Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Friend or Faux?

Friendship and friendliness are not fields with which I have vast experience. I've spoken before about being bullied as an adult, and I'm the first to admit that a snarky sense of humour and bluntness often mean I don't come across as friendly, even if it''s my intent to be so. But blogger community, well that's a place where friendships are formed, where people come together to be friendly to each other. Right?

We've all heard about internet trolls, and if we haven't received them, then we all know the risk of nasty anonymous (or in one case I saw just last week, not so anonymous) comments. But more recently, I've come to know that there is a more subtle kind of unpleasantness, a snide cold shoulder. Not sure what I mean.... read on.

At a sizeable event, which I should add, I enjoyed very much for the most part, 2 bloggers, one of whom sporadically tweets with me about anything from food to beauty recommendations, cut into a conversation I was a part of, didn't introduce themselves, moved the conversation well outside of my field of knowledge and cut me off from the conversation by standing half back to me, eventually edging me out all together. Nice huh? We've all cut people out of a conversation by accident, but not to even introduce oneself or say a polite hello, not the friendliest welcome to an event ever, and put me off wanting to mix with those I hadn't already met at said event. Good job the drinks were good.

At the same event, a blogger I've tweeted with often, whose blog I regularly comment on and who tweeted just that day in fact, to ask about my day and say how nice it would be to meet me that evening. That same blogger smiled politely when the ended up in conversation with someone I was with, but had absolutely no idea who I was- or certainly didn't behave as though they did, doing that vague uncertain thing we all do when you see someone, you think you recognise them, but can't dredge where from....fair enough, it had been a long day, I looked a bit rough round the edges, but also, they didn't ask or seem to want to know. A real shame as I was someone I'd been looking forward to meeting.

At a different event, I recently overheard to talking about general events culture. What a shame it was that nobody gets together for these things any more, and there's always lots of new people that they don't know. Which was a bit of a turn off, having met neither before, and that being one of only a handful of events I've been invited to and able to attend. I thought meeting new people was a good thing?

I didn't start my blog to make friends especially, it was something that came as an added bonus, the community that surrounded blogging gave me the opportunity to talk to people I'd otherwise never have met, and to be surrounded by people who I felt were like me- who worked hard, cared about something, and who were so much friendlier than so many of the people I came across whilst studying or working in my various vacation period jobs. But whether you blog to find people and community or not, sure some of the above mentioned things are merely a common courtesy?

And even were they not, we've all be the new girl- school, uni, job, sports club, gym, friend's party where you only know the host, it's nice to be the person who smiles, says hi, and introduces themselves. In a 'world' that thrives on each of us involving ourselves with each other in an online context, and where SOCIAL media is the name of the game, and whilst there are so many more overt trolls, shouldn't we be pulling together to welcome each other?

It isn't all bad, by the way. This March I had the pleasure of a blog holiday, meeting plenty of lovely people. I also had a most enjoyable brunch with Odd Socks Alex who is possibly my favourite person for her love of doing and living how she pleases, and not giving a damn what people think. If you have a problem with people having a book for company in a restaurant, you have a problem with Alex and with me!

Sarah has fast become great and quite regular company- any girl who knows where the good and cheap London cocktails can be found, was always going to be awesome, but she also has something to say. I almost didn't realise we were at the station I needed.

Laurenella has the rare gift of transversing the boundary of online and life at large. I wouldn't have believed I were 'meeting' her, had I not reminded myself. A much welcomed friendly face.

Cat has emoticon wars with me, and is one of the first in my phonebook when I need a helping hand with the tough stuff. I am beyond happy that we finally have plans in motion to shop and roll in the big smoke in the coming weeks.

This girl, made me laugh even more in person than she does on Twitter and in her writing. My overriding image of this girl will be her hilarious poses on our blogger holiday in March.

And Klee is also relatively newly relocated. Aside having the world's cutest dog, it's been a pleasure to have a fellow Eastender to chat with and make dinner dates with. I have a horrid feeling she's going to be a terrible enabler at Westfield too- remind me again why I agreed to go there with someone who also likes to shop?

And lastly, Ayden, who regularly brings a smile to my face, and the first time I met a blogger face to face. Start as you mean to go on, and Ayden couldn't have been a better intro.

If you check out nobody else, then these are some of the truly friendly faces I've found in blogland. I'm off to send a long overdue response to an especially lovely email.


P said...

The blogosphere can be a wonderful place and I also have made some great friends through it . . .but there's a flipside too, as with all worlds. I've been on that end of it too where it's not so friendly, and there are a few bloggers I have met who are a bit cliquey and have made me feel left out or isolated in certain situations. I try not to let it bother me, but it's difficult!

Kirsty said...

I really enjoyed the honesty of this post. I'm still a relatively new blogger, but I've definitely experienced the cliquey aspect of the blogging community. I haven't gone to a meet up yet... not entirely because of that reason, but it's definitely a factor! I'm really glad you've found some quality pals although the way, though :) just as in life, you have to take with the good with the bad, I guess! xx

Lauren said...

Ah Chloe, I'm sad that you had some bad experiences with meeting bloggers, I've had this problem before as well and what I'll say having re-met some is that some people are simply shy or having a bad day and inadvertently create a bad first impression and some people really are just quite stand offish and you're better off not chatting to them.

I was so pleased to chat to you at the axparis event and I don't think you come across as blunt or unfriendly at all, though perhaps thats from the perspective of someone who can be equally blunt ;)

On another note, Sarah was actually the first blogger I ever 'met' at an event and I remember thinking that I was SO glad she was friendly and chatty because I felt like an absolute lemon!

I really enjoyed reading this post, and hopefully everyone who reads it will make a little extra effort to be friendly to the next person they meet for the first time.


The Girl said...

I think this is the thing that makes me glad that I'm not in this part of the blogging world. It would be lovely to be invited to things and go places but at the same time I don't think that emotionally my ego would be enough to stand up to things like this.

If I was being kind I'd say that their behaviour was a product of shyness.

If I was being honest I'd say they're probably dicks who care more about their image as a popular person than actually being a nice person.

Anonymous said...

Chloe, I love that you say what you feel and mean. If that's what you mean by bluntness I would call it honesty. There is no need for rudeness, plain and simple. At an event, party, in a shop, anywhere. X

The Pampered Sparrow said...

How rude!! It must have felt very disappointing after looking forward to meeting certain people to find that their online persona was not quite how they were in "real life." I personally like a bit of snarky humour and should we ever meet in person, I think you'll find I'm rather wonderful(ha ha!) as I know you would be too! ;D xx

Alice said...

Great Post. I’ve always struggled with girl friendships, it’s such a slippery path and I’ve always felt I’ve ended up worse off sometimes (I know it sounds daft, but girls are pretty mean).
I’d never attended any event or met up with bloggers until I jumped in the deep end and went to Norbury Manor. But it confirmed everything I wanted to believe – (these bloggers, including you) were amazing, friendly and so very lovely!
I’ve never attended any events, so wouldn’t know what sort of atmosphere to expect. But it’s such a shame some people aren’t everything they seem online. xxx