Blogs are an odd thing. They allow one a glimpse of people that you often would never have the opportunity to meet. If you subscribe to their blogs or become a regular reader, you may begin to feel like you know them. Perhaps you communicate by email and are friendly if a specific post resonates. And, yet, there may remain this feeling on the one hand of “do I really know them?” and on the other “am I invading their privacy them by keeping up with their day to day journey?” Where are the boundaries for these electronic relationships?
I had coffee with a colleague the other morning who felt somewhat embarrassed that he’d read a few of my posts. He truly felt like he was invading my privacy. He wasn’t. And yet, I understand the feeling. I also occasionally feel that I am reading someone else’s private diary without permission, even though the person is writing publicly.
So it is that I stumbled across Mel, first via her fitness blog, and later as she was working through her MBA – in Leeds (a very long way from Colorado). She made the switch to keeping her on-line writing more professional some time ago. For the past 11 months, she and her boyfriend Mark have been slowly wending their way around the world. Mark has been much better about sharing their journey than Mel has.
This past week, Mark & Mel were in Colorado. I knew they were headed this way and invited them to stay with us. My husband was a bit concerned about meeting these “virtual” friends. It did not help that I showed him the pictures of them eating grasshoppers. Who were these people that I’d invited to our home?
What wonderful people. It was terrific to meet Mark & Mel in person. I will feel much less like a stalker as I follow their journey home and beyond.
Because of the microbrew sampler offered in our local brewery, we were able to get Mark a little closer to his goal of 150 beers tasted from around the globe.
Great meeting you both! I’m glad you took the time to come visit with us.