Friendship: Bridging the Gap Between Virtual and Reality

lego_bridgeIn the modern age of social media, we know far more about strangers than we (probably) should. We see countless photos of friends’ family members, causing us to feel like we know them…which we don’t…and due to loose privacy settings, we can often dig deeper and strengthen the bonds of friendship… the one that doesn’t really exist. Come on, people. Tighten your privacy settings. It’s your own fault.

You know their names, you know their family members, and possibly a few of their friends. You probably even know where they spent last summer…just kidding…I don’t know that much about strangers… Anyways, what do you do when you see these people in real life? Most of us choose to ignore these basically strangers and carry on with our day. I mean, they are strangers, right?

I encountered this very situation the other day. There I was, minding my own business, when I looked over to spot a friend of a friend. Instead of pretending I didn’t know her, I decided to go with option number two. I wanted to meet her. You might be wondering why. “But, Rachel, she could think you’re a crazy stalker. She might even run away and call the police!” Thankfully, it went much better than it played out in my mind. After confirming her identity on Facebook (of course), I walked up to her and said, “You don’t know me, but I know everything about you. I’ve actually met everyone in your family, except you.” Maybe I should’ve gone with a different opening line… Once the initial shock wore off, she realized that I’m a lovely person that wanted to bridge the gap between reality and cyber reality.

One man’s awkward situation is another man’s entertaining anecdote.