I have been suspiciously absent from the Internets for the past 48 hours or so, minus a few frantic Facebook Mobile updates that I was headed to a local beach to meet up with an Internet Friend! She was on a family vacation at a popular beach a few hours away, and I had the fortune of not being unbearably busy (hurrah, school break!), so we had the chance to meet up!
My friend and I have “known” each other for probably about two or three years now. We met through a feminist news site (that is no longer very feminist, so I won’t link it) back in the day, and over time we eventually ended up being facebook friends. I commend her family for not freaking out that she invited her friend who lives in the Internet to their family vacation, as well. They were all quite welcoming and not totally freaked out by the day I spent with them, though we did indulge in a few wary ax murderer jokes. Thankfully, there were no lives lost, unless you count those of the delicious shrimp her uncle prepared for us.
She’s the third Internet friend I have met in real life, and I have to say, I highly recommend doing it. I know there is still all sorts of STRANGER DANGER surrounding the idea of meeting people from the Internets, as well as the typical residual anxious feelings that come with meeting a “new” person in real life, even if you’ve “known” each other for quite some time on the Web. But really, there is no awkwardness at all associated with it. You easily fall into place, finishing sentences and telling inside jokes; the only difference is doing it out loud rather than through a computer screen. If you ever have the chance to meet up with an Internet friend, don’t be shy — just do it. I haven’t regretted it yet!