November 5, 2011

If You Saw a Blogger Out and About, Would You Say Hi?

A couple of weeks ago, Elizabeth was invited to a birthday party at someone's house, and it turned out to be one of those ENORMOUS parties where not only the whole class but also the whole neighborhood and the whole extended family were invited, and where most of the adults stayed because they were friends too. I'd been thinking I would leave and come back after the party, but it was clear I needed to stay: there were over a hundred people there, and people were even having trouble keeping track of their OWN kids, let alone someone else's.

I suffered, but I survived. It was three hours of hanging around with people I didn't know but who knew each other, and I'd say it was exactly as character-building as you'd expect for an introvert. And yet even repeated exposures to such experiences are not changing me into a comfortable and eager social person, despite our culture's unquenchable belief in the idea that exposure = total extinction---and related belief that such things REQUIRE extinction, as if being social and outgoing is the Right Way and being otherwise is Wrong. (BE YOURSELF, unless you're not social, outgoing, beautiful, calm, thin, confident, free of interesting neuroses, and in the top 1% of careers! In which case you should be someone else!) At best I'd say that for me, exposure seems to result in the gradual development of more sophisticated coping mechanisms.

ANYWAY. My point. When I was at this party with so many people, I saw a LOT of women who looked Kind Of Familiar. And it seemed to me that some of them were finding ME Kind Of Familiar, too. And although the most likely explanation is that we've just seen each other in other large groups of parents, it occurred to me that it would not be SO bizarre to run into another blogger at something like this.

And so this is what I was wondering: if YOU recognized a blogger at something like this, or perhaps out shopping at Target, would you say something? I THINK I would, but I'm not sure. It would depend on so many things: How well do I know the blogger? Like, would it soon emerge embarrassingly that I barely skim her blog, or do I read her so carefully I know her pets' names and the name of the paint color she used in her dining room? Do THEY know ME? Like, do we read each other's blogs, or do I just read hers? Do I feel like either of us would be blowing our cover by introducing ourselves? How sure am I that that is indeed her?

What about you? If you saw a blogger out and about, would you say hi? If someone recognized you, would you want them to say hi? HAVE you ever seen a blogger out and about?

95 comments:

HereWeGoAJen said...

I would, if I saw someone that I was pretty sure about, as long as we knew each other on some kind of level. But I live in the middle of nowhere, so I never see anyone. :)

However, having just met a whole bunch of bloggers in person, I can say that not many people look enough like their pictures to be that sure, since we don't tend to post a lot of pictures of ourselves. I'd probably see someone and think "hmm, she looks kind of like that blogger."

Mrs. Irritation said...

I think I would, yes, depending on how well I "knew" her. If it was someone I read religiously, definitely. If I was just a quick skimmer now and then, probably not, for fear of making an ass of myself.

Since you have such a large following, let me ask YOU - would you like to be approached if one of us recognized you at Target? Target, btw, is my dream location of running into you because you always find such great bargains. If I run into you at Target, you've gotten yourself a shopping buddy b/c I'm going with you, like it or not!

Jana said...

I live not only in the same town, but the same (albeit, huge and master-planned) neighborhood, as The Bloggess. I've never run into her anywhere, but I've always wondered what I'd do if I did. I don't want to seem all stalker-y, but I'd have to say something, you know?

Barb @ getupandplay said...

It definitely depends on the blogger. I feel like I know you well enough from being a long time reader that I would definitely say hi to you if I saw you. I probably wouldn't be able to help myself! But I'd probably also be nervous and sweaty as I did so.

There are some bloggers that live where I live that I have become friends? (seems like too strong a word, more like warm acquaintances) with just from saying hello to them when I run into them, including one who is fairly famous.

Then again, Heather Armstrong lives in my neighborhood (from dooce.com) and I have never gotten up the guts to say hello.

Anna said...

I would say hi to YOU; I'm not sure in general.... I guess it would depend on how perky I feel and how much I liked her blog. Someone recognized me once and I LOVED it and felt all Doocishly fabulous, so that makes me sort of lean towards doing it. Cool question!

Stimey said...

First, kudos to you for making it through the party. That set up where you don't know anyone but everyone else knows each other is the worst.

Second, this post makes me a little nervous, like, I wonder if people have recognized me and not said hello and I was doing something embarrassing like yelling at my kids or buying an entire cake and a fork.

I think it depends on the blogger and relationship whether I would say something, although I already know a lot of the bloggers in my area. I've had a few people recognize me and it was cool to talk to them.

If you say hello to someone that you recognize, I guess unless you're really famous and tired of people talking to you all the time, it's probably nice to get that real life affirmation that people are reading you or noticing you.

Slauditory said...

I probably would. Everybody likes to be recognized for what they do!

One time, I freaked out with joy because a local newspaper columnist came into the shop where I worked at the time. He totally made fun of my overreaction. So much embarrassment.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

We were just in a similar situation, thinking the boys could be dropped off at a kids Halloween party but it turned out to be the Mother of All Halloween parties, with a buffet, a bonfire & a dance floor. Must have been 40 adults & 50 kids there & we only knew the hostess, though the boys knew half the kids. So DH & I stuck around & coped by listening intently to people & nodding, occasionally adding a 'oh yes?'. I've found that just by being a receptive audience I am 'being social' without actually ever having to speak. People really appreciate a good listener, since most social people can't wait to share their own tales & leap into the middle of the conversation.
If I read the blogger regularly I would say hi, if it was someone I just recognized from what I call 'social media overlap' seeing them here & there online, occasionally visiting their blog for some specific reason, then I probably wouldn't.
I have mixed emotions about people I know in real life saying to me that they read my blog. On the one hand "yay! they read my blog! I'm sure they are thinking of the great funny stuff I wrote!" on the other hand "OMG! they read my blog, what terrible things I have written are they right now recalling?"
I'm pretty much the only adult blogger in a 40 mile radius so the odds of my recognizing or being recognized are slim.

cakeburnette said...

I would if I saw you, The Bloggess, Temerity Jane, or Suzanne from "Behbeh Blog"--oh, and also Dooce. Probably not anyone else, although I do read quite a few more daily.

Tara said...

I think I would. If it was YOU? Definitely. :)

Bailey said...

I once saw Asha Dornfest and her two kids in the cafeteria at Ikea, and I (uh, how do you conjugate squee?) finally screwed up my courage enough to say hi. I tried to keep it short and normal, "Hi, nice to meet you, I'm a big fan of ParentHacks and your writing, goodbye."

After I left I realized, there isn't a picture of her on ParentHacks. I also knew her from the early Momversation videos, but I didn't TELL HER THAT. I spent days hoping she wasn't thinking I was a crazy stalker lady.

Nik-Nak said...

If it were you I saw out I'd be all over that (while trying not to make an ass of myself). If it were someone I didn't read as much I probably wouldn't.
I, on the other hand, would love to be recognized but it might be awkward as I am a closet blogger and more than likely my family would be standing right beside me.

Ann Wyse said...

I'm pretty sure I would not introduce myself - but I might feel more inspired to attempt to chat with someone I *thought* was a blogger I knew. And then MAYBE I would say something.

Maybe this means I'm a huge introvert?

Also, I always wonder about the recognition thing - do I want recognition for blogging about my kids? Or other things? Or just - no, no recognition for this, please.

I find recognition to be a concept often at odds with motherhood. And I'm not sure motherhood is very separate from my bloggerhood.

Obviously, I'm somewhat confused by the whole thing.

Shalini said...

I think I would only say hello if it was someone who I "knew" on some level--like we tweeted back and forth a little, or she had commented on my blog, even if it was only once, or emailed me back, etc. There are bloggers who I follow who do not ever, ever respond to tweets and who never visit my blog, which is of course alright and perfectly normal.. BUT, I don't think I would say hello because WHO KNOWS what those people think of me? "Oh, that annoying lady who thinks she's funny but she's SO NOT." I'm sure they don't think this, but I'm not a gambler.

Melissa Haworth said...

I've only had one for sure blogger sighting--you remember Tending Violet from babyzone (or some such site?). Recognized the family from the kid and no, I did not say hi. They were walking by my both at a craft fair and i would have had to flag them down.

Gail said...

I want to say that I would trip over myself to say 'Hello' if I saw you at Target. But, I would probably have my own social anxiety thing going on, and I wouldn't want to disturb you while you were doing your own thing. Then I'd miss out, and regret that, because you are the shiz-nik.

Nicole said...

I don't have a huge blog following, but I do post quite a few pictures. I got an email from someone who said she saw me at the local outdoor pool with my kids, and she wanted to say hi but I was on my way out and she was on her way in. I would have welcomed her greeting, but I found it a little strange, to be honest. Even though I'm fairly social and would probably say hi to a blogger I recognized. If I saw YOU, I would most definitely say hi.

L said...

Oh my god. I was running a marathon and recognized Ashley from ourlittleapartment.com and I was so pumped and screamed "I love your blog!!" So I would totally say hi but not necessarily expect we'd then have an in depth conversation.

Also, there is a Dave Matthews lyric that says 'sometimes it's easy to be myself, sometimes it's better to be somebody else' on the song so much to say. I believe you've captured a similar sentiment here. Enjoyable post!

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

I would probably say hi, just wanted to let you know I love your blog, that was a great post on X....kind of like if I saw Beyonce in Target I'd be all, hey, I love your music, kthanxbye. I'd be too nervous to have an entire conversation, and I'd hate to be the weirdo who bothered them. But I think even famous people would like to hear that people like their work. Would you want fans to approach you in Target if they recognized you?

Doxie said...

If I saw you, I would certainly say Hi and tell you how much I look forward to checking your blog for a new post each day...I think it would be fun to spend an afternoon at a park.. your kids playing with my grandchildren...and you, me and my daughter sitting comfortably with some cold iced tea, watching the kids and just talking.

Bethany said...

If I saw you and recognized you, I'd aay hi and I'd also say thanks for letting me write in about my Elsa Catherine (vs. Eliza vs. Elisa vs. Elissa vs. Elise) and my Daniel Henry, (Seventh generation namesake that we kept, though I still regret it!).

My photo is from five years ago, so I look a little different and would be FLATTERED if someone recognized me and said hi.

I really like the part about be yourself except don't be, be like the beautiful glitterati of the world!

Siera said...

I'd say Hi but wouldn't expect the blogger to fall over themselves meeting me. And since I am anonymous I wouldn't expect anyone to know it's me.

Misty said...

Erm. Maybe.

Depends. Like, I might get all teary from the stress of seeing someone that I hadn't mentally prepared to meet. So unbearable excited and so unbelievably scared at the same time. So I would probably hide and make casual eye contact to see if they recognized ME. If they approached ME first, then I would (try) to act like a normal person. But if they didn't, I might muster up the courage to write them an email later saying, "Hey, did you happen to go to Target this morning? Because, if not, I saw your doppelganger in the Dollar Aisle!" And then I would delete it because I am pretty sure it could be used as evidence in a court of law for a stalking charge.

And then I would hate myself for being such a scaredy-britches.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I've been recognized while out and about -- I love it when people stop to say hello. I also would not have any reserve about saying hello to someone if I recognized them.

If someone is taking the time to write on what is essentially a public forum, I would think that odd that they wouldn't want someone to say hello to them. *shrugs*

fairydogmother said...

I actually know the answer to this one & it is that I would like to think I would say hi, but probably wouldn't. Inactively have seen bloggers out and about twice. Once it was a blogger I only sometimes read & don't even know if I ever have commented. She was with her husband & dog walking past on the sidewalk while we had just gotten in the car & were about to leave. So unless it was a close friend I hadn't seen in forever, jumping out of the car to say hello would be weird, right? Not to mention would require a total personality transplant. The other time was at a super crowded music festival where my friend & I were fighting to make our way one direction, and Blogger-I-recognized-and normally-would-have-introduced-my-real-self-to-and-said-hello was on the other side of the crowded pathway trying to make her way in the opposite direction, most likely with a friend or two as well.

fairydogmother said...

Ha, super helpful auto correct there: Inactively = I've actually

Lizzie said...

That's how I met Mighty Maggie Cheung, um almost four years ago now? I recognized her from her Parenting.com photo and went up and introduced myself and after the super awkward "I'd introduce my family but you already know them better than most people..." she's one of my best, closest friends and my son's godmother. Happy ending.

beyond said...

a few months ago, i saw finslippy and mrs. kennedy on the street in manhattan. i didn't stop them to gush, but maybe i should have. (it happened so fast, i hesitated and they were gone. running after them would have been weird.) but in a party situation i probably would have introduced myself. i'm definitely more of an introvert as well, and always have to remind myself that many other people are on the shy side at parties where they don't know anyone, too.

Lynn said...

This happened to me once and I did stop her and say hello. The key thing is that I was sure she also knew who I was - she had linked to a recipe of mine just a day or two before - so it was more in the way of "introducing myself" than "total gushing fan encounter." But I am also a big fan of complimenting perfect strangers - I have been known to tell ladies at the grocery store that I love their shoes or coat - so I'd probably do it.

Once I was at a conference and someone came up to me to ask if I was turtlehead, and I was SO excited and flattered. So definitely worth it!

d e v a n said...

Only if I was REALLY REALLY REALLY sure it was someone I knew. I would have a hard time with it, even then. So... chances are good it's not going to happen.

Suzanne said...

Oh @cakeburnette, you just MADE MY DAY. I can only dream of running into you some time so I can hug your face.

I have only even run into bloggers I know at blogging conferences, where it is totally normal to say "Hello, I stalk you on the internet". I think in Real Life I would be too afraid of being WRONG - I am truly terrible at faces (especially when those faces look quite different in person because they haven't been photo shopped or taken from only the most flattering angles) - to actually say anything. Although if anyone in Real Life MENTIONS blogging I jump all over the chance to find out what their blog is called so we can become internet friends.

That is...kind of strangely backwards.

Lawyerish said...

I would say hi to a blogger if I felt sure of who it was. I think I'd say something groundbreaking like, hey! I read your blog! And then try to follow up with something specific about a post or common interest/experience. Although I don't know if I would say hi to someone if I thought they might not be nice in person, based on reputation or whatever.

I had someone comment once that they had seen me on the street and I wished they had said hello!

DomestiKook said...

I've never met another blogger while out and about. I don't thinkI would say hi unless it was you or the bloggess,and I would do that very carefully, like petting a shy rabbit because I know new people and social situations freak you both out.

G said...

