I started meeting people from on line in person back in the 90’s. One of the first things people started to say to me besides “Isn’t that dangerous?” was “Wow, you are the same in person as you are on line.”
This struck me as odd but I have come to realize maybe I am and the statement is much more true than most realize.
Anyway I am still an excitable people person who transitions easily from the internet to the coffee shop or where ever else people like to gather.
This year so far I have been to four events via the web site MeetUp.com. MeetUp was started after 911 as a way of helping people get out from behind their computers screens and connect all while using the internet to get connected.
A brilliant idea! Before Al Gore created the internet (can you say hoax), computer geeks could use their modems to talk to one others’ computers using programs that created what were called Bulletin Boards or BBS.
Those of us who remember those years before unlimited Metro PCS cell phone coverage will remember busy signals. Having your home phone calling another computer meant nothing else could get through.
Equally limiting was the fact that most users could also only host one another connection at a time. In those days Sacramento had access to a BBS that could host a bunch of us at a time. It was like having a local chat room. People joined by word of mouth. Couples and singles, singles to couples, old and young, male and female.
Many times members were friends before or became friends through the connections and eventually it led to regular meetings and events during the week. While I was pregnant with my daughter they were doing a Saturday morning coffee and then meeting at a local bar on Saturday nights.
Before my first meeting with the group I started to wonder how to spot a group of people whom I had never met. A wise long time user said to me “Look for a group of people that are clearly together who do not otherwise look like they belong together.” lol
That advice was totally spot on. Current day MeetUp groups are not always so random or at least that I have found. Maybe it is also that I have a knack for trying to fit in when I want to and knowing the audience I plan to present myself to when I go out if possible.
There is nothing else on my calendar just yet but so far this year I have been out skating in Rancho Cordova, Crafting and out to dinner in Natomas, plus now to the movies at Ethan. As 2011 was ending I went to brunch twice, knitting twice as well, two events fell through but I had already made some interesting connections.