Who says social media isn’t real?

As some of you may know, I took a short holiday last week, to Yorkshire. Long-suffering hubby came too. We did all the usual British holiday stuff: visited historical sites, ate too much, and complained about the weather. But at the end of the week, I left hubby playing online snooker, looking in sports shops, and doing other ‘man’ things, and went on a little adventure of my own.

A few weeks ago, my online friend, author and rock chick Nicky Wells , had noticed that I was going to be in Yorkshire and had mentioned that I would only be about an hour or so’s drive away from her. This got me thinking – could I meet another of my awesome social media friends in ‘real life’? I asked hubby what he thought and because he’s easy-going as well as long-suffering, he said ‘Yeah, whatever’ or something like that. He then said that he wouldn’t come along (even though he was welcome) as he didn’t want us ladies to be worried we were boring him to bits, talking about books and such. I think what he meant was he didn’t want to listen to us drooling over various rock stars. As if! πŸ˜‰

After some to-ing and fro-ing over what we would do and when, the visit was organised. Nicky graciously invited me to her home, as kids needed to be collected from school, fed and watered, and made to do homework. I obviously didn’t look like too much of a nutter, as she let me in when I landed on the doorstep. Over a cup of tea, a scone AND a glass of Buck’s Fizz, we chatted about our history with the rock music world. Queen, Europe, Bon Jovi – all the influences from our childhood and our teens were discussed. We talked about first gigs, following bands around, and being in the front row and TOUCHING rock stars – wow! Then we took a brief walk to meet the boys, and I was treated to a quick tour of the village, with expert commentary from said boys. We also discussed snakes, spiders, and giant snails, as ‘The Rainforest’ was the school subject of the moment. Eldest boy had got to handle some of these creatures that day, and delighted in telling us about it. Fine for me (you know I like creepy things), but not so good for Nicky, who’s not keen!

Hmm - maybe selfies aren't our strong point...

Hmm – maybe selfies aren’t our strong point…

Homework was tackled once we got back, with promises of Chinese takeaway if it was completed. I was quite happy to help with homework if there was a Chicken Chow Mein at the end of it! That was another thing Nicky and I found we had in common – a fondness for Chicken Chow Mein. Delicious it was, too. In between homework, eating, and me fussing guinea pigs (in the absence of cats), we managed to talk lots more about writing, blogging, music, juggling life and writing, reading…you name it. As darkness approached, I reluctantly said goodbye to my sister-in-rock and drove back to my hotel, leaving Nicky to tackle boys’ bath and bedtime. Long-suffering hubby didn’t escape the girliness, as he got a detailed account of my visit once I got back. (He got his revenge by doing the same to me the next day on the journey home. Apparently he had McDonald’s for lunch AND dinner while I was away – good grief).

So…who says social media isn’t real? I’ve now met up in person with two online friends. I hasten to add that we had interacted A LOT before meeting up, and it may not be something everyone would feel comfortable doing. But the world of Facebook, Twitter and the like CAN lead to friendships as genuine as those formed in more ‘traditional’ ways. Among the trolls, arguing, and other nonsense, this is a great thing. Thank you very much, Nicky, for a lovely visit, and rock on, all you online friends!

Nicky’s bit:

What a fabulous account of our day! May I just add that I was honoured and touched that Karen decided to drop by. It felt both surreal and completely normal to suggest to this total stranger, who wasn’t really a stranger after hours and hours of social media interaction, that perhaps we might be able to meet β€˜for real’ when the occasion of her trip to York shortened our day-to-day distance from six hours (give or take) to just one and a half (give or take).

As fate would have it, Karen was only around during the week and, of course, my husband had to go to Israel during that very same time. All plans to clear the day and do proper sister-in-rock girlie things went straight out the window when I realised that I’d have to be on mummy duty. Hence the to-ing and fro-ing that Karen mentioned: I was fretting whether I could subject my known-yet-unknown friend-from-afar to a dose of my daily life. But if I’d been just ever so slightly concerned that Karen would be put out, or put off even, I worried for no reason. She took our hectic routine completely in her stride and fitted in as though she was, in fact, a favourite old-time friend. It was wonderful to sit down and chat amongst the kids running ever-so-slightly riot, the guinea pigs demanding food and cuddles, the telephone ringing, and the Chinese takeaway requiring pick-up from the store rather than being delivered. (Karen drove, of course. Bless you!)

