Adventures on Meetup.com

So back when we first moved to Denver, I signed up for a gazillion different meetups on Meetup.com, as I figured this would be a good way to meet people and such. Not long after that came Meetup Phase #1, which consisted of going to two different hiking meetups. The first one I went to by myself.

As an aside here, I should mention that I have horrible socialization issues. I like people well enough, but I have some rather introverted tendencies. The more people I am around, the more social anxiety I have, and the more difficulty I have relaxing and actually being able to talk to them. This can be ameliorated by knowing at least a few people, or by having the people be “my type”. Not that I’m really sure what “my type” consists of, I’ve just found some people are easier to talk to then others. One reason I really liked doing Nanowrimo were the group get-togethers. For the most part, I felt pretty comfortable being a bit social with the other Nanoers.

Getting back to the subject at hand, I was really glad that the meetup was hiking – i.e. it’s sometimes hard to keep conversation going when you’re huffing your way up a giant hill. While I enjoyed myself, I didn’t feel like I “clicked” with the people there. (The fact that I am talking about “clicking” with people might just be further evidence of my introversion, as extroverts just click with people by default.) I also got the impression that the people there were a bit more into hiking that I was – I’m pretty clueless when it comes to equipment, beyond “bring a flashlight and a jacket if it gets cold” type of stuff.

Hiking meetup #2 was one Drew joined in on, where we showed up a little later then everyone else and hiked with the other stragglers. It was a similar experience to hike #1, with the bonus of getting rear-ended on the way off the mountain. Not that this was a bad thing: the $3000 from the insurance company combined with fact it only cost me $150 to order a tail-light and replace it myself was pretty nice. I can’t use my trunk at all, but the money was rather well-timed. In any case, it drove in my head a fear of driving on mountain roads when there was the possibility of snow, and we haven’t hiked in the mountains since. Still, hiking with both groups was as appropriately scenic and enjoyable as hiking is, and does have the advantage in safety in numbers (for the scaring off of mountain lions, pickpockets, etc). One of these days we might try another hiking meetup again, just to get out.

I/We’ve entered into Meetup Phase #2. We attended an Anime meetup at someone’s house last week. It was small, which made it easier, but still a bit of that awkwardness of “I don’t know any of these people!” thing, which only increases when in one of their homes. We watched a few things, some more interesting then others. The most interesting was Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, which I wouldn’t mind seeing more of at some point. There’s a larger anime meetup tonight at Red Robin, which we will hit up. I’m hoping there will be more casual anime watchers there, because at the meetup at the person’s house, I became aware of how little anime I’ve actually watched compared to these people.

That’s one reason I’m becoming wary of doing meetups, actually. Since they revolve around a particular topic, they attract strong devotees. There are many things I enjoy, but I’m not really *into* anything that strongly, not off the top of my head, at least.

This became even more apparent to me at the meetup I attended last night – the “web technologies” meetup. I went sans-Drew, and suffered some rather debilitating lack of social ability. The vast majority of things being talked about, amongst the people I was sitting near at least, went over my head. Comparisons of version control systems I’d never heard of, how nodes work in non-relational databases, etc.. I took notes, at least. Occasionally things would get mentioned that I knew about, but no one ever lingered. I did talk to some guy a bit about Drupal – I’m gonna try the Drupal meetup next as that seems like it would be useful for me. Oh, one other thing that certainly did not help my social capabilities – there were about 12 people there total, and I was the only female. I’m not really sure *why* this causes me socialization issues, but it does. I just tend to prefer mixed-gender groups.

I’ve got other groups I still haven’t tried out. Recently got removed from one Art group for non-participation. Should probably try to participate in the other Art group I’m in at some point. I’m an an Axis and Allies group for Drew’s benefit, as well as a more generic game-playing group for both our benefit, but we’ve still attended the events of neither. I should simplify my life and create the “Come hang out with me” meetup group. Too bad the website charges $$ for running groups.

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