Today I met John Green (fishingboatproceeds) IRL for the first time. We’ve been friends for seven years, and we were business partners for four years. But with my social anxiety I haven’t made it to VidCon or LeakyCon. And with DFTBA Records being run online we never had to be in the same office together (as a side note, Hank and I met for the first time just a year ago).
But today John came over to my house for lunch (pizza, of course) and to hang out for a bit of the afternoon. We mostly sat talking about the state of online video, our favorite tv shows, the first records we ever bought, the upcoming Paper Towns movie, my upcoming album, John’s passion for soccer, my passion for old CDs, our mutual love of HGTV…
It was really nice. =)
A beautiful moment between friends, a historic moment in Nerdfighteria’s history, and a perfect example of why online and long-distance friends are no less real than “IRL” friends.
People love to mock online friendships (“URL friends”), but Alan and John are a good example of a long-lasting friendship that, until now, was never in person. Here are two people who are close enough in both their personal relationship and their business relationship that I think most onlookers, and even some friends, likely assumed they’d already met in person at least once, if not regularly. They interact regularly, they’ve grown and changed together with each other and with YouTube, and they’re both (each in their own way) founding fathers and pillars of a community that has brought people all over the world together to form bonds that will, in many cases, last a lifetime. Yet, seven years into a friendship and four years into a business partnership, they’ve only just met.
Think on that, critics of Internet friendships.
URL friends rock the freaking Casbah.
(Yeah, I’m talking about you. I hope all of you that I’m talking about can recognize that I’m talking about you, you gorgeous, wonderful, amazing people. Thank you for being such an important part of my life.)