When Social Media Friends Meet In Person

In Creating Happiness, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

Social Media Feature 2For those of you who viewed my weekly blogs during February, you might remember that they were all dedicated to sharing information about Project Fit America and seeking your votes to assist them in winning a grant from the Lids Foundation group that would help fund the acquisition of gym equipment for underserved schools. At that time you were introduced to Stacey Cook, the founder of PFA, who has worked tirelessly for 24 years in order to help the children become fit and to educate them in the importance of physical fitness, a lesson that will serve them well as they become fit adults. Well, some personal business brought Stacey to southern California this past week so I had to take advantage of this opportunity and together with my husband, Kirk Jaco and Stacey’s niece, Allison, we gathered together on Friday to share the day.

…when you finally meet someone face to face, you have already made a very special connection. You already appreciate that person for who they are.

Stacey originally met Kirk first on Twitter and he hooked her up with me. Over the last several years, we have become great friends. Stacey, Kirk and I met in person about 1½ years ago when we were on business in Stacey’s area and we shared dinner together. Needless to say, that left us wanting to find a way to get together again since that time together was so short.

What we did during our visit is nothing in comparison with the bonding that occurred. It is amazing to me that in this day and age, people are actually meeting and creating meaningful relationships on the Internet when it seems that so many are not able to do so in person. We did not set out to become friends but it happened so naturally. As I thought about it for a while, I began to understand how this happens and I am so glad to be a part of this phenomenon.

Meeting people through social media suddenly makes a lot of sense to me. In cases like mine, the purpose for being there is to share help and information and provide support to others who are sharing some of my own experiences. What I am finding is that rather than finding friends in others who are dealing with the same issues as I have/had, I am finding new friends and contacts who are also engaged in some sort of endeavor to help others. They are driven to make a difference for others. Their mission is to put to use the knowledge and resources and expertise that they individually have in a whole host of different arenas.

This works because of shear numbers. In our personal lives, we are limited to the number of new people with whom we can engage and the number of opportunities that we will have to be able to spend time together. With social media, we are interacting with thousands, even millions of other people in extended networks, so it does seem realistic that out of the masses, there will be a few that will stand out and with whom you will make a connection. It is a no stress situation to meet and get to know each other on the internet because you don’t have to get dressed up to do so and you are not seeing each other so the connections are not being made on any superficial judgments.

Therefore, when you finally meet someone face to face, you have already made a very special connection. You already appreciate that person for who they are. The personal meeting takes on a very special and unique feeling because each person brings the energy that has already been defined in previous conversations. Such was the case with the meeting of Kirk, Stacey, Allison and me. This is the true wonder of social media friends and I am so very grateful that the four of us were able to share a most special day together that none of us will probably ever forget.