You've been friends for YEARS.
She knows all your secrets, you know all of hers.
She knows when you're PMSing, you know when her husband got in trouble with his boss at work.
You've shared everything over glasses of wine and coffee, depending on the time of day.
And you've never met In Real Life.
You only picture her as an avatar, or maybe a jumpy G+ hangout or FaceTime video.
You aren't sure if her butt is as big as she claims it is, or what the back of her hair looks like.
Because you've never been in the same room together.
And this is what it's like in the online world.
I've played around on these here interwebz since the mid-1990s. We had an ISDN line in our house, and my sister and I, between the 2 of us, once racked up a $1500 ISDN bill for our parents.
And we had an online friend, Carrie.
Carrie is officially my oldest “we met online” person, and I want to say it's been more about 20 years since we first met face to face.
Now, of course, there's blogging and social media, so my online friendships have exploded. Even my local mom's group formed online, but we primarily communicate online, if just to coordinate our playdates and nights out.
Now conference season is coming, and there's a question looming over everyone's heads. It happens every time you're preparing to meet someone you've known online.
Should I hug her?
If you haven't met a number of online friends before, this might seem weird. But as someone who has met her share of (Like in the “several hundreds” range) people I consider friends, who I've met for the first time online) it's a very real thing.
Huggers and non-huggers are legitimate personality types, I'm telling you, and the big ones can be one of the most challenging places for this question to be asked, over and over and over again!
Enter my crazy brain and Busy Beaver Buttons! I had an idea, and Busy Beaver agreed to make it happen for me! I reached out to Busy Beaver for a few reasons; I love that they're locally (well, local to Chicago!) made, instead of in some factory overseas, and this blog post about their founder's very first button totally cracked me up. Also, I love companies who are on Twitter like they are, so that's a bonus and you should totally follow them. This is the kind of company I love working with, so I was thrilled when they agreed to supply my buttons!
So anyway, allow me to introduce #HugHer13!
Yes, those are what you think they are. They're buttons so you can easily let people know if you're a “Hugger” or a “Non-Hugger”
I try to make it my personal goal for the people around me to be comfortable and happy. If you need your space and don't want the squeeze attackers coming after you, I've got the button to warn them off! 🙂 It's a little 1″ round circle that you can stick on your lanyard, and since you'll be wearing that all weekend anyway, it's super convenient!
What do you have to do to get your own #HugHer13 swag? Easy! Tweet me with the hashtag and then find me at the conference! And a button shall be yours!
Me? I'm a hugger. But I'm a hugger who doesn't want to make meeting YOU an uncomfortable experience, so I'll happily shake your hand too. Or a high five. Max digs high fives these days when he first meets people, so maybe you do too? How about a Howie Mandel-style fist bump? Or a thumbs up? I'll totally throw an upthumb your way!
So those are the very complicated steps to get your own #HugHer13 swag. Tweet me. Use the hashtag. Find me. Get button. (If you happen to find me and didn't Tweet, just ask. I'll have a bag with the hashtag on it too, so if you spot that, it's probably attached to me. If it isn't attached to me, someone stole it, those bastards! Or I left it somewhere. Or someone's holding it for me.
Busy Beaver Buttons provided me with 400 custom buttons free of charge, but no other compensation was received. All opinions and hilarity in this post is 100% my own.