We talked non-stop and considered, briefly, whether we should finish up the bottle and have Karen crash out in the guest room for the night. And then we thought, heck, no, we’ll simply have to do this again one day soon.

So thank you Twitter and Facebookβ€”and Julie Valerie!β€”for brokering the introduction between two soul-sisters who might otherwise never have met. Rock on, Karen, and thanks for letting me add my two-cents-worth to your feature. See you soon!

Like to party? Hop along the Hump Day Blog Hop on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog. Click here to return to the Hump Day Blog Hop.


22 thoughts on “Who says social media isn’t real?

  1. Reblogged this on Romance That Rocks Your World! and commented:
    This is what happens when two rock chicks meet who connected via Twitter. Or was it Facebook? Or Twitter? Or quite possibly both! Not content with hanging out at each other’s blogs, we grabbed the opportunity to turn a virtual friendship into a real one…

  2. What a lovely story! I have met a coue of the Glasgow tweeps and it’s nice to be reassured that folk are/can be just as nice in real life isn’t it? They were all lovely πŸ˜‰

  3. Never EVER underestimate the power of making connections online. Strange thing, I introduced these two ladies from the UK and Scotland — and I live in the United States! I cannot tell you how much it warms my heart to see them together — smiling in the selfie and enjoying a Buck’s Fizz (called a Mimosa in the States). Yes, I wish I was there. But an ocean kept that from happening. That said, because of the close bond I feel with both of them, I feel like I was there, goofing off and chatting over drinks and homework. Karen and Nicky, I love you gals. So glad you reached out to each other when you were in the same neighborhood and made it happen. I really hope that someday, if that dang ocean would get out of our way, we can all be in the same selfie together. We can call it an “us-ie.” Cheers, my friends, cheers!

  4. Wonderful post! It’s somehow reassuring that people can connect in this day of digital dominance and strike up real friendships, even if it is over digital media. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Thanks for reading! Yes, I think genuine friendships can be formed over social media, even with all the trolls out there. I think of it as a new form of having ‘pen-pals’. Remember them? πŸ˜‰

  5. I just opened up my Hump Day Blog Hop post to check in on the entries and saw your two smiling faces and almost fell off my chair. HA! I LOVE IT! You two party girls brought the party to me! I love it!!!! Now I really feel like I was there – or that I hosted you both in MY home this time. So super cool. So incredibly super cool. So funny. I saw those faces and just started laughing! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Okay, okay, I know we look a bit mad in our selfie – I think we were both a bit overexcited! Glad to brighten up your Hump Day. After all, it wouldn’t have happened without you! xx

  6. I believe in the power of social media, not just for advertising ourselves but for making friends. I have met people in person…who I may never be able to keep up with if it weren’t for the web and Facebook, etc. I have also reconnected with old school chums and childhood friends. I wouldn’t have been able to do that so easily if it weren’t for social media. And yes, I have made many friends. Many of whom I have not met…YET…since we live far from one another. We have been connected by writing and other interests and I may not have met these wonderful folks if there was no chat rooms, Facebook, or Yahoo Groups, etc. Many people I met online through specialty chat rooms in the past as well where we shared similar interests in music, sports, spirituality, etc. And even if we only met a few times, then drifted apart, I would never have had those social experiences without Internet outlets. I wish we had had Facebook and Twitter, etc., back when I was 18. But I’m glad I can keep up with Def Leppard better than I ever could back in 1988. πŸ˜‰

  7. So jealous that you got to meet an online friend in real life. I agree that social media friends can be real friends–and it’s wonderful how the intertubes bring like-minded people together all over the world. πŸ™‚

  8. This is so wonderful! Social media, in my opinion, is just another way for people to meet and become friends! I cannot wait to meet some social media friends at the RWA conference this summer…as well as (hopefully!) meeting some more while I’m in London this fall. I love meeting new people and I love all the tools available to us now. Such a fabulous post and this really inspires me to ensure these “meetings” happen this year! xoxo

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