Maybe it’s because I am a natural born awkward turtle, but I was so nervous the first time I met a blogger friend in real life. Despite chatting with them for many hours through the magic of the Internet – there’s the inevitable worry on whether your personality will mesh in person. What if their online persona is different to the one they present online? What if you run out of things to chat about? How do you even pronounce their name, anyway? Well, don’t worry too much – with two meetups under my belt (I know, what a veteran ;P) I am here to help you proceed.
1. Safety is Key!
Before you run off any meet your bestest blogger friend, please remember that it’s important to stay safe – especially when the real world and the internet world collide. There’s plenty of horror stories floating around, so I am sure I don’t need to elaborate. Please only meet up with people you are certain you can absolutely trust. Even better if they have had a track record of meeting up with other bloggers in the past. Perhaps meeting first through a larger blogger or bookshop organised event will help facilitate this process and ensure your safety.
Preferably, you should meet in a crowded space. You should let your parents or family know exactly your whereabouts and what you are doing, as well as the time frame they should expect. Communication is key!
2. Food Fosters Friendship
The saying goes: ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ – but it’s the way to a woman’s heart as well. The presence of a delicious drink and meal always make a conversation flow. Even better, you get some pretty Instagram material before hand. Besides, what better way to showcase the local flavours if you are entertaining blogger friends from afar?
In fact, I spent much of my meetup with Jeann and Jenna eating. No regrets.
3. Bonding Through Books
Remember why you became friends in the first place. Nothing brings two bookworms up to the same level quicker than a discussion about your latest read or recommendations. Trawl through all your favourite local indie bookstores together. Splurge out or exercise your immense restraints together. This is the funnest bit because no one in your real life will give you the great bookish conversation your blogger friends can provide.
I didn’t buy any books during my excursion to 3 different bookstores with Jenna today – a book ban success! We are obviously good for each other.
4. Relax and Be Your Best Self
You know what, don’t worry about it too much – if you like each other online, you’ll at least be able to tolerate one another in real life (kidding, you’ll get along fine) ;) Just relax and have fun like you would with any of your other friends. Chances are, the other person is just as nervous as you are – so don’t work yourself up over it.
5. Share Other Passions
Books are the best, obviously – but remember you might share other common interests too. I dragged Jenna into a clothing store with me, where she had a deeply unsettling glimpse into my shopping addiction. Other places I can recommend are stationery shops, the movies, karaoke, yes – anything that you might spend doing with ‘regular’ folks, too ;)
So, have you met fellow bloggers before? How was your experience? Share your tips for the bestest time?
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