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.