In this world of Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, I have a solid network of friends: My online friends, and my real life friends. My real life friends are the people I met in school. We go out for drinks and go dancing and moan about our lives together. My online friends discuss the Leafs and CFL football with me and like all my photos on Instagram.
Twenty years ago, I was heavily into Livejournal (oh my god, was that really 20 years ago??? I feel so old!). I made six really close friends who, after the death of LJ, followed me to my various online social networks and we’ve stayed friends ever since. They almost know me better than my current IRL friends, because they were there with me through school, bad boyfriends, and work dramas.
Last weekend I was shopping with my mom and we decided to stop into Taco Bell for some grub. I walk right in and stopped dead in my tracks. Sitting inside was one of my old LJ friends! I now have her on Facebook and Instagram, where she likes all my photos and shares all my memes. I had never met her IRL before, and she doesn’t live in my area, so it was quite a surprise. I was hit with this confusion: do I go and say hi to her? Will she even recognize me from my selfies? She was with her family, and I was like, do they know how active she is online, or does she hide her online identity from them the way I hide mine?
Thankfully, as I was having a crisis, she called out my name and waved me over. We had tacos together and caught up. Yes, it was totally awkward. But it was still a pretty cool experience. I felt like I was meeting a celebrity. This was a person who I only knew through Instagram selfies and Facebook rants, and now I was meeting her in person and she was the exact same person online. Even weirder, she was with her husband and two children, and I felt like I knew them as well, because she posts so many pictures of them.
It’s definitely a small world. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me, either. Still, it was pretty cool and I’m glad I got to meet her. And it’s proof that Taco Bell brings everyone together.