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Hypothetical: Meeting an Internet Friend IRL 
25th-Feb-2010 10:26 pm
Behind the cut is a hypothetical question about whether or not you would be willing to meet a LiveJournal friend in real life, and what factors might enter into your decision to do so.

Hypothetical - Assume the following facts:

1. Someone who has been your friend on LiveJournal is visiting your city and would like to meet you in real life.
2. Assume you have been friends for over a year, but have never met in person or even talked on the phone or online.
3. Assume that you like what you know about the person and do not get any creepy vibes about him or her.
4. Assume that, if you have a partner, you have asked your partner if it's okay for you to meet the person, and your partner says that he/she doesn't care and is cool with whatever you decide.
5. While your decision may depend on other factors, try and answer the hypothetical as best as you can based on this information. (Perhaps you may wish to think of an LJ friend you have who meets this description and then answer with that person in mind.)

Poll #1530772 Meeting LJ Friends

In the hypothetical above, how likely are you to meet the LJ friend?

I'm certain that I would
I'm almost certain that I would
I probably would
I'm not sure whether I would or not
I probably wouldn't
I'm almost certain that I wouldn't
I'm certain that I wouldn't
Something else (what?)

Select as many of the following as might enter into your decision.

If the person was close in age to me, I am more likely to meet
If the person was the same sex as me, I am more likely to meet
If I had seen the person's picture, I am more likely to meet
If I had never seen the person's picture, I am less likely to meet
If I liked the person's sense of humour I am more likely to meet
If our political outlook was similar I am more likely to meet
Our meeting would have to be in a safe public place
I am less likely to meet someone of the opposite sex
I am more likely to meet someone whose sexual orientation is the same as mine
I am less likely to meet someone of a different sexual orientation than mine
The person's race would play no part in my decision
I like to meet new people and like to expand my circle of friends
I have a sense of adventure when it comes to meeting new people
My impression of whether or not the person was attractive would play a part in my decision whether or not to meet
I wouldn't meet a stranger from the internet under any circumstances
26th-Feb-2010 06:33 am (UTC)
My "something else" is that I actually have met an LJ friend in real life under circumstances very similar to those. It went really well; turns out she's just as awesome in real life as she is online. :)
26th-Feb-2010 06:37 am (UTC)
I've had good experiences meeting LJ friends too. I think I've met two or three people after first friending them on LJ and in every case it was a positive experience.
26th-Feb-2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Same here. I met one of my best "real life" friends through LJ. :)
26th-Feb-2010 06:55 am (UTC)
I've met about half of my 90 LJ friends. LJ has had an unbelievable impact on my adult life.
26th-Feb-2010 07:34 am (UTC)
I have met many people from forums/bopards . I have met many of a starwars board German group (germanspeaking anforce) and I have met some of the Internationals too, as well I have met 2 people from a cricket board :D
26th-Feb-2010 08:31 am (UTC)
I've met a large portion of my friends list in person. I'm pretty much always looking to meet up with anyone I know whenever they (or I) am in town, and I'm often the organizer for such events. To me, internet friends are no different from friends I've met other places.

(I've even fucked three people from my friends list, one of whom I married.)
26th-Feb-2010 12:12 pm (UTC)
This comment amused me. I don't know why.

I agree, though. I'm always willing to meet up with the people on my friends list. I don't usually have the opportunity, but I always enjoy meeting the people I talk to on a regular basis.
26th-Feb-2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
I had considered including an option about, if the LJ friend suggested a booty call, whether people would be open to the idea if attracted to the LJ friend, but I decided not to include that question for fear of tainting the original purpose of the poll, which had nothing to do with sex. (And you beat me, it's only two for me, one of whom I'm now living with.)
26th-Feb-2010 08:45 am (UTC)
I'd have to have talked to them on the phone at least once, and have spoken with them on an instant messenger often before I would meet them.
26th-Feb-2010 10:44 am (UTC)
... but have never met in person or even talked on the phone or online.
I took this to mean no IM type communications. If there hadn't even been comment threads my answer would be no. Regardless of what else was factoring into the decision.

Then again, the only friend I have here that I don't actually know in "real life" is a friend of a couple of people I have met. So my perspective about how willing I might be to meet this hypothetical friend is probably skewed.
26th-Feb-2010 12:46 pm (UTC)
As long as the meeting happens at a public place, then I have no problem with meeting up with them, as long as I feel I have a personal relationship with them and we aren't just on each other's "reading list". Meeting people online is not much different to me than meeting people at other places - at uni, at work, when going out, etc. -, who I also prefer to meet in in public spaces as I'm not much for inviting people to my place.
26th-Feb-2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
I've met a few LJ peeps in meatspace. I don't think I'd meet a casual LJ friend unless a few people were meeting up. And if I felt like I should meet someone in public for some reason I probably wouldn't bother.
26th-Feb-2010 01:15 pm (UTC)
No offence, but what a curious poll! If I've 'known' the person via the internet for a year and have had contact with them via my journal, then yes I would meet them! But then I don't friend people with whom I've absolutely nothing in common, and I do try to get to know people as real people in the first place, rather than just faceless bloggers.

