I have a lot of imaginary friends, people I follow on Twitter or read their blogs, but I’ve never met them. Maybe we talk sometimes on Twitter, maybe we don’t live in the same city, maybe we keep missing each other. For whatever reason, we’ve never met.
I’ve met a lot of my imaginary friends in real life, and met yet another one this past week.
Cynthia McKenna, who writes Garden Gate Blog, is on Twitter. We’ve chatted a few times on Twitter. She lives in the Hill Country and we both like to cook and eat at Jason Dady restaurants. Like many imaginary friends of mine, she seems nice and we have a few things in common.
A couple weeks ago, Cynthia suggested we get together and have lunch sometime. So we did last week. We talked about our jobs and cooking and restaurants we eat at and blogging. And she gave me some tomatoes from her garden! She’s actually doing a contest with her tomatoes right now, so go enter it.
And the next day it was our turn for dinner club, so I used the tomatoes as appetizers, with a little mozzarella and balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top.
They were delicious tomatoes, and so pretty too.
Meeting Twitter friends in real life is a lot like if you were to meet an imaginary friend. You know a lot of things about someone on Twitter. You look at their photos, read their blog, talk to them, but there’s so much you don’t know about a person until you meet them. And when you do meet them, there’s an interesting element where you are still trying to get to know them, but you feel like you know them already.
Twitter and social media groups and social media in general have allowed me to form these imaginary friendships with people. And then I get to meet these people in real life, and become actual friends with them.
When people tell me they think social media is a fad, or is ludicrous, or wastes all of our time, or isn’t worth doing, I think I’ll tell them this story, of how my imaginary friend Cynthia knew I liked to cook, so when we met she brought me some tomatoes, which I made for my dinner club, and Tweeted about and posted it on Flickr and Facebook and now I’m blogging about it for all of you people.
So you could say that meeting Cynthia in real life touched a lot of different facets in my life. My imaginary friend became my real life friend, and that made my life better. And that’s what social media does for me – makes my life better.