Finding friends the analog way. Then finding them the digital way.
One of the best friends I had in high school, I met because in 10th grade we had all the same classes except for one. One of my other best friends I met when I hired her for a job, and another was my next door neighbor for a while.
We all have good friends that we’ve met because of, basically, proximity. And this is totally normal and expected. But a new form of meeting people has emerged relatively recently (and by relatively I mean maybe the last 10 years, LOLs). That’s right – I’m referring to the Interwebs.
And I’m not talking about dating sites here (although if you’ve had any luck with those, good on you – I always found them a bit depressing but maybe that’s just me) – I’m talking about Social Media, like Facebook, Instagram and back in the day, Blogging.
Meeting someone online is a little different than meeting someone at your job or at school. Maybe it could be compared to meeting someone at the library, as you both reach for the same obscure book on, say, bedazzling with snail shells. You find people when common interests or curiosity leads you to them. So I’ve ended up finding all kinds of funny, eloquent, creative, talented people online over the years, and sometimes, I’m even lucky enough to meet them in person.
I have met one of my super good friends, Ren, through blogging many years ago. We’ve emailed and collaborated together for years now, but have only met a handful of times. I’ve gotten to meet writer and all-around swell guy Will Stegemann from LA once – in MY city of residence! I’ve met Instagrammer Julie from Austin this year, I just missed IGer Andrew from Austin, haven’t yet met blogger Jodi from LA (I liked hamsters, she liked hamsters and guinea pigs – bam!), nor have I met blogger/artist Cynthia from Vancouver, even though we’re about to become business partners and she’s illustrating one of my stories. I’m sure you have similar accounts about meeting people through digital media, yes?
2015 Summer Coffee Tour / Meet & Greet
Well so far on this 2015 Summer Coffee Tour, we’ve had great coffee, yes, but there’s been another bonus – I’ve gotten to meet some more new interwebs friends.
Last week we met IGer Daniel – a freelance graphic designer who lives in Orange County but is also a great coffee aficionado and works out of various coffee shops in the LA/OC area. We happened to be around the same place around the same time and met up at Intelligentsia in Pasadena. He spoke with us about his design business, what it’s like to work from coffee shops and a co-working space, and how he manages to live in Southern California without a car (WHAT! I know, right?). He’s been so helpful in recommending coffee places, and speaks about his freelancing life with infectious passion. It’s been a pleasure to meet him and actually we hope to catch up with him again on Friday, at a new coffee place in OC…
And Wednesday, we got to meet Christina Gandolfo! You may remember her from one of my previous posts – she’s a freelance photographer in LA, and has a cat named Lucy. I wrote a story based on a photo and caption Christina posted of Lucy on Instagram last month – and Wednesday we met up for a coffee before one of her photo shoots.
It was, to sound totally cliché, totally cool!
A friendly and open person, Christina bought us some coffee and we had a nice, hour and a half chat. We talked about freelancing and she gave me some tips on how to work the freelance angle. We talked about storytelling – how you can tell a story just as intentionally with a photo, as you can with words. I hadn’t ever really thought about it that way before, being a wordsmith, and not always visually oriented. But really – all communication is storytelling. Some of us just have different areas of expertise.
We talked about comedy, and friends we had in common, and living life as an introvert or extrovert – or in her case, an ambivert. It was a wonderful afternoon, and I came away from it inspired and hopeful and ready to create. I hope we can meet up again someday soon.
And there are even more meetups in the works too. I’m actually not a very social person, but I want to make the most of this trip and to connect eye to eye with people I’ve only met a few times, or I’ve only been able to connect with pixel to pixel up till now. On Friday, Ren is coming to the beach to see us – it will be like old friends getting together, though we’ve only met in person maybe 4 times. I’m hoping to catch up with Will and his lovely wife Nina, tv writer extraordinaire (and who I haven’t gotten to meet in person yet), and I’m also hoping to finally meet Jodi – I probably won’t get meet her guinea pigs this time around, though. But we have to start somewhere.
What are some of the cool ways you’ve met friends? Tell a story in the comments below!