As for whether political or sexual orientation or race come into it - nope, they don't. (Even though I'm a bit 'allergic' to right-wingers, politically).

I don't meet anyone new in a public place, btw.

Edited at 2010-02-26 01:16 pm (UTC)
26th-Feb-2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
No offence taken. What motivated it is that my boyfriend and I did a driving holiday last year to visit his family that we'll probably do again this year. We drove through about nine states and one Canadian province, and drove through some areas where some of my LJ friends live, people that I like from what I know of them, but that I've never met. I wondered if I told these people that we were passing through, and suggested meeting for coffee or something, whether this would be cool or whether they'd feel creeped out about it. From the early results of this poll, it looks like many people wouldn't be put off by the idea.

Edited at 2010-02-26 04:25 pm (UTC)
26th-Feb-2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
i've met 1 or 2 from livejournal to go urban exploring.
26th-Feb-2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
I was totally going to say "only in a public place" -- and then I remembered, when I met ange_pange in real life, I immediately invited her over to my parents' house for ice cream.

Also, I didn't meet my husband on LJ, but when we first met in person, I let him stay at my apartment, so I guess either I was more trusting then or slightly crazier then. It all worked out, though. :)
26th-Feb-2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
I have met MANY internet friends in person -- more than 30 -- and none of my experiences have been bad. Meeting someone you know through the internet doesn't have the same stigma as it did 10-15 years ago.
26th-Feb-2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
I've met probably about 50% of the people on my Friends List, at least once. The rest of them are people I would love to hang out with, but they're too far away. If I wouldn't want them in my livingroom, I typically don't friend them on LJ. As for the sex thing, I'm a gentleman and won't divulge details of all the mind-blowing, earth-shattering sexual experiences that LJ has facilitated, but I will say that I met my wife here.

In addition to things like Game Night and attending a huge local Con, I organize a big party here in Minneapolis in the springtime, the OMGWTFBBQ, (see omgwtfbbq_gt) for all my LJ friends and friends of friends, which allows everyone to meet safely in real-time, which leads me to conclude that I have met some pretty cool people here in the Twin Cities online world. Pretty much my entire social circle springs from LJ or other online interactions. I honestly don't know where I'd be today without LJ - possibly living under a bridge somewhere, cold and lonely.
26th-Feb-2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
never met in person or even talked on the phone or online.

I assumed this meant via IM, i.e. real time communication instead of post-comment-comment-post-comment or Facebook. Is that kind of what you were getting at?
26th-Feb-2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, and while I would probably say "certainly", it's been knocked down to "probably" since if they weren't coming to town for an pre-arranged event (like a convention), my parents might veto me going to meet them.
26th-Feb-2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
Yes that's pretty much what I meant. If you're IM friends then it's not as much a leap of faith to meet. But if you've just commented on one another's LJ entries, then there is still a lot unknown about the person.
26th-Feb-2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
That's true. Though I have a hard time carrying on a conversation on IM with people I've only met online, even after I've met them (and had great conversations with them) in person. Weird.
26th-Feb-2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
I met one of my best friends here in 8th grade. I would not even flinch if she wanted to meet up, since we've been wanting to for awhile now.
It's like 5 years of friendship, we IM constantly, text constantly, we've skyped, and I've talked to her parents. My parents don't like the whole meeting of people online, so I haven't brought up her to them.
26th-Feb-2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
I (Germany) wanted to meet an LJ friend when I was visiting relatives (US) last year who live kind of close to her grandparents, but due to a "scheduling conflict" it didn't work out. I'm all excited about maybe going there again next year, and this time we'll have to make sure we really meet!

27th-Feb-2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
everyone on my friends list is connected somehow and discloses in their journals at similar levels of "personalness"
I feel like I know alot about all of my LJ friends and if I haven't met them, I've met others that are RL friends with them that are RL friends with me. There are actually just a few people on my flist that I've never actually met, but we've "known" eachother for years. I would be quite happy to have a face-to-face meeting with any of them!
27th-Feb-2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
I met my husband online, in a chatroom 10 years ago ~ and I've met several other friends from "the internet" in person too. I don't have any problem with meeting people in person that I meet online!
28th-Feb-2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
There was one guy I knew a long time ago that seemed really funny and cool and posted really funny entries and just seemed like a really awesome guy. I kind of looked at him like a guy I would've loved to have as an older brother. He was, I'm guessing, about 6-8 years older than me, and the only reason I wouldn't have met him in real life if the opportunity had arisen, is that I'm afraid he wouldn't have liked me as much as I liked him.
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