Last Saturday, for the first time face-to-face, I met up with a lady I have known and communicated with on a regular basis on both Instagram and Twitter for some time now.
The week before when friends and colleagues asked me what I was up to that weekend I’d say: “I am meeting an Instagram friend and her boyfriend”.
Meeting her was great and it was literally like meeting up with an old friend I keep in touch with regularly. We literally just continued the conversation where we left it on Twitter hours before. Her boyfriend was struggling to understand what we were talking about to begin with, but as any new joiner to any conversation we quickly brought him up to speed and he almost instantly became part of the conversation.
We have late lunch and a few drinks and left to go our separate ways. That evening and the day after the conversation just continued on Instagram and Twitter as before and I have no doubt that I will meet them again in the near future.
And it suddenly hit me: She is no longer “an instagram friend”. She is just a friend like any other friend I have no matter whether I originally met them during my education, on the job, in a club, wherever physical origin.
And she probably never was a channel-specific friend in the first place. We exchanged phone numbers so we can now chat across Twitter, Instagram and SMS, but it doesn’t matter. It is all still a single conversation. And it is no different when we talk in person.