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When Do Online Friendships become “Real Life” Ones?

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At what point do online friendships cross over and become “real life” ones?

Tamara and Ilene are two of the first people I met blogging. Blogging can be very solitary, and then again, it’s not. Typing your heart’s stories onto the computer, you might never actually meet those who read your posts. You might only get to know them through the comments they leave. You might tweet with them, or converse on Facebook, but you don’t know what their voice sounds like…and you might never know!

But over time many of your blog friends become your “real life” ones as well. You get to know them through their words. You trust them enough that you’d ask them for advice. You might cry on their shoulder, virtually of course. You might have the opportunity to meet them at a blog conference, like I did with Ilene, for all of two minutes. It seemed like two minutes anyway. I didn’t really get to spend much time with her at all. Until last week.

Last week I met Ilene and Tamara in real life. They came to my house! We planned a lunch poolside; they brought their children. (Well…most of their children…Tamara’s daughter had a visit with her Grandma).

Normally when I don’t know someone so well, I can get kind of nervous about having them to my house. We have some clutter (ok a lot of clutter) going on here, and I haven’t really been able to get it under control this summer. I don’t worry about it with my “real life” friends. It is what it is…I’m working on it, but never fast enough. Interestingly enough though, I wasn’t obsessing over it knowing Ilene and Tamara were coming. And I finally figured out that’s because I “know” them. I know them well enough to know neither one of them was going to judge me. In spite of the fact that they are my online friends, they were “real life” ones too, long before I ever met them in person. I did hide my tableful of papers in my dining room (my office) on chairs all around the table, but then I joked about it with Tamara and even showed her one of my piles.

The whole meet up idea actually started with these tweets. Tweets that were more like wishful thinking, and then they were not. Because I was right in the middle. And why meet at Starbucks, when I have a pool for the kids to play in?!

Twitter Screen Shot

Steph is also local, so she was excited to join in the fun too! We’re old friends…her oldest and my youngest went to preschool together. We live about five minutes from each other. It’s so nice to have a blog friend right around the corner! We went to Bloggy Boot Camp together, and like me, Steph also met Ilene for about two minutes. We had my daughter take our picture.

Blog Visit

Clockwise, starting from the top left: Steph, Tamara and Des, Michelle, Ilene

Des of course was very popular! He’s just as good natured and sweet as you imagine from Tamara’s blog. My daughter took quite a few pictures of him, but this was our favorite. 

In Real Life: Blog Visit

She had a lot of fun playing with him too.

In Real Life: Blog Visit

Ilene’s girls showered Des with attention too…

Blog Visit: Peekabo

Blog Visit: The Trio

Blog Visit: All Smiles

Des was quite the charmer!

Blog Visit: Ilene & Des

Ilene’s son’s quick thinking saved a ladybug from the pool! Lucky ladybug! She hung around on his finger for quite a while.

Blog Visit: Saving a Ladybug

My boys were camera shy, and closed their eyes deliberately or made a face every time they saw me try to sneak a picture!

You might have noticed some of the pictures on this post are Tamara’s and some are mine. Tamara’s photography makes me want to hire her to follow my family around all day so that I could have pictures that looked like hers! But she was nice enough to give me some pointers on using the manual setting. I have never used the manual setting…I almost always use programmable. I am going to share her tips with you…with her okay of course! All of the pictures that are mine on this post were shot in manual! Now I don’t want to go back! But I will probably revert back some of the time, at least for sports. I was thrilled with the pictures I got on manual, but I definitely missed some shots as I was getting used to using it. When the lighting changes, or you are shooting in the shade versus the sun, you have to change the setting. But if you have the time to make a few adjustments, the results are amazing, as you can see!

Tamara’s tips for taking pictures on manual:

  1. Choose Aperture first. Use the number based on the number of people. If you are taking a picture of 1 or 2 people, use 2.2-2.8. If you’ve got 6 people, use 6.3. 
  2. Choose your Shutter Speed next. With kids, you need to have a shutter speed of at least 1/250th. If you aren’t shooting kids or animals (who tend to move around a lot), then shoot at double the focal length you are using. So if you are using a 50 mm lens, 100 shutter speed should be your minimum. 
  3. Choose your ISO last. I always thought you should try to keep your ISO as low as possible, but Tamara told me better cameras can handle using a higher ISO. 

Another Tamara tip: If the photo is too light, go ahead and adjust the shutter speed. If it’s too dark, and the shutter speed is already set at the minimum, then go ahead and raise ISO.

What a difference using manual makes!

We lost track of time…the afternoon flew by.  It was like we were old friends…

Online, real life…

Friendship…is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything. ~Muhammad Ali

In Real Life: Saying Goodbye

Blog Visit: Sleeping Baby

Have you ever met a blog friend in real life? At what point did your friendship cross over? Before or after meeting them? 


Monday 26th of August 2013

You make me want to meet my blogger buddies already! I have never met any of them just yet. I have met 2 people so far who are in Arizona which is cool. We'll see what happens! Oh my! Tamara's tips were definitely like a foreign language to me. I have no clue what those settings are. I use a digital camera and I need to use what you all are using because my pictures are amateur! :)

~Lisi P

Wednesday 21st of August 2013

Awesome post! Looks like a great time! Stopping by from DYWW!


Sunday 18th of August 2013

I met my best friend online - so many years ago I can't even remember just thinking of her as an 'online' friend!


Saturday 17th of August 2013

I've met some great friends in the blogging world~


Thursday 15th of August 2013

I love these pics. And I really love that y'all got to spend a fun day together. And I'm totally jealous, too.

Michelle Nahom

Thursday 15th of August 2013

We had such a great day! I love that I have met so many wonderful people through blogging! I feel very blessed!