Internet friends

I have been computer literate for years, so when I had my children, each learned early how to use one and the rules of using the computer. First and most importantly, they were not allowed on the internet unless mom or dad were in the room. When the kids joined Facebook, there were new rules to follow and it all worked out well. Most importantly they were not allowed to ever chat with strangers online or meet anyone they spoke with online.

Years went by, and Twitter came about, which of course I joined (geek). The kids were older and were now lecturing me about chatting with strangers online. When I said I was going to a Tweet-up, they freaked on me. I explained I would be in a local restaurant thus a public place, and I would have my cell on me, they weren’t particularly pleased but finally gave their approval (I was 50 years old by the way, in their mind though age did not matter). All went well at the get-together, I met other moms in my city and basically we chatted about boring things. My next big step was attending a Blogging conference, where I met other bloggers from all over Canada.

So when I heard Sarah (the blogger behind Journeys of the Zoo) and her family would be in my area, I invited them to our house for a barbecue, my children were not very impressed. Middle child went so far as to post this on her Facebook page: mama bird is having some internet friends over for dinner….. I feel like this is turning into an episode of how to catch a predator. Now I had been chatting with Sarah on Twitter before I met her at the Blissdom Canada Social Media/Blogging Conference. We hit it off immediately, continued our relationship online,  I added her to my snail mail Christmas list, and her lovely children mailed me a postcard from Mexico (it only took about two months for it to arrive). Basically Sarah was no longer a stranger to me, though she was to my family.

This past Sunday, Sarah and her family arrived for dinner, and we all immediately got along. Her children were amazingly adorable and well-behaved, her husband and brother were exceptionally polite guests but also humorous. It was a lovely visit all round, and I look forward to them dropping by again.

Sarah and I

Note: You have to be very careful who you chat with on the internet, though that person may say they are the same age as you are, you cannot take this as true. Always meet in a public place, if possible bring a friend along with you. If you are underage, DO NOT meet up with people you chatted with and always talk to your parents please.

Parents: it is important that you know what your children are doing online; when our kids were young we had the computer in our living room, that way, we could easily monitor their activity. If you are not computer literate, look into taking a course, most libraries or community centres will offer free courses for adults.

Remember the online world can be fun but it can also be dangerous, so just be informed.

24 Replies to “Internet friends”

  1. Cheers to the meeting! …. I’ve only met one blogger … but I wonder if I’ve met anyone who has read my blog but I didn’t know it.

        1. Middle child thought it best that I add it. She keeps lecturing me on meeting up with my Twitter/blog friends, some I have met in town, others at the Blissdom Canada conference. Better safe than sorry.

  2. And here I thought that I was the one that was supposed to be worried about meeting at your place. We thoroughly enjoyed the chance to dine with you and your lovely family. It was just like old times. Looking forward to the next time. After Blissdom, perhaps in Mexico…

    On a serious note, I love the tips that you’ve provided to people. Sometimes people just don’t think.

    Besos, Sarah

  3. make sure your children know that i will day be coming to visit and staying with you and I’m sure they will love having me as a visitor, but i will need somewhere to hand my axe

    1. An axe? OMG, where do you think I live? lol

      I am excited for that day you do visit, you will be greeted with hugs and wine and my children will love to meet you. I am saving my nickels and dimes so I too can come your way, hopefully it is sooner than later.

  4. Ah lovely! I know when I first met bloggers in real life my husband would say ‘ let me get this right, you are meeting people that you met on the computer?!’
    One day it’ll be us meeting!

    1. My husband and children are always weary of people I meet online, but so far all that I have met in person are wonderful. I’m looking forward to us meeting one day.

        1. Oh if you do, you will be greeted with hugs and wine and a room to stay in (yes I will make my children give up their rooms, which actually they would.) . 🙂

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  6. I’ve also met up with a friend I ‘met’ on Twitter and had a lecture from my daughters about the perils of meeting strangers. Fortunately, we had a lot in common and are planning to meet up again soon. I’m not sure what I’d have said if either daughter had planned to do this though?! They are both on FB and only ever accept friend requests from those they know, this a a relief.
    So happy to hear that you got on so well with Sarah from Jouneys of the Zoo.

    1. My middle child is still lecturing, reminding me of the rules and boldly stating she has never spoken to strangers on the internet. All my children are on Facebook, two are on Twitter, but out of all of us, I am the one who is most online, the mom, go figure.

  7. Well, as one of your Internet friends I must say I was so delighted to meet with you! I’ve also attended some great tweet ups (dragging my husband along to the last one) which are always great. But I know at least half of my “tweeps” personally, and Jamaica is a small society, so the dangers of predators are not so great. BUT those are good rules in general!

    1. It was wonderful to meet you and your husband, hopefully we will meet again, maybe in Canada? From attending the Blissdom Canada conference the past two years, I have also meet may of my online friends in person. I am always very caution though when I am meeting people in my own city for the first time. Thus I do follow the rules I set or my children years ago.

      1. I hope we can meet one day again…in Canada maybe next time! Well our city is just over a million. My online friends are like a big extended family, so I don’t worry about tweet ups etc. They are perfectly safe. Rules are needed though depending on where you are I suppose…

        1. It would be wonderful if you have come north, I’m sure by then one, maybe two, heck maybe all three of my kids will be moved out and I will have an extra bedroom for you and Neville. If they are still here, you are welcome to ours, and the waterbed. 🙂

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