Depending on your age these days, “hook up” can be a loaded term. Here is how the Urban Dictionary defines it:
”To have any form of intamicy with a member of the prefered sex that you don't consider a significant other. Usually, when said by modern youth it means to make out, and when said by people between the ages of 20 and 35 it generally means to have sex, and if a very old person says it, it probbably means to simply spend time with somebody.”
(Yes, those three mis-spellings are as they appear on the Urban Dictionary hook up page.)
But you can't argue with the definitions themselves. They are accurate. Undoubtedly, you have discerned that today I am referring to the “very old person” usage (although what you do in your spare time is up to you).
”I can only say I wish I knew everyone in this community of yours personally, Ronni. I wish we could all get together, perhaps a few at a time, and talk and talk, and talk, and then hug. We're doing the next best thing at a distance.”
This isn't the first time a reader has asked about contacting another reader. Not too long ago, Diane emailed to ask about contacting other readers:
”Just wondering if there is any way to get in touch with some of your bloggers,” she wrote. “I contribute occasionally and feel connected to this group. When I read someone is from Austin, Tx, or somewhere in Texas, I have an urge to email them to see if they want to meet for coffee. Is there a way to do that?”
There must have been something in the air because within a couple of days, several other people had made similar requests via email and in the comments.
These folks are on to something. What makes this blog as special and vibrant as it is, is the terrific group of readers – or, at least, those who comment – who carry on thoughtful, useful, informative and funny conversations below my scribblings and it makes sense to me that some would like to get to know one another.
So I have decided to do a one-time-only Great Time Goes By Hook Up. To preserve everyone's privacy, I cannot publish email addresses. In fact, I cannot even pass an email address on to another person without permission. So here is how it will go.
• Track down the most recent use of the screen name of the commenter you would like to contact. (If that person's name is a link, meaning you can click on it, it usually opens that person's blog or webpage. You can then probably skip this Hook Up and contact him or her via that page. See Jean Gogolin's link above as an example.)
If it is not a link or there is no contact information on their page, copy the commenter's screen name exactly and also note the date of the blog post below which it appears.
• Click on the “Contact” link at the top of any TGB page. An email form pre-addressed to me will open. Tell me the commenter's screen name, the date of the post on which you found it and state that you would like to contact that person.
I will then make contact and ask if he or she would allow me to pass on their email address to you.
[IMPORTANT NOTE: Understand that if you contact me for this purpose, you are giving me permission to send your screen name to the person you want to contact.]
• I will then contact the person you wish to hook up with and if he or she agrees, I will send that person's email address to you.
Three other things:
- Be patient about a reply. I have no control over how long it takes a person to answer my email.
- Please, please, please contact me only via the “Contact” link at the top of TGB pages. This is a time consuming project for me and it will move easier and faster if the initial requests arrive color-coded in my inbox as they are set up to do via that Contact link.
- The window for my receiving your requests to contact a commenter is open until 12 midnight on 31 October 2018, Halloween night. And no, this is not a trick, it's a treat.
That mostly covers it except for this: Thousands of people read this blog and it is remarkable that there are next to no trolls so it is unlikely there will be a problem. But if someone you have connected with through TGB becomes abusive or suspicious in any way, cut off communication immediately.
In fact, you might want to use a disposable email address to begin with.
As with anyone you meet online, if the friendship moves from email and/or phone to in-person, be careful before you meet, choose a public place and do not share personal information such as birthday, home address, etc. until you feel secure.
The Great Time Goes By Hook Up has been floating around in the background for a long time, maybe years. I'm happy to finally be doing it.