What It Is To Know Someone
Someone on Facebook commented about meeting someone in real life who you’ve known for a while on-line, and what it is to “know” someone.
Virtual vs. Actual
French and Spanish (and I’m sure other languages as well), have at least two words that translate to the verb “to know” in English. Literally, the words would probably equate to “to know” and “to be acquainted with.”
I’m thinking, the more general term, “to know” is a bit more useful in defining what it is to get to know someone either in a virtual world, or in real life.
Years ago, when I was working at my first corporate job, I had a phone relationship with one of my co-workers for almost two years before I actually met her. Since we only dealt with each other on a professional level, I really didn’t have a strong sense about who she was, but it was still nice to compare the the imagined persona with the real one when I finally got to meet her.
In this day and age of the internet, social web sites, blogs and on-line communities, it’s much easier to get to know a lot more about someone without ever actually having met them. There are photos and resumes and life-timelines, and updates on a regular basis as to what they’re doing in their lives and opinions they have on social issues or politics.
Having had on-line interactions (reading his community postings, personal communications and following him on Facebook and Ravelry, etc.) with Tim Tenclay for years now, I felt as though I had a relationship with him…I know a lot about his family, what he does for exercise, what he does for work, and I was particularly fond of his viewpoints on social issues. I have been looking for opportunities to meet Tim in person for a number of years now, and I finally got the opportunity this past weekend at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.
The accuracy of how I imagined Tim was WAY more accurate than my impression my co-worker in 1984. He’s a delightfully gentle man, who clearly loves his daughters Sophia and Petra as much as any parent possibly could.
I have to admit, it was actually a bit awkward meeting Tim in person…do you act in accordance with the closeness you have from your on-line correspondance, or do you treat him more like a relatively new acquaintance? I tried to straddle the fence between the two, but it was still incredible to get to meet such a great guy (and his daughters).
Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival
I went from work on Thursday night to check in and have dinner at Easton Mountain (about 45 minutes from where I work).
On Friday, I went off to guest-co-host The Quest Of Life radio show with my friend (and other co-host), Stephen Sims.
When I got back to Easton, I was greeted by Jeff, Aaron and Dave, and shortly thereafter, Thaddeus arrived on scene for his debut visit to Easton.
The following day, we headed over to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival to meet up with Kirk and Matt and Dave (the other Dave!).
We ate a lot, we laughed a LOT and had a wonderful time. Thaddeus was his ever-helpful self in pointing out photo opportunities.
Here are some other candid shots I took: