3 words: Deer in Headlights.
Is THIS how online people are supposed to socialize offline, in the real world?
Ahhhh.. Now I’m starting to get it.I made it to the [url=http://www.austin-stories.com/]Austin Journalers[/url] happy hour last night (despite the God-awful slippery-when-wet traffic on I-35, which made me an hour late).
Okay. Besides [url=http://www.timbrat.com]Tim[/url], I guess this experience brings me closer to being an ambassador between the Blogger vs. Journaler groups. As if it made a difference.
I don’t remember very many names or URLs, or else I’d post them, but the group was wildly diverse… EX: a country dj, a NASCAR enthusiast (talking about a debutant ball she was attending the next day), an astrologer (who remembers signs, but not names), and a reluctant stand-up comedian (who had me in stitches several times… he’ll get on stage, eventually). There was definitely not the Geek-a-thon vibe I get from the Blogger Meetups (which, incidentally, I fit in with just fine).
I felt awkward and out of place, to say the least. These people were friends… They were friends, with insight into each others’ lives that perhaps face-to-face friends never get. They read each others stories and journal entries and follow the intimate details that this stage of online writing provides. It’s a strange paradox that people seem to be more open and honest in an medium that potentially thousands and thousands of strangers would read.
One person at the table said she was shocked to discover just how many people read her site… I wonder if that experience makes someone close up or become even more exhibitionist.
I’m not good with strangers. I probably broached ettiquite by not spending enough time “getting to know them” on their journals, or making my voice heard beforehand (like Feith managed to do). So, it wasn’t fair to expect that they would care who I was because I didn’t invite them to learn about me on davidnunez.com.
It could be that Happy Hours are just not the place to integrate into a group. Loud, drinks clouding coherence, letting loose, gentle ribbing…. They have a Sunday lunch. Maybe that’ll be a better opportunity to introduce myself.
As it was, I had this slimy feeling like I was coming across as some church evangelist or used-car salesman.. uptight and tense and pushy in inappropriate ways.
One thing that bugged me, for some reason, on the drive home: Kramer, were you asking me if I, David could smoke or if you, Kramer, could smoke?? I honestly couldn’t hear you… so I just shook my head “no” assuming that you were asking about me… Sorry… I really don’t care about what people do in a bar.
I’m not sure what first impressions I made… “Quiet” & “Shy”? Probably. It takes time and effort for me to warm up and not shut down in that kind of situation… definitely “Tense.” I think I don’t like the first impressions I made, but patience-is-virtue, and try-try-again I guess…
I guess I’m saying I would come back. Maybe doing some more homework will help. Maybe making myself more vocal online will ease the experience offline.
Thank you, Tim, for being the gracious host and sharing a plate of yummy quesadillas!
revised: 02/25/2003 11:45 – removed picture and commentary… wasn’t very nice