Wordy C on Simple Reminders: Safety First and Monitor Your Mouth
I can not speak for, or make wild assumptions about the majority of on-line users because I do not know them. Some people are trustworthy and well-intentioned while others simply are not. People make up their minds daily... Minute by minute, second by second, they decide what they are going to do, who they are going to do it with, see or speak to and how they are going to say what ever it is that is on their mind.
When you are planning on creating your own version of an ActiveRain Road Trip to hook up with Rainers my advice to you is to know the person's blog. Intimately. Spend time with them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis so you can be sure that this is the virtual person you want to be brick and mortar friends with.
ActiveRain is a very unique place and the human interactions facilitated through the forums have been some of the most fascinating on-line experiences I have ever had. I am unaware of any specific incidence of violence between Rainers and will not speculate about a crime having been committed because I have read blog posts were Realtors have witnessed the arrests of other Realtors. As they are on-going investigations in progress, one would be wise not to assume people are automatically guilty. People are innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and it is very easy to get arrested. All it takes is a phone call and an accusation with another person being willing to press charges.
When dealing with both sides of the equation, you do not know what their intentions are or were. You do not know what mistakes have and have not been made. Please do not be so quick to condemn any human being because they have had the misfortune of being arrested or charged with a crime. The jury is still out and deliberations are on-going.
If you are going to make friends with a person, then make friends with them because you genuinely like them, flaws and all. Friends don't run when friends get into trouble. Friends don't run when friends get sick, divorced, destitute, or any other drama that embellishes a life. You can yell, scream, fight, love, rant, rave, cry, laugh and commiserate with a friend. When you do that enough on-line and feel such a connection or bond with them, then by all means go on your AR Road Trip and enjoy your new brick and mortar. If you can't handle the whole person when they show you who they are, don't go for something to blog about, go blog about something else and keep your car parked where ever you left it. Let people have some dignity if they mistakenly choose to tell you something they obviously should not have. These people have family and friends to. Monitor your mouth... put yourself in their shoes. Maybe they reached out to you because of who they think you are rather than what and who you really are. It's not just their life, it is also your on-line reputation at stake here.
Being a Rainer means you take the community rules with you. They don't stay on your blog post. They stay with you.
I meet Rainers all the time and rarely ever tell you guys a thing. Why? I am making real friends. I don't feel the need to prove that I have been in someone's home, hung out nor feel a need to constantly announce my hook ups. I didn't create the term as a writing tool. I simply called it what it was. There are some friends I constantly tease and we have so many people in common of course we playfully blog about getting together and our friends, family and readers all love hearing the fact that we have a wonderful time together. I threaten to invade states all the time (and frequently do - LOL) however, all people deserve the right to keep their private life private and if you receive an invitation to meet another Rainer you must always make sure it is okay for you to share with the public what you have done. Don't be quick to post pictures and blog about it. Ask ahead of time before you even meet so the person can be prepared and pick outings appropriate for mutual eye candy moments.
Never assume you have the right to simply publish what ever you want about someone else's private life. Watch your mouth. You have no idea how your mouth on your blog may affect them and their home life. If this is your friend then take care of them. If this is a budding relationship, take extra special care because it is new to you both. There is a lot neither of you know about the other. You have to be careful because you may be inadvertently blabbing someone else's secrets...
A final word to my lovely Newb Rainers: take common sense precautions and treat on-line people as you would off-line people on a first date. When meeting someone new for the first time:
1. Insist on a public meeting place like your office, Starbucks, Barnes and Nobles, a museum, the local pizza joint, etc.
2. Tell a friend or family member where you're going and who you are meeting (print their profile page out and give it to them).
3. Take your cell phone along and borrow a damn phone if you do not have one. Crap happens. My kid floats mine in the toilet all the time (LOL).
4. Consider having your entire family or a few friends accompany you. After all, you have no idea who the other person may be bringing. You may find you actually have several Rainers popping over because one person is tweeting their location (LOL). Think I am kidding? I'm not. Been there, had a blast and met a whole bunch of people I had no idea were coming over (LMAO). ;-)
5. Trust your instincts. If you really don't like their comments or writing don't feel obligated to meet with them. Just because they are flying into the area on business and need some time to kill don't let random people indiscriminately look you up. Have you heard of them before? What do you know about them? No profile picture? How do you even know it's really them? No blog posts just random commenting? You should only spend time with people you are curious about and want to really be with. 2 million plus people read this site. Do you know 2 million people? I don't. I routinely turn offers down because I have a healthy sense of self preservation (LMAO). Have I blown deals behind it? Abso-freaking-lutely. Guess what? Still alive and can sleep at night. (Okay, so I actually nap - LOL). ;-)
I have a really long list but I think you guys are starting to get the picture.
Why did I write this? Because some of the people I am mentoring have questions on how to do this and their prospective friends have issues. I have flaws and issues myself, so I think people should be given a chance to prove themselves to you and you should prove who you really are to them. Talking to someone in the middle of a divorce does not make you the other woman, it makes you the friend they are confiding in because they need a friend... If you feel like the other woman then maybe your intentions are at issue and not his.
If you are going to meet someone know why you want to meet them. You do not need to check with me to find out if a reason is okay. Thank you for placing your trust in me. Now go trust yourself. You need to be comfortable with your actions. If you are uncomfortable, then trust your instincts and hold off until you are at peace and excited about your trip. Never feel obligated. Polite can get you hurt. Say NO and mean it.
Be honest people. This is real life... not just trolling for business or playing social media games so you can lie to your friends about having a fantasy Facebook date with one of my hot Realtor girlfriends... Cyberspace is a small place. You will be found out so watch your mouth or you will trigger a response from people like me. If you read my blog then you should be well aware of the fact that I am very protective of my bay-bays. I know more than you think.
If I know something, you can bet your bottom dollar that other people know as well... Friends talk among themselves. Just sayin... Enjoy your life in the Rain and be safe. Love, C. :-)
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