Blind Frates & Friends You’ve Never Met Before

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Blind Frates & Friends You’ve Never Met Before

Take me back a year or so ago and I was packing my children into a car, about to drive them to a house of a lady that before I did I had to ask her what her real name was as I only knew her as ‘Just Juggling’. A lady who had invited me and another mum she had never met before over to her house for lunch. Who jokingly told us her friends said to call them as a back up in case we were axe-murderers. Two ladies of which had shared my crazy sleep deprived new parent-ness, but had no idea how tall I was or what my voice sounded like.

To 5 years ago when I was walking around Lakeside shopping centre looking for a different lady with long blonde hair who I knew liked the same books as me, shared the same love of films  & whom I was hoping to have lunch with.

Or perhaps 3 years ago when my 9 month year old son and I had packed up a picnic and drove to a park in Camberley, on the back of a blog post from a lovely red-headed lady whose daughter was two months older than my son. Where I went on to meet several lovely Mums of which I had to ask their Twitter handle first in order to work out who they were.

Just over two years ago, I was cursing my Sat Nav as I worked my way around streets in Farnborough to find address it didn’t believe existed. To meet a a woman who may have since actually given up Twitter, but has not stopped being my friend. A woman that shared and listened to my frustration of trying to conceive when I didn’t believe it was ever going to happen, because she had been through the same herself.

Then there was November last year, where I walked shivering in my coat as I nervously checked my What’s App messages to make sure I was heading towards the right place in Kings Cross station. Waiting to meet a group of bloggers who had become my blogging friends and confidantes, scanning faces to see if any matched their profile pics.

Or perhaps you should fast forward a couple of months to the hotel room I have booked in April, for a wedding of a lady I’m not completely sure what she looks like as I’ve only ever since about 3 photos of, but it’s not unusual for me to speak to her on a daily basis. An invitation I was so touched and excited by.

I started using Twitter in 2009. The only reason I started was because I had a job interview and the person interviewing me had seen and interview with Stephen Fry were he was talking about this new social media called Twitter, and they wanted their brand to start using it. I remember my first tweet and thinking what the hell should I actually write here. Little did I know that I would find a place to meet and chat to lovely people around the world. A place to connect and exchange ideas. People I may not know, but I do know, and care about.

A few years ago there was a lady who I regularly chatted too. She shared her desperate search for work. How money got so tight some evenings she would have nothing more than a Muller rice for dinner, because it was the choice between food or petrol for a job interview. One day, in the cold of winter she shared how she had counted her money & didn’t have enough money for her electric meter. She was going to have to sit there in the cold & dark. I messaged her & said I wouldn’t blink at spending £20 on a takeaway and I would be happy to pay the money into her bank account there and then so that didn’t have to happen. I would have done it too. I just couldn’t imagine sitting at home on my own in the cold and dark. She politely declined. But even though we rarely chat anymore, a while ago when her circumstances improved she told me she would never forget that. But in the same way I will never forget her and her determination.

There are people I haven’t ventured out to meet, yet at least, but some I still love to chat too. A wonderful woman who shares her journey of sobriety and recovery from domestic violence. The same woman who when I was stressing about someone looking after my dog when I went into labour messaged me and said she would happily have him. A fellow bookworm who can keep me chatting late into the night about books we both love and can make my buy new ones as we both share the same taste. Two women who shared almost the same due date with me for our first babies, with whom I shared my pregnancy woes and joys. An older lady who has daughters a similar age to me, who always goes out of her way to ask how me and my family are. There are so many others I could mention who regularly message me if they haven’t heard from me in a while, across a whole range of ages and background and maybe in just one small thing we have a connection.

After both of my children were born, I received cards of congratulations from several people I had never met before, sharing their delight in my news.

Everyone talks about online dating. But what about online friending? Ok, I *may* have made up a word there, but I have been on a few blind frates. And out of those, bigger and longer term friendships have blossomed. So far none of them have been axe murderers.

I have plenty of friends I have never met, some I may never meet, but I genuinely care for. The online world may have its faults and there are definitely days when I need to put my phone down more. But it is also a world I am grateful for. There are indeed foolish trolls out there, but there are also some fabulous people.

Cuddle Fairy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

46 thoughts on “Blind Frates & Friends You’ve Never Met Before

  1. What a wonderful post. You are to me a great online friend and someone who probably has more conversations with me than my off line friends. Thanks for being you! 🙂 Your a fab online friend. Hope to meet you one day too! Angela

  2. This is a beautiful post, Laura! It’s amazing how important people become to us that we have never met in real life. Our interactions on social media & through blog comments make us friends & I’m really happy to consider you a friend. x

  3. It was great to meet you in London! I love that it is possible to make connections via twitter and blogging – it has been one of the best things that has come out of having my blog. You hear so much about how the dark side of the internet but it can also be such a lovely friendly place. Here’s to blogging friends!

