Thursday, May 5, 2011

What the FBI agent said about meeting other bloggers!

This is a story I have saved for several months, but I think my blogger friends will find it amusing.

When we visit our daughter in San Diego we usually end up spending some time with her friends.  There are four couples that all have kids in the same age range and live in the same neighborhood.  They call each other their "Point Loma Family," and we have gotten to know and love them all as such.

One of the couples happen to both be FBI agents.  Although we don't talk about their work, they have shared a feeling of above average caution about many things. 

At a Christmas get together we were asked about what we were going to do on our remaining days in the city. I told them we had plans to meet Evelyn and Ken, a couple from Wisconsin, who I had gotten to know from blogging.

When the "wife" learned that we had met on the internet she had all sorts of questions for me.  

She calls me "Grandma," and was actually concerned that we would get mugged or swindled. Apparently, going to meet strangers you only know from the internet is a dangerous business. And this may be true for kids and vulnerable singles.

But, whenever I think about her concern, I have to laugh.  When you have followed someone's blog for almost a year, you probably know more about them than you know about your next door neighbor! Lunch at Denny's is not a dangerous event.

It's hard to explain the "blogging community" to someone who has never been here.  I'm sure there might be some shady characters, but I also trust my own judgement.

So next time you have a chance to connect with one of the other blogging couples, remember my story.  

(And laugh.)


  1. I'm with you, Merikay. I've met several of my blogging friends, and like you, I feel I have a pretty good sense of them after long times in each other's "cyber-homes." I always meet folks in public places, have lunch or coffee, and it has always, ALWAYS been great fun.

    I understand the concerns, but neither of us us a tender teenager!!

  2. I guess there are concerns about internet predators...but I think like you do. I really think you get to know people thru their blogs. About ten years ago, my sister (60 at the time) met her current husband online. I was concerned but it has turned out to be a match made in heaven!

    Since you and I have both met Kate, we must both be okay LOL!!

  3. understanding blogging is only for those who 'blog'..we, too have been told that this hobby is could meet 'strange people?' is a big bad world out there full of 'weirdos'..ha!..all the bloggers we have met?..perfection!!

  4. When we first started talking about fulltime RV'ing, I had a friend who sent me a blog of a fulltime couple. I read with great interest each and every post. Then, I came out of the closet & sent them an email, stating we were "wannabes." A year or so later, they came near where we lived & invited me to visit them at their CG. HOWEVER, I must admit I was leery about driving an hour to meet them by the time, my husb worked nights. My concern was based on years of working in the legal field and being exposed to all sorts of situations, etc. So I made arrangements to meet them the next morn for breakfast so my husb could go too. It was a GREAT meeting & they were very influential in helping us with all sorts of things when we actually did go fulltime. So far, they are the only bloggers we have met face-to-face, but hopefully we will have the opport to meet others.

  5. I don't know, reading all the blogs there seems to be a few 'sketchy' bloggers out there!!

  6. I agree that the Internet can be a dangerous place for various reasons, but I also feel like RV bloggers are not of the scary variety. When my friend, Carolyn, decided to drive her RV to our park and spend the winter I introduced her to all our friends. When they would ask "Have you been RV friends for years or How did you two meet?" I would say, "We met on the Internet". I liked watching their facial expressions! We actually belonged to an RV Forum, noticed we lived in the same town, were planning to be full-timers, met for breakfast at a "safe" Cracker Barrel and have been friends since. By the time two bloggers meet, they already know so much about it other the conversation just seems to flow.

  7. RV people have a unique value system & common bond in their love for travel & the outdoors. It takes a fair few dollars & a lot of long time positive planning for an RV'er to pull the dream together & make it a reality. That in itself is a huge human accomplishment & says a lot about a person's integrity, will & determination. It says a lot about the type of people RV'ers are as a whole. When RV folks begin blogging about their hopes, dreams & lifestyle that adds another notch of credible honesty. What better & safer way to get to know fellow RVing folks than through their blogs. Before even meeting in person both parties have already established a trusting friendship & a common ground of conversation & interests. We have met a fair few people despite our loner lifestyle & all meetings have been positive & pleasant. The RVing community is a positive & helping bunch of folks & I think we would be hard pressed to find a better bunch of caring & genuine people.

  8. That is funny, but I guess I can understand her concern given her job.

    It's hard for non bloggers to understand how you can make friends this way.

  9. Hey hey hey! Who mentioned I might be "sketchy"? Sheesh!
    Seriously though, I feel a little bit sorry for the suspicious paranoid types. I can see where an FBI agent, or anyone who is always dealing with the worst that society has to offer, can end up thinking the world is going to hell in a hand basket. But there is a whole other world out there of decent types.
    Does that mean you give out your bank information? Well of course not, but meeting a person at Denny's? Quite possibly the food is more dangerous. And yes I've eaten at Denny's and quite like it. Relax.
    I suppose meeting anyone whom you've only encountered on line can be a bit dodgy, but the idea of maintaining a blog for a few years, only to lure someone into your sinister web? That sounds like a bit of a stretch, and a lot of work. Oh, I guess that was a bit of a pun there. Y'know..."web" ?
    wakka wakka. I'm here all night, be sure and tip your server.

  10. Good thing she didn't follow you and arrest us! :)

  11. Maybe Kevin and Evelyn are wild and crazy people in disguise! :)

  12. i have yet to meet a fellow blogger but of course I have no qualms of doing so either

  13. I love Bob's comment. Please do use common sense in a public place, don't exchange bank info, etc. The RV crowd in general, is a nicer group of people than the general public, IMO.

  14. I do know what you mean about knowing blogging friends better than the neighbors!

    I wouldn't have any problems meeting up with any of my blog friends (or staying in a cabin for a week!) ;-)

  15. sooo, does that mean that if and when we meet up, I should leave all my weapons at the RV???

    just kidding......!!!!!

    seriously, I "talk" to way more people on my blog than I do in the town where I live; probably because I have much more in common with the blogosphere!

  16. Hi. I haven't been in touch for a while and am out of practice. I've taken to reading the Christchurch Press on line since the earthquake and especially as we are going there for a visit in 10 days time.

    Today I found this article interesting and thought you might like a quick look. It's about Santa Cruz and the recovery after the 1989 quake.

    Sorry it's a long address but I hope you can paste it into your browser and enjoy what people were saying for our benefit.

    oh yeah! The internet is a scary place. Take care.

  17. Studies and surveys have revealed that adolescents who lead active social lives on line are in fact no different in their terrestrial lives. Predators will be predators, victims will be victims and the internet is only another outlet for us to live our lives the way we do on a daily basis. Seek, and ye shall find.


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