I'm like Suzanne, in that I wouldn't say something for fear of being wrong. I just know the earth would refuse to swallow me whole, if that happened, so I'd have to stand there stuttering that they look just like this person I...don't actually know, but...have seen on the internet. Cringe.

My own blog is tiny enough -- and anonymous enough -- that someone identifying me in public as it's author would cause immediate panic.

distracted by genius said...

I've had this happen twice! I always think I'll be the kind of person to say hi- partly because I usually do when I see someone I recognize. However, when I saw Rhi in Pink, it was from a distance at Dooce's reading and it would have been a huge production to wind my way thru the crowd to say hello and then find my way back to my seat (and friends). I recognized a blogger at a kids' music event last winter and I wanted to say hi, but couldn't catch her eye (she was very busy chasing her two little boys)- and I felt shy...

StephLove said...

Honestly I think I'd spend so much time second-guessing myself "Is that her? Really? No, it isn't. Well, maybe. But if it is, would she want to talk to me?" until the blogger went on her merry way and I'd never say anything.

Magic27 said...

As someone so shy and socially awkward that I rarely even go up to people I ACTUALLY know, I'd be unlikely to approach a blogger, particularly one I enjoy reading. And then I'd spend the next forever cursing myself for being so pathetic.
But it's pretty much a moot point to be honest as I only know of one person here in my city in France who blogs (and I know him personally anyway) and none of my favourite bloggers (including YOU, dear Swistle) are likely to be wandering around here...

Nellyru said...

I would not. Mostly because a.) I am the most introverted person I know, so saying hi to another introvert=twice the awkward and b.) I don't blog so I feel like it's weird to try to be chummy with someone that, while I know intimate details about them, doesn't know diddly about me. I only read a few blogs and feel really fond of all of you, but in a celebrity kind of way. :) I suppose I could comment more often but it's usually already been said 9354 times by the time I'd say it.

Alicia said...

I love the first two paragraphs of this post SO MUCH.

Depends on how well I "know" her, how excited I am, in what mood I am ("you will regret it if you don't say something" and "I'm so bad at this" are the two major contenders).

Swistle said...

HereWeGoAJen- Yeah, I think I'd be more likely to recognize a blogger's CHILD!

Swistle said...

Mrs. Irritation- I don't even KNOW! I'd THINK I WOULD want someone to, and in fact I think I'd be THRILLED. But I can also so vividly imagine flubbing it all up!

Swistle said...

Melissa Haworth- OMG YOU SAW JOYCE?????

Swistle said...

Lisa @ Trapped- I THINK I would! Ever since someone mentioned they DID see me going out of a bathroom at Target, I've felt this little THRILL of the possibility of running into someone "from the computer"!

Swistle said...

Oh, Misty. You and I have such similar BRAINS.

I did this EXACT THING a few months ago, when I thought I saw a blogger I know. I didn't go over to her (although it was partly because I was thinking it COULDN'T be her, because she doesn't live near me and hadn't mentioned a trip), but later I emailed her and asked if she'd been in my area because I'd seen someone who looked just like her ha ha ha please don't think I'm weird.

Elsha said...

It would definitely depend on how sure I was that it was who I thought it was. Also, I probably wouldn't introduce myself to someone if I don't comment on their blog. Since my name is unusual, I think people would recognize it from comments even if they don't also read me. (People did at the blathering at least. Which by the way, you should have come to-- you were SO many peoples "blog I always read" including mine.)

Tamara said...

I saw Pamie of Pamie.com out and about and I was going to say something to her, but she was walking by and with her friends who I didn't recognize as bloggers, so I didn't. Because I thought it would be weird to call out from my table, and be all "Hey Pamie!" And then be like, "Have a nice day!" But if I saw a blogger in a social situation, I totally would say something. I think.

Gwen said...

I've only met one blogger in person and it was right after we moved to Virginia. I did say hi, but she was sitting next to us in church. The thing is, I didn't recognize her at all, I only recognized her son! It was amazing how much shorter and heavier she was in real life than the pictures she posts on her blog.

However, would I do it again? I'm not sure, maybe if it was someone whose blog I really adored, but most likely not someone I casually read.

Slim said...

Like everyone else, I would if it were Swistle, sr the authors of any of the other blogs I comment on regularly, because I feel like I know them well enough to like them and want to say thanks for writing something I love to read.

The only person around here whose path I might actually cross is a blogger whose commenting system requires that you have an OpenID or LiveJournal or whatever identity. So if I saw her, I would feel weird saying Hello.

Lara said...

Like others have said, I think it would depend. If I saw you or someone I feel like I chat with somewhat regularly on twitter, etc, yes, for sure I'd say hi. If it was someone I never interact with? Probably not. Because I'd feel like they were doing that whole "Aannnnd you are...?" thing.

I've only run into one blogger around here - it was during the Olympics and there was an event in our area (the torch relay was coming through our neck of the woods). We had chatted a little on twitter "I'm going to be there, are you going to be there? Ok, if I see you I'll say hello" type thing. So I saw her and I said hello and felt a bit awk but, she was very nice - oh this was Kristin from Tall & Lucky/Better Now. Man, she's so pretty.

