Here are some things to keep in mind when attending tweetups. We love hearing great ideas, so share your own tips in the comments.
*Be nervous. Show up anyway.
Look, most of us met because we spend an inordinate time communicating online, whether telling dick jokes, instant messaging, or posting gratuitous self portraits. We all have some social issues and anxieties ranging from mild to moderate or more. This is okay, and it's certainly no reason to miss out on any tweetup fun. We know "be yourself" is a terrible cliche that your mom threw at you on the first day of middle school. But it was terrible because we were young and didn't know ourselves enough to be ourselves. Now that we're all grown up, "be yourself" is the way to form lasting friendships--or at the very least, to survive an evening with previously imaginary friends.
*Keep up with happenings via Twitter
Follow @chshtweetup on Twitter for last-minute announcements (including canceled, relocated, or spontaneously generated events), and ask questions and one of the CHSH organizers will get back to you as soon as we can.
*Worst Tweetup Opening Line: "You don't follow me." Runner-Up: "Why don't you follow me?"
The first rule of tweetups is not to talk about who follows you at a tweetup. This is a corollary of the "if you have to ask" rule of relationships: Don't. Chances are, most people you meet and engage in conversation at tweetups will end up following you afterward. Let the rest go, and let any friendships form organically. People have any number of reasons for why they follow (or don't), from wanting to keep things simple to already having more followers than they can keep up with to not wanting any new friends/acquaintances to just plain not wanting to follow you for whatever reason. It's individual, and it's varied, and sometimes you just have no way of knowing.
*Eat, Drink and Be Merry, Within Reason
Generally, at least one person overindulges at a tweetup. It happens, it's no big deal. Somebody usually orders some guac 'n tots or a pot roast sandwich, which is greedily and shakily consumed and we all get back to the business of making each other laugh. We're not your parents, so do whatever; just keep in mind that social awkwardness sometimes makes us drink faster and pace yourself accordingly.
*Be Open to Making New Friends
We're all guilty of falling back on familiar friendships, and there may be off-shoot gatherings of people going for coffee or sightseeing or whatever during the tweetup weekend. This is fine, of course--there's no way 150+ people can all hang out simultaneously, nor would we want to. Keep in mind that this is people choosing each other rather than rejecting people outside of their social circle, so don't fall prey to feeling butthurt over it. But we urge those of you who decide to host a separate activity to please consider adding it as a tweetup event and making it open to everyone, or sending up a flare about it on Twitter. Odds are there won't be a stampede; more like four or five unexpected new people. The benefit of this is getting to meet people we might not otherwise have encountered beyond a "hey, how ya doin'?" at the main event. We organizers have experienced this kind of tweetup magic first-hand and we highly recommend it. The same is true for you typical non-joiners: attend an event you'd avoid due to shyness. See what happens.
*Stalkers, Bullies, and Other Jerks Beware
With precious few exceptions (seriously, we can count them on half of one hand), everyone at every single of the nine CHSH tweetups so far has been fantastic. The magical unicorn equivalent of a new best friend. But sometimes, (rarely), a negative situation arises. If we get wind of aggressive, intrusive, and otherwise uncool behavior toward one or more attendee, we will withdraw the CHSH welcome mat.