People from older generations often cringe when I mention that I have met people through the Internet. My mother issued warnings a year or so ago when I met fellow bloggers Adam and Lauren. I didn't tell her that I LET THEM IN MY HOUSE THE VERY FIRST TIME I MET THEM.
To the fearful, I try to debunk the myth that crazies and child molesters are the only ones who lurk behind Internet personas. I have met great people through the Internet, and they are of the least craziest people I have encountered. (Crazy in a pathological sense, anyway.)
Importantly, the Internet has offered the chance to participate in communities. And I heart community. While the Internet makes it possible to build a community with people around the world, I've been more interested in participating in local online communities. Partly because then I usually get to meet people in person.
Last week, I went to an Akron blogger meet-up. I met Kyle of The Chief Source, Terra, Pho, The Boring made Dull and Psychobilly Democrat. They are all also contributors to the new Greater Akron Bloggers' Blog (GABB).
I don't blog about politics too often, but these peeps blog about politics with relish. I'm hoping to learn more and get more involved in the subject by reading their blogs. Everyone is interested in Akron, too, and we discussed the possibility of different things we could do in the area–to later blog about, of course. For instance, meeting with local developers or politicans.
It's easy to get down about Akron, but when communities like this are established, it can reinvigorate your interest and committment to it.