Image [cc] Piecar

In the same conversation that Toby and I had regarding email created a way for lawyers to not talk with their clients, we also discussed how people you’ve ‘met’ via social media sometimes don’t match up to their personalities when you meed them in person. Someone that may be very extroverted on Twitter or Facebook somehow turn into a very introverted person when you meet them in person. I had something like this happen to me when I was in Los Angeles on vacation.

When I was in LA back in January, I caught a concert and loved the local band that opened up the show. The members of the band and I had a great conversation, and said to look them up on Facebook and to let them know if I ever made it back to LA. So, I went home, and had attempted to connect with the three members. I got three very distinct results:

  • Member One (One) instantly followed back and we have had informal chats from time to time since meeting in January.
  • Member Two (Two) connected a few weeks later, but has never really had any substantial interaction since.
  • Member Three (Three) never connected.

As it would turn out, I went to Los Angeles on vacation with one of my daughters and the band just happened to be playing a show. I reached out to One and said I was coming and One gave me all the details on when and where they were playing and that they were happy we were coming out. Other than posting a couple of ‘likes’ on the Facebook event page, and commenting that we were coming, I didn’t have and interaction with Two or Three.

The day of the show, we make our way to the event, an hour or more from our place in LA (which with the way the 101 works, could have simply been ten miles away.) We show up a bit early and notice that the band hasn’t arrived yet. When they do, the reaction of the members didn’t quite match up with what I expected after a long social media interaction.

  • One acted like we were strangers… eventually relenting once I stuck out my hand to re-introduce myself, but remained distant and clearly uncomfortable.
  • Two acted like we were old friends and was happy we’d made the trek out to see the band.
  • Three never connected (at least that was consistant!!)

It wasn’t the first time that I’ve met social media ‘friends’ only to find out that they had an “online personality” and then they had their real personality. I was, however, a little disappointed that someone I thought would be ‘cool’ to hang out with and talk face-to-face turned out to not really be as fun as I anticipated. On the other hand, it was ‘cool’ to interact with someone that turned out to be much more social than their social media personality. Of course, having a third participant who was consistant made this little experiment a wash.

Now that I’m back home, I noticed that things are going back to the online normal pattern. One suddenly has become social again… Two is there, but not all that interactive… and Three still hasn’t connected. It was an interesting experience. I guess I should make more of an effort to get Two to be more engaging online between now and my next LA trip. The next time I’m in LA, I’ll attempt to engage more with One and see if that brings out the online extroverted personality traits. As for Three… we’ll still probably not connect, after all, why break that consistancy?