ALSO, I think I'd be a bit leery of saying "HI I LOVE YOUR BLOG OMG" if the person was with someone else - some people do still keep their blogging life under wraps and I'd hate to be the one to blow their cover in front of a work colleague or their MOM or something, you know?

Which is funny, because when I met Kristin I was with a friend of mine who has nothing to do with the online world at all and she was all "I don't get it. You know her HOW? You've talked to her and knew she'd be here, but you've never met her, WHAT?"

For myself, I don't really blow but if someone recognized me from my twitter picture or something, I'd be OK with it, totally. Totally.

Lara said...

Ack. BLOG. I don't really BLOG. Not blow. GOD.

fairydogmother said...

Um, I don't mean to be rude or anything, but that comment about how the blogger looked so different in person really made me cringe. And pretty much guarantee that many of us are now hoping to never be recognized in real life. I really don't think it was meant how it was said, but still. I never post photos of my face on my blog so I'd have to be out & about with the dog to be recognized, which pretty much means I'd be one of two places: the dog park with jeans and multiple layers of shirts, hoodies, etc just thrown on & probably no shower since my hair takes forever to dry, or my favorite coffee shop letting the boy practice his in public manners. Either place pretty much guarantees that it would be fairly early in the day & I'm likely to not yet be fully caffeinated, so I already would be prone to thinking I look & feel like less than the best version of myself.

Mrs. Irritation said...

You've clearly hit on a hot topic! Reading thru the responses brings up another question for me -

Seems like a lot of people are saying "Not likely, unless it was YOU, Swistle, I'd totally say hi if it was you." How does that make you feel? Is it awesome to know that even in all your famous-ness, you're still approachable to the masses? Because like it or not, you ARE famous, yet not in a Dooce-y way. Which, as someone who used to like Dooce way back when but can no longer stand to read her without wanting to vomit, I think is a huge compliment.

Swistle said...

Mrs. Irritation- It DOES make me happy! (Also, I'd totally approach YOU, too!)

Hilarity in Shoes said...

I would totally say hi. Though as I play that out in my head, I realize that if I ever saw the famous blogger who lives near me--Amalah--I would probably just excitedly text my sister, because what would I say? "I read your blog and I want to hold Ike"? She probably gets that ten times a day, and also I would have to casually say that I blog too and she would look at me with pity and our nascent best friendship would die right there, and that would be sad.

There is another blogger I see around who I know reads my blog sometimes but I don't think we would really like each other so I don't say hello.

No one is likely to recognize me since I'm anonymous. Also, I live in fear that if my readers DID meet me, they would instantly be like, well, that explains why she's single, and I'd have to see that happen on their faces and right now I can only afford one therapy session a week, so...

sooboo said...

I also saw Pamie.con at a concert awhile back (girl gets around) and said "hi" and we talked for a bit. She was cool about it and I think I didn't come across as weird or overly familiar. Most bloggers don't get recognized that much, so I would imagine they like it when it happens.

I hate feeling like I'm bothering people who must get bothered a lot. A couple of weeks ago my husband dragged Sarah Silverman over to say hello to me like I was some important person she needed to meet or something. I'm now typing this with ghost fingers because I actually did die right there of embarrassment.

Cayt said...

I have been in the position where I saw someone in the street that I recognised from the internet, but it's more that we're both members of a forum with 7000 people on it, and I wasn't sure it was her, so I didn't say anything. I did message her later, though, and ask was she in that city on that day, and she sent a message back saying I should have stopped her and let's do coffee sometime. That was nice. I should message her and see when she wants to do coffee.

If it were you, Swistle, I think I would go over, but I would be HORRIBLY AWKWARD and probably embarrass myself totally and then you'd - I don't even know. It would be excruciating. But I like you, so I'd do it anyway. Most of the bloggers I read, I'm not sure I'd recognise them. I'd say hi to Marie Green, and DoingMyBest, if I thought I'd recognise them. Pretty much all of the rest, nope.

Situations like the party are why I carry a knitting project with me most of the time. At times like that, I pull out the knitting, and then it's okay that nobody is talking to me because I'm counting stitches, and clearly I'm Totally Self Sufficient and FINE.

Oh. Um. Talking of knitting, there are at least two knitwear designers whose blogs I read who live in a city about an hour on the train from me. It's also the city where Michael's parents live, so we're there fairly often. If I saw either of them, I'd be really torn, but I think I'd want to say hi. I really like both of their designs.

This comment is too long. I'm going to continue it in my blog.

AnnetteK said...

I'm pretty sure I would if only because my personality tends to be on the gushy/huggy side anyway. And then I would be mortified and regret it later. Ahem. Just ask Stimey.

Jessica said...