  4. Oh Laura I love this post and I loved that picnic. I always think I should organise more but life is just so busy. Maybe in the summer, or Easter?! Social media is an amazing thing and I wouldn’t have half as many friends without it x

  5. What a brilliant post! I feel so sad that so many people regard social media as a hunting ground for weirdos and axe murderers. There have always been odd people and criminals in the world, we just met them in different ways. Or didn’t meet them, because actually there are not that many of them. Of course it is important to use one’s common sense, tell someone where you are likely to be (you could fall and bang your head and lose your memory, although that’s not very likely either) Social media can be wonderful places for those who are sleep deprived because of poorly children, people who have severely limited incomes or who for other reasons can’t always get out of the house. But also, just for fun! Human beings are social animals, we like to talk/spend time with other human beings, both those who share our interests and also those who don’t, but give us food for thought. Meeting someone you have chatted to on social media is no more dangerous than chatting to someone in the supermarket queue, at the toddler group or the French language class. The people who regard the internet in all its forms as a minefield of dreadful possibilities are usually those who know nothing about it. It’s a great asset to communication, information, fun and friendship, let’s make the most of it, and enjoy the friends we have met, the ones we haven’t, yet, and all the ones that are yet to come.

    1. Thanks Hilary it really is a great way to interact with people, of all walks of life and also to stay in touch with people who have moved away too x

  6. This is such a lovely post and great that you have met so many people through social media. I too have people that I hold dearly and have never met, what an amazing world we live in 🙂 #BloggerClubUK x

  7. I’ve made lots of friends in the online world too. Some I’m yet to meet, others I’ve already seen in person. They’re all awesome either way.

  8. Hi Laura, I read this post earlier in the week and just back from #coolmumclub to finally comment! Thanks for linking up.
    I am slightly in awe of your friend dates! I really feel over the last 6 months I have come to be very familiar with certain bloggers – pregnancies that have lead to babies, families who have shared their highs and lows, and fun loving chicks who have shared a giggle. I never would have thought I would have online friends, but, life has a way of surprising you 🙂 This is a real heartwarmer. xxx

    1. It would be lovely to meet you in real life and see what you actually look like too, probably a trickier part of being an anonymous blogger 🙂

  9. What a lovely post – you are so right! It is a loving, warm and friendly community that we belong to, with such open, caring people. The internet has a lot to learn from us bloggers 😉
    x Alice

  10. I love this post! Whilst I have very rarely met anyone I speak to online, I have been reading recently about people who have and do regularly. I love reading about how they found new friendships online. I probably speak to more people online than offline however I have just made a new friend at my new weightwatchers group! #KCACOLS

  11. Such a lovely post. I’ve not met many of the friends I’ve made online, but I feel closer to some of them than friends I see all the time. We’ve been there for each other at our lowest ebbs, and shared our moments of joy. Some of us have drifted apart and don’t really speak anymore, but they have still made such a big impact on my life and I’ll always remember them fondly. x #KCACOLS

  12. What a great post. I too have found many friends online. I haven’t actually met any of them in person yet, but finding them online has been great because you know that they have the things that you like in a person. For me its bookish people. You are so right, the internet has many faults, but also so many good points too.
    Amanda #kcacols

  13. Aw Laura, what a lovely post. I have only had a twitter account for around 6 months and have been blogging for 10 but have met some lovely people too. I like your term online friending and think that its very apt :). Thank you so much for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again next week xx

    1. Thank you 🙂 I think online friending is becoming more and more important in the modern world. I can’t believe you have only been blogging for 10 months though! x

  14. What a lovely post. I have only met a handful of my blogger friends. I don’t get to go to conferences really and I seem to get left out the local meet ups. That said, there are people I regularly talk to and confide in and would love to meet, including yourself of course! In fact I consider some of my online friends my best friends and sometimes I think I know more about their lives than my family! x

    1. I would love to meet you too in the future Rachel, that would be fab! And I agree, in tough times some of my online friends have been there for me.

  15. Ah this is a great idea for a post. I probably have more online friends than real ones and it is an interesting aspect of modern life. I don’t get to meet many as I am miles away – it is lovely you have met so many 🙂 #KCACOLS

  16. Aaaàh how lovely this post is. It also goes to show that you can find some true friendships on social media. There are some truly lovely people out there who we’d otherwise have never met if it weren’t for twitter etc. Xx #KCACOLS

  17. Oh Laura I love this post!! It is just beautiful. I agree with you about this wonderful world that is the internet and all the people that we were able to meet and the people that we might meet in the future. I am so happy to met you last year. We were all so nervous but at the end it felt like if we have met a long time ago!! I love your stories and all the support that you got from all these people that you just met online. I really get what you were trying to say and I understand you as I also felt the same way. Let’s hope we can meet all again soon! Thanks so much for sharing this lovely post at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

    1. It was no nice to meet you too Franca – we were so nervous weren’t we and we all got on really well 🙂 I hope we can meet again soon too x

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