Monday, July 13, 2009

A friend in e

I have a clear memory of the first time my daughter Molly went to meet in person a guy she'd met on the Internet. She was 18 or 19 at the time, but I made sure I had his full name and address before she started, and doublechecked it to make sure it was real. And I had her call me on her cell phone several times during the evening. She kept assuring me he was a nice guy and it was all going to be fine. And it was.

But you can't help but worry about predators and frightening possibilities when you make friends online.

So nobody was more surprised than I when I invited several friends from the Stephanie Plum fan fiction community to stay at my house recently. The author of the Plum books, Janet Evanovich, had a signing event in Cherry Hill, NJ, not far away, and I was looking forward to meeting some of my online friends.

Now why was I so brave? And why would people I've never met be brave enough to spend a night or two at my house?

I think the main reason we were all comfortable with the idea was that we've been corresponding for a year and a half. While initially we kept our personal information confidential, as we got to know each other better and better we revealed more and more about ourselves and our families. And in the smaller, private groups we shared our addresses and phone numbers, and even posted pictures.

Our group got together in Cherry Hill and had a wonderful time, and the three that stayed at my house couldn't have been nicer.

I guess the moral of the story is, when it comes to online friends sometime you have to go with your gut. And this time my gut was right on.

So to the lovely ladies of the Plum fan fiction world, I salute you. Love ya, babes!

1 comment:

  1. BOO!

    Did I scare ya, babe?
    I hope so.
    Hate to think I've lost my "frightening possibilities" edge.

    I'm so glad y'all had a good time. Wish I could have been there, but....oh well. *sigh*

    If ever you need some extra gut to help you make a decision, just pop on up. We seem to have a whole mess of avoirdupois available here, eh.