I came here to say pretty much what everyone else is saying (only if I was sure, only if they might know I comment, etc), but got distracted by Lara saying if it was someone you twitter chat with. Can you imagine how awkward it would be if you thought you recognized someone, but weren't sure, so you tweeted them, then they got the message and looked around for you? I feel like it would be major dorky to be sitting there as they scan the room looking for YOU.

Doing My Best said...

Aw, thanks, Cayt! You just made my day =)!
I would be delighted if someone who read my blog said hi to me in real life, but I don't know if I'd be brave enough to say hi to someone I recognized...it probably wouldn't be an issue--by the time I figured out why she looked familiar, she'd probably be gone =).

Mouse said...

Probably not, just b/c I'm terrified of stranger rejection. That's also why I read blogs (including yours) for over a year before I was brave enough to comment. I think if the blogger seems like a humble, approachable person, I might be more likely to approach her. There is a food blogger from my city who shops at the same Trader Joe's as I do. I have already decided that I wouldn't approach her because all her posts are perfectly presented, yummy dishes. People that put together intimidate me.

jen(melty) said...

If it were YOU, I would, at a party, but maybe not at Target, depends on the feeling of the encounter I guess. I saw a girl I knew from a forum at the mall once (we live near each other) but it was early on in our "relationship" and I didn't want her to think I was a total stalker, so I emailed her the next day asking if it was her, and she was surprised I didn't - but she didn't see me, so it would have been awk.. I only knew her from pictures and I never posted any pics of myself so she wouldn't have known. I would approach any of my blogger friends, but probably not "a" blogger that I'd never talked to before.. but all of you who I regularly chat w/on Twitter I'd totally stop you.

Laura Diniwilk said...

My first instinct was that I'd definitely say hi in the unlikely event that I ran into another blogger here in Ohio (I only even know one other OH blogger, and she lives 45 minutes away and doesn't post pictures). But then I got to thinking - what if the person was with friends or family or whatever and the blog was a secret and I totally outed them? That would be awkward. So now I'm glad you posted this because my game plan is to only say hi if the person is alone.

RA said...

I got recognized for the first time ever (going on 6 years of blogging here), and I was totally gobsmacked as it was happening. Granted, it was at a conference in my profession, which I talk about moderately often, and I was wearing a nametag. So I think the girl who approached me was PRETTY sure it was me, if you know what I mean. It was a lovely encounter, and I was, as I say, totally totally blown away by the whole thing.

I would probably not approach another blogger unless I was 100% sure it was the right person. If it was not, OY VEY.

Bird said...

So this has actually happened to me. I ran into Metalia at our Synagogue when she was in town for a family function. I did the akward stare for awhile until I got up the nerve to tell her I read her blog. It was a little weird since she had no idea who I am but I knew all about her but she was very nice about it and in the end I'm glad I said hi. Do wish I had been wearing a better outfit though.

Josefina said...

It would have to be one of my very favorites (I will not list, but you are one) so that I felt VERY COMPELLED, because I am pretty shy.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh lawdy. I would love to pretend that I would approach them and say hello and be cool. But I'm totally sure that I would hide and sweat and - possibly - cry.

Yes even, probably ESPECIALLY, bloggers whom I adore.

When I lived in CA, someone emailed me to say they saw me in a store and wanted to say hi and I wish they would have! How fun!

Why is it so different? I am constitutionally incapable of making the opening move. But oh so happy to be on the receiving end.

bluedaisy said...

my go to coping skill when i feel uncomfortable in those types of situations is to ask the host if they need any help. if it works, it buys me a few moments of feeling busy & can also help me meet a few of the other guests.
ANYWAY, to answer: I would approach another blogger as long as I was pretty certain that I had the right person. I'd be fine with someone approaching me (although that's very unlikely).

Emily said...

I think I would, especially if it's a blogger I really like. But I would have to recognize for sure that she was a blogger, and not just have that kinda familiar feeling.

CARRIE said...

Yes, I would say hi, and here's why:

One of my biggest beefs in life is when I am "friends" with people on Facebook who are really friends of friends and don't really know me but just like my comments on their friends updates. Anyhoo.

I have had occasions when they see me out and about and don't say anything but then say, "I saw you at Target," and it just bugs me that they didn't say hi in person because I would have liked to talk with them and actually get to know them in really real life.

Kate said...

Several years ago I was with my best friend when we saw Amalah. Amalah was with her husband and son and was very pregnant at the time, so it was easy to confirm that it was actually her. I was already a long-time reader of hers at that point, but I don't have a blog and I don't comment very often so I was not "connected" to her in any fashion. I am pretty introverted and was very reluctant to approach her. However, my best friend really urged me to go up to her and say hi (Amalah was in a very low-key, approachable situation). I am so glad that I did. It was a short, comfortable, very friendly encounter and it was really nice to meet her in person. Since then, I see her about twice a year in random places (like Target!) and I have never tried to speak to her again. For me, meeting her that one time was just a neat way to tell her how much I loved reading her blog, but I was in no way trying to create a relationship of some kind.

