Friday, June 02, 2006

Reality Check

I'm just curious. How many of you have met people you met on the internet in person? What was your experience like?

I've heard of the blogger meetings. I've even seen pictures from some of those meetings. I know people in my own family who have talked on the phone with people they've met online. I even got a former son-in-law from an internet relationship. For the most part, the experiences have turned out fine. But the dark side is we've all seen the horror stories on television of the "internet predators". We've heard of the meetings that go wrong. The stalkers, the freaks, the sickos, the pervs... the ones who come off as being wonderful online and in reality become your worst nightmare.

Some blogger friends have spilled over into the World of Warcraft. I've met new friends through the game, too. Now there has been talk of people coming to see me and my family. I think I know these people. I'd like to feel I can trust my instincts and would be able to tell if they really weren't good people... but how do you know? For someone such as myself who is such a private person, this is a strange development in my life. I barely see my 'real' friends, yet my internet friends want to travel miles to meet me? Am I opening myself up to something bad or something good?