Today’s post is brought to you by guest blogger Gina K. Callaghan, who lives in New York City with three cats: Bubba, age 21, Chyron, age 13 and Stanni, age 9.
Meeting people online can be rewarding – or fraught with anxiety. Frankly, I have never been one to spend much time in chat rooms because they can be a time suck. Plus, you never know what could be lurking behind those LOLs.
However, I was forced to get chatty after starting OldCatsRule. One of the first people who reached out to me online was the founder of this blog. After realizing that we both lived in the same city, she suggested meeting.
After 6 months of unemployment, most of it spent chain-smoking in a ratty bathrobe, I agreed — if only to get out of the apartment.
Flash forward to a quasi-upscale bar in New York City where the waitress admitted total ignorance of wine but the atmosphere was soothing.
Within the first 5 minutes I was shocked: T____ was nice, funny and those earlier e-mails nudged us past the awkward “getting-to-know-you” blather. We’ve both been buffeted around by the economy, both hoping for a break that would mean more time in the world of the working, less time acquiring a major case of carpal tunnel syndrome while soap operas blared in the background.
Sure, there was a mutual love of cats but that can only take you so far. The intangible stuff – the “vibe,” if you will, took this odd meet-up from a good cocktail party tale to the possibility of a new real-life friendship.
We joked about the apparent blind date stumbling along at the neighboring table and the silly waitress. Two hours later, it was time to go.
Our meeting proved the power of the Internet is how it can make a difference after you log off.
No app can top the human connection.
Gina K. Callaghan, a veteran online editor and producer who started OldCatsRule in 2009. Her professional goal is to leverage her experience as an editorial manager into a career in online marketing or public relations.