I have to confess that I do sometimes look for Swistle when I am at Target, even though it seems unlikely that you live in this area! Kind of strange, I guess, but it would be a thrill and I would definitely say hello! There are only a few other bloggers that I would consider approaching, since I don't really participate in the online conversation -- just the ones I have followed for many years and that seem like they would be ok being approached.

Laura said...

Off topic, but I always read your comment section (in fact, I look forward to it) because your readers are really funny and interesting. More than once, I have burst out laughing at a particular turn of phrase. Your posts always make me think. If I did see you out and about and I weren't so socially paralyzed, I would tell you thank you for taking the time to write such fantastic material.

Leslie said...

I saw someone I was SURE was a blogger at my husband's high school reunion over the summer. I approached her and introduced myself and said she looked familiar. She asked about where I went to college and we compared work histories and found nothing in common. Then I asked, "Are you a blogger?" Turns out she wasn't. I really thought she was, though!

Christina said...

I think if they were one of those magical celebrity bloggers that have been on morning shows and have book deals, then I'd be more likely to say hi b/c then I feel like it wouldn't surprise them as much or be as awkward b/c it happens to them more often.

If it was a blogger that I followed all the time and knew every detail of their life I'd probably say hi and then replay it in my head the next week, cringing about how awkward and horrible I was.

If it were a blogger that I only skimmed their blog or I had ANY DOUBT it were them, then I wouldn't say hi.

jonniker said...

I've been recognized out and about before, and I love it. I've met FRIENDS this way, and it's really enjoyable. People are usually really nice, and I feel flattered and warm and fuzzy when it happens.

So yes, if I saw a blogger out and about, I would say hi, only by applying the logic that when people do it to ME, I feel warm and fuzzy and maybe they might, too.

Heather R said...

If I saw you, I would definitely say HI. I am an extrovert so I probably couldn't stop myself from saying SOMETHING! But then afterwards I would beat myself up over everything little thing I said or did and wonder if I made a fool of myself!

Courtney said...

My gut reaction is to say that yes, I would say hi if I saw a blogger I recognized out and about, but the reality is that I HAVE indeed seen a few bloggers I've recognized and I don't end up saying hi.

Erin said...

There are only a few bloggers I think I'd be comfortable walking up to and saying hi, because I would feel all fangirl awkward around many of them (just like how I like to THINK I'd totally strike up a casual conversation with Matt Damon if I met him, when I know that really I'd just stand there like an idiot till he got too far away and then I'd kick myself).

That said, I'd be STOKED if someone recognized me and said hi. I'm a pretty small-time blogger and I get excited when someone who I don't know IRL leaves me a comment, so I'd be totally wigging (in a good way) if someone recognized me offline.

Swistle said...

fairydogmother- I know what you mean. I immediately went from "Oooo, I think it would be FUN to meet someone in real life!" to thinking "Oh. Actually, they'd probably be thinking how much fatter and worse-skinned and double-chinned I am in real life, so....maybe I'd rather not, after all."

M.Amanda said...

I would not ever approach a blogger. I am usually so very awkward/quiet in social situations that I assume 1) they won't recognize or remember me, 2) if they do, they aren't terribly eager to spend time chatting with me, 3) if they think I'd be interesting in person and engage in conversation, they'd soon regret it, and 4) they, like me, will spend the entire time wondering how stalkish/judgmental this person is and will she go home and promptly email other people who read my blog to say, "OMG, you won't believe what a weirdo she is in person," and I just want to spare both of us the agony.

Also, I recently got a lecture from my new boss at work about how I don't "get out of [my] office enough, so people think [I] don't care." It was almost an hour of how my "failure to communicate" was damaging not just to my career, but to the company. I do not interact with clients or act as a manager or have any desire to move into those positions. I was so stunned I couldn't think of one darn thing to say about how completely wrong he was, but after crying over it (a couple times), I wanted to send him an article about introversion with a note, "I may not be extroverted as you, but THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME."

Swistle said...

Oh, M.Amanda! Some people are SO DUMB!! Why is it so hard for some people to notice and understand that NOT EVERYONE IS THE SAME, and not everyone has the same strengths? There are things you're doing that HE'S not even THINKING of doing, and he sure wouldn't want to lose those! But he has no idea, because he's only focusing on his OWN strengths, and whether EVERYONE ELSE has the SAME ONES. OH, I'm SO MAD AND SAD for you!

liz said...

I would totally go up and say "Hi! I'm Liz Miller, you totally look familiar! Have I met you before!"

Because, generally, I have. But that's because I've canvassed thousands of doors.

Gwen said...

Wow. Oh my gosh, I can totally see how snarky and mean my comment was. I really didn't mean for it to come off that way, but when I read it again there really is no other way to see it.

The thing I left out of my comment and probably makes a difference is that I really didn't like her blog, it was one of those "my life is perfect and if you follow my advice then yours will be too" which always make me feel inadequate and insecure.

