" situation.

    The good news is that you like to be a little weird, can probably curse just as much as I do and have strange thoughts, which is why I think we'd be a perfect match. BFFs FOR EVAAAAAA.

  9. Hilarious! You should work from home more often!

  10. I love the bloggers in Orlando that I've met IRL. We meet up about once every other month for happy hour/socials and we really don't talk blogging very much - just getting to know one another. Most of us have very small blogs and just blog for fun. Perhaps it's because of that, but I would say that they are all exactly who they portray themselves to be on their blog.

  11. This post makes me feel that there may be hope for me some day in finding friends through different avenues. I'm so socially awkward and such an introvert that I don't know if I'd follow through with meeting up with people I met online. But it sounds like you have had such good experiences that it might push me to do it. That way I won't end up an old lady at home with my cats all the time.

  12. I haven't met up with any other bloggers, probably because this is Montana and I'd have to drive 5 hours to meet up. I did meet one of my best friends through and I met my boyfriend through online dating.

  13. and PS still loving that photo of you jetting past your 0.8 mile friend

  14. I haven't done any bloggy meet up things, so I have no stories to share. Meeting people might require me to shower and look presentable, and really that takes a lot of work....

    I'm jealous you got to run with Marjorie!

  15. Hi, got here from XLMIC. Meeting people through blogs has been lots of fun, especially random meet ups at races. I can't think of any bloggers I've met that I wouldn't go meet a second time. The weirdest one for me was having lunch with a buddy in a coffee shop. This couple walks in, and I know beyond a doubt I've seen her somewhere. I've worked in lots of places, and have been in some big social clubs, but could not place her, till I saw her and her dog together, and I tagged her as a blogger from a town 800 Km away. We had a great, but short chat, and have met up at a couple races since. Lots of other interesting stories about meeting bloggers, including the dubious husband.

  16. You are hilarious as usual Roserunner!

    I've actually wanted to meet up with some of the bay area bloggers for runs and races, but seeing I've been injured for what seems like forever I haven't had the chance to go to a meetup run due to injury. When I am healthy I definitely want to meet the bay area bloggers, including you!

  17. I just heard about Strava last night! I guess you can earn free gu if you log enough miles each month? I use DM b/c I can just type in my data. I love my garmin but an too lazy to upload my data. Free gu is a nice motivator though!

  18. 1/3 of my friends in denver are bloggers...and I'm going to a wedding this june of a blogger I met ONCE and we hit it off! Weird huh? But I've definitely met a few bloggers who got along with online and now it's...not working.

  19. I got my online start way back in 1994 in a compuserve forum where I met a bunch of women who are still my friends today. We've had many group gatherings over the years and all still speak to each other daily in a yahoo group. Of course some of them are better friends than others (one woman and I are very close -- she lives in Seattle but we try to get together every year and our families vacationed together a couple of times when the kids were younger). I've only met two bay area running bloggers (XLMIC and Aron) (oh wait, I briefly met Alyssa at KPSF in Feb) and they are both lovely as you know. I'm lucky to have never had a bad experience meeting online folks and I hope I've not jinxed it now by saying that. :)

  20. I've met only a few bloggers in person, but I'd say it was a success (unless they think I am a creeper...). I think that you typically read someone's blog and comment back and forth enough before arriving at the decision to meet in person. Also, we all knew where we stood on the awkward let's stand around and take turns taking pictures of our food kind of blogger get-together, so it wasn't like that. Haven't met any bloggers on the West coast yet.


we have a strict no-word-verification policy. Comment away!