How do we get past that awkward moment when social media life meets real life?

That moment when social media life meets real life.  Awkward or not?

How do we get past the awkward moment when social media life meets real life?

Last week, I had a reader confess that we go to the same church, but she hadn’t introduced herself because it felt a little weird, almost like she had been spying on me.

As she stated, “In the world of technology it’s hard to know how to navigate appropriate social behavior.”  I didn’t blame her one bit.  That situation has “awkward” written all over it.  I asked her to introduce herself anyways.  

Turns out, the awkwardness was minimal, she seems super sweet, and we have plans to chat over coffee soon.

But the situation got me thinking.  When is the transition awkward, and when is it not?

It’s one thing to meet someone you don’t “know” very well, but what about that person you’ve been following for years?

It’s weird, isn’t it?  Especially if their posts are at all vulnerable.  What do you do?  Do you pretend like you don’t know anything about them?  Do you act like you know everything about them (hint: you don’t know everything about them).  Where does your relationship begin?

And how about as a blogger?  What do you do when you meet someone who has been reading your words for years?  Do you assume they know nothing about you and start from scratch, like a real life friendship?  Or do you assume they’ve read everything you’ve ever written (hint: they haven’t read everything you’ve written).

And let’s be real here, we look different in real life than in our highlight reel, so there is vanity to worry about.  

Which is the more awkward side to be on?  For me it’s being the reader, hands down.  I just don’t know where to start.  There are a few people that would cause me to stutter in their presence.  Not because they are any kind of superstar, but because I know too much about them without really knowing them at all.

Instagram is another weird world.  Have you ever met someone from Instagram in real life?  I’ve found the best way to get through that awkwardness is to meet it head on, especially if you run in the same circles.  There is nothing worse than chatting it up on Instagram and then being too shy to speak in real life.

(Not that I’ve done that or anything).
(I totally have).
(Shout-out to my now real-life friend Nathan for breaking through that IG-only barrier).

As our world continues to shrink, and our social circles continue to widen, I wonder more and more about how to navigate these sometimes awkward social situations.

How about you?  Have you ever met a “blogging personality” in real life?  What was it like?  Where did you start?  Have you ever been the blogger who meets someone who has been following your social media accounts for years?  Did you feel awkward or ok?

Am I the only one who feels awkward about all of this?  (hint: I hope you say no).


For the record, everyone in the photo at the top was lovely and there was very little awkwardness.  Raechel and I even had a conversation about this very topic when we met at Blissdom (remember that, Raechel?)


  • mary fran | frannycakes August 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Gah! I know the feeling all too well! I felt that way when I had a chance to meet Joy from Joy the Baker and I even feel that way still with some of the great friends I have made from blogging. I almost feel disingenuous in a way. I know I only know part of them, and I want them to love the part of me that they meet because I have imagined that we will become best friends…

    For me it is even weirder, I know I write vulnerable things on my blog because I don’t know how to talk about them until I have written the thoughts out. And then I feel strange talking about something I wrote, usually because my mom calls and wants to talk about it…

  • Lori Kasbeer August 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I have had the opportunity, on two occasions (well actually three, one of them being my future Pastor’s wife), to meet bloggers in real life. Every time it has become a blessing and adds depth to your relationship online.

    (this does not include authors I have meet in person, which have been a handful).

    I always encourage stepping out of the comfort zone and MIL. 🙂

  • Danica @ It's Progression August 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I’m going to the Healthy Living Summit next month, and it’ll be my first ever blogging or healthy living conference. What you wrote here is exactly how I feel about meeting all of these wonderful women who I only *know* online – it makes me anxious!

  • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy August 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    So many good points! I’ve meet two bloggers in real life and didn’t think it was too awkward…but now I’m second guessing myself :)! I’m a hugger rather than a hand shaker, which might be awkward for some people?

    It is strange, you know so much, yet you don’t know everything, and you’re really only meeting for the first time! It’s kind of nerve-wracking, but so exciting too!

  • Kate @ Indulgent Wellness August 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I worked for a client at the BlogHer Expo a few years back and I had a geek-out moment when one of my favorite bloggers walked by. It totally took me off guard when I yelped her name – like it just slipped right out of my mouth! Thankfully she took it in stride and (I think) I recovered a little of my composure to act like an adult and not a tween boy band fan!

  • Kacia August 23, 2013 at 5:22 am

    I love everything about this post! I’m totally your stalker 🙂 And so happy you weren’t COMPLETELY freaked out when we met at Blissdom! 😉 xoxo!

    • inspiredrd August 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Wait, I thought I was stalking YOU!? 🙂

  • Cassie August 23, 2013 at 6:20 am

    I’ve met a few blogger friends, and just like with anyone in “real” life, sometimes it’s super awkward, and sometimes it isn’t. But it’s definitely a weird landscape to traverse when you know that this person sitting across from you knows SO much about you (and vice versa).

    For a lot of bloggers, I think it’s doubly weird because I think a lot of us (me!), by nature, have more introverted personalities—which is why we might thrive in an area like blogs where we get a chance to shape and sculpt our words, but maybe aren’t so comfortable face-to-face. I’m headed to HLS next month, and I’m kinda terrified of everyone seeing how crazy awkward I am! Ha!

  • Gluten Dude August 23, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Like most bloggers, I probably come across more confident online than I am in person. I am meeting a number of my fellow gluten free bloggers in a few weeks and I’m already wondering if they have certain expectations of what I will be like “in real life” and if I will meet their expectations.

    • inspiredrd August 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Exactly! I am an online extrovert and real-life introvert. I always wonder how I match up to expectations.

  • Sandy@ReluctantEntertainer August 23, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I love meeting new bloggers and new people. I think it’s all about personality. Last night at a dinner/auction in town I saw next to a person who said, “I follow you on Instagram.” Ha Ha. It was a little awkward for a few minutes, then I just loved her like a sister. I started asking her questions about HER life. Great post, Alysa!

  • Corinne August 23, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Love this post! I definitely know the feeling of meeting someone and being like, “I’ve never met you, but I know you!” fortunately, or unfortunately (depending on how you look it), I usually make some comment like, “I’ve never met you, but man do I feel like I know you!” I then start laughing and the ice is broken. I love love love just being dead-on open and zapping the awkward as fast as I can. I think it’s so fun to finally meet in person! And that got me thinking…have I met you in person? LOL And I think the answer is NO…But, I feel like I have;) The lines between virtual and real start to blurr….which may mean I have a social media problem–ha! Loooovee this post;) xxo corinne

    • inspiredrd August 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Hahaha! We have never met but we NEED to!