But generally I think we all would cut people some slack. Of course we post our best pictures just like I send out the Christmas cards where I look the best (sorry kids and husband). But if we love what they say I think it covers some of that. You know?

Swistle said...

Gwen- I would feel the SAME WAY: I am a little embarrassed, but THERE IT IS. If, for example, it was a blogger who annoyed me and who was always posting what I could tell were highly posed/edited/flattering photos of herself, I would definitely NOTE DIFFERENCES if I saw her in person. And I would note them with...some satisfaction. But you're right: I would NOT feel that way AT ALL about blogger I liked. If I noted the differences, the most I'd think would be "Just like I do with photos." (And I might even feel some happy relief, the way I do when I find out that photos of someone's clean-looking house are not representative of the way their house always is.)

Amanda said...

I think I would just say "Hi. Are you Swistle? I read your blog. I like it very much" and then die because I wouldn't know what else to say because I'm also an introvert and small talk makes me die a thousand deaths.

I can think of a few other bloggers I would maybe try to say Hi to.

I used to work in an industry in which I ran into sports celebrities A LOT and I never said a word, wouldn't go up to them ever and it drove my husband NUTS. I just thought "what would I say that they haven't heard before?" BLECH.

Nowheymama said...

I don't think I live near any bloggers I know, and I would definitely say hi if I ran into one of the Ohio/NY bloggers I do know. We even discussed getting together at one time. (Hey, what ever happened to that idea, Saly?)

ANYWAY, I think about this more when I'm on vacation. :) Yes, I'd say hi.

Pickles and Dimes said...

I swear I've seen this woman who looks exactly like Sundry multiple times (I KNOW it's not her but the resemblance is UNCANNY). If I lived in WA, I'd probably approach her and introduce myself.

I've had people I barely know in real life who read my blog start talking to me about stuff I posted, and there's always that weird moment of thinking, "How does this person know that - I barely even know them!" So that can be disconcerting. Mainly because I share stuff with strangers that I don't with people I know - weird, right?

el-e-e said...

I met Mir at a blog/book signing EVENT, where she EXPECTED to meet people who read her, and I still got tongue-tied. Something about the introduction tripped me up, because I wasn't sure if I should introduce myself with my semi-anonymous blog name, or my real name... ha ha ha and I felt so stupid even though she was perfectly lovely (and acted like she knew of my blog).

I have seen a couple of other bloggers around (possibly at that same event) but have not been brave enough to say anything. Of course, I don't comment on everyone's blogs, either. If it were someone I commented on regularly, maybe I would. I like the idea of "I feel like I know you from somewhere...?"

brzeski said...

I'm still giggling about the possibility of seeing Beyonce in Target.
Swistle, I'm sure I would scare the bejeezus out of you if I saw you (and noticed that it was you while herding children/checking shopping list/etc - I sometimes don't notice my brother-in-law in the same grocery store) because I would be SO EXCITED that I'm finally meeting my friend Swistle! Yes, after perhaps a dozen comments and a handful of emails, you and I are BFF. In my head.
The thing I always find so awkward is trying to explain a quote or something from a favorite blogger, especially one with whom I've had a little interaction - "My friend (well, that's not quite accurate)...this blogger (lord, that sounds dumb)...someone on the internet (ack)" So hard to fit these relationships into traditional categories.
I love that everyone says they would be reluctant unless it was YOU. So true.

Swistle said...

brzeski- Oh, I know: people do such a FACE if you say it's a friend from the internet!

Anonymous said...

I saw one at Ikea...and didn't say anything - it was sort of like spotting a celebrity.

The blogger - later posted about her Ikea trip!

MrsDragon said...

I would and I have! Turned out really well, since she is another local blogger and we were distant Twitter acquaintances. After I said hi, she started paying more attention to my site/etc and now I would consider us closer to friends. If that makes any sense. BIG name bloggers? I'd probably chicken out.

Becki D said...

Nope, no way! I am way too shy and all the implications you mentioned (most likely scenario: I read them like crazy, they don't know I have a blog) would be soooo awkward. In fact, the only blogger I've really ever WANTED to meet was ye olde Pioneer Woman and I think I've even changed my mind on that one. Too weird. Love my bloggers...over the Interwebs. :-)

-R- said...

I would not say anything. But later I might e-mail the person to see if it really was her.

I keep thinking I see Marie Green around town, even though she lives over an hour away from me. I always think about saying something, but never do. =)

Mommy Daisy said...

I think I would say hi to any of the bloggers that I read and comment on their blogs. I don't mind meeting new people and I am relatively outgoing.

Nowheymama- I don't know what happened to that. We need to revisit the idea. I've been thinking about it. Maybe we can work something out for next spring?

Yo-yo Mama said...

Since I'm terrible at faces, I would doubt that the person was who I thought they were (especially in a social setting).

If I were at a blogger-featured event? Certainly I would.

And since I'm an idiot when it comes to recognizing faces, you'd have to be wearing a sherbet-colored tutu for me to realize it was you.