This post is part of a current Tiger Print series about Social Media and its benefits.

The other night I sat at a restaurant table deep in friendly conversation. At one point I mentally stepped back and realized the entire experience was thanks to social media. The people I was surrounded by were fellow Boston-based bloggers and their significant others. We met thanks to Twitter and blogging. We picked the location thanks to Yelp reviews about the amazing pancakes you could get at all hours of the day.

If you were sitting in the restaurant at another table you might have guessed that we were all college buddies. Conversation flowed easily. Laughter was frequent. Smiles abounded. This was a relationship forged through social media and then solidified through a couple random meet-ups like this one.

For me, and anyone entrenched in social media, this is not a rare occurrence. In all honesty I would say I have a number of friends thanks to social media. These are friends I have not necessarily met in person. They are people I would not have ever been in touch with if social media didn’t exist. (pic from TheOtherSideMag)

I have a freelance friend. We met thanks to Twitter. Tweets to each other turned into a project we worked on together; me from the Midwest, she from the SouthEast. We have never spoken on the phone or met in person. But we exchange emails about gigs we landed, freelance trouble we’ve run into and new projects we are pursuing. I’m sure if I made it to her hometown we’d go out for drinks and talk for hours.

As I write this post, I’m sitting here realizing that a large number of my current close friends are people who I met thanks to blogging or other social media outlets. There’s the beauty writer who moved to my town and sent a daring email asking me to get together for coffee. We don’t go more than a couple weeks without getting together now. There’s the fashion blogger who I have exchanged tweets and emails with who then connected me with various beauty companies to work with on my blog.

Last week I spoke on a panel at a blogger conference with two other women I had never met before. But before we ever met we knew each other. There were tweets and blog comments back and forth. There were a few emails exchanged to discuss our topic of conversation and the outfits we would wear.

All of this and more is thanks to my presence on social media. And looking at the friends I have – both the ones I’ve connected with offline and the ones I still only know thanks to a computer screen – I feel so lucky to have these wonderful people as part of my life.

Katie Hinderer

Katie Hinderer is a freelance writer and social media enthusiast. She holds a degree in Journalism from Marquette University. Over the years she has transitioned from traditional publishing...