This weekend Mandi and I hosted a BBQ (Mandi did most of the actual hosting). In attendance were Kennedy and Karen of the Starbase 66 podcast. We’ve met Kennedy a few times but this was a first close encounter of the Karen kind. We also got to meet her mysterious “Dearly Beloved”, who was much nerdier than we expected. We still have yet to meet Kennedy’s wife “Elizabeth” who, despite baking us a spectacular peach pie, we’re beginning to suspect may not exist. Ironic since she was the one who was famously responsible for the term “imaginary friends” to describe our online family.
So far Mandi and I have bowled a perfect game meeting people we got to know on online forums and through their podcasts, but I can certainly see Elizabeth’s point of view. There are certainly moments, such as when I’m truly happy hanging out with online friends at an offline BBQ, where I wonder if too much of our lives are spent in the web-o-sphere. This article deftly explains why we’re unhappy as an online society. It has some interesting points but I still enjoy the buffer and screening process provided by the internet when selecting worthy associates. Now we just need to perfect transporter technology so being spread across the globe isn’t a hindrance to future BBQs.