Meeting other bloggers is a funny thing. They may look like their profile photos or have unaccountably cut their hair since, but that’s really the only aspect of them that you’ll probably find to be in any way as you expected. Last time I met up with some other bloggers, I wasn’t familiar with their online voices, so what I noticed was more superficial. But on Saturday I met up with some of the Irish Parenting Bloggers in Dublin, and was delighted and surprised by how similar or different people can be in person when you know them best (or only) through an online medium.
In writing, you can’t tell an extrovert from an introvert. You can’t tell a Dublin accent from Cork from Texas. You might have an idea who would command the floor if a group got together in person, but you might not be right about that at all.
When it comes to socializing, having an online persona doesn’t exactly level the playing field, but it definitely changes the game. A bloggers’ meetup is a bit like a gathering of rock stars in reverse: far from looking for the limelight, many writers, by nature, tend to shy away from attention and want to deflect instead. We prefer to interact on the page, on the screen, where we have time to consider our words and where we’re never too far from the delete key.
So the fact that a bunch of us dared to meet up at all, in daylight, with laptops left at home and phones put away, is a testament to the power of our connection online. And it turned out that we had a lot to say to each other about everything that was not blogging, as well as things that might be.
Here’s everyone. From left to right at the back we have Looking for Blue Sky, Laura from My Internal World, Mind the Baby, Lauren of The Dare Project, Sadhbh from Where Wishes Come From, Caitriona from Wholesome Ireland, yours truly, and Office Mum. The front row has BlueSky’s daughter Smiley, then Lisa of Mama.ie with adorable baby, Lucy of Learner Mama, Muuka of One More Pair of Boots, and Glitter Mama Wishes.