I was in Whole Foods a couple of days ago when familiar-looking girl walked up to the deli counter and stood next to me. It took a few seconds, but I realized that the reason she looked familiar was not because I knew her, no, it was because I read her blog. Woooo, Internet + real life = awkward moment? I stood there for a minute trying to decide whether to say something to her or not. It could be interpreted as stalkerish to be all like, “Hey, I read your blog!” but if my blog had a reader I’d certainly like to know, so I decided to introduce myself.
Me: Are you Catherine?
Her: Yes [looking surprised]
Me: I read your blog! [yes, I sounded like a dumbass blurting that out, but what can you do?]
Her: Oh, hi! [looking even more surprised]
This Catherine person is of course Catherine Hart, whose awesome blog about her journey to health and fitness is linked to over in the sidebar on the right. Catherine turned out to be perfectly nice and just as lovely in person as she comes across on her blog, and after a few minutes of chatting it up about CrossFit and healthy eating I really didn’t feel too awkward at all. Catherine does CrossFit at CrossFit Central, where I trained when I was pregnant (incidentally, this is how I even found her blog in the first place, since it was linked from CrossFit Central’s site). I let her know that I find her blog really motivating, inspiring, and educational, and I think that really made her feel good! She had apparently not even been sure she had many (any?) readers at all, a sentiment that I think most bloggers can identify with.
I realized at that moment that I should have written her an email or commented on her blog months ago to let her know that what she is producing is doing someone other than her some good. I think sometimes that people are too shy about complimenting other people on substantive things. It’s easy to say, “I like your haircut,” but much harder to say, “Reading your deeply personal narrative about your struggles with your weight and with changing your bad food habits has really been meaningful and inspiring to me.” Why is that? My guess is that it makes the person giving the compliment feel vulnerable and like they might somehow embarrass the person receiving the compliment. But that is just silly. Is there someone out there who is doing something that is meaningful to you? Have you told them so? If not, do it! And if it’s someone you’ve never met, who you only “know” online, whose blog you read when you have a spare minute, even better. Make the Internet come alive for yourself, and for the people whose content you’re consuming. I swear it will make you feel so good!