One sort of recurring theme for me at FogCon is that I'm not very good at making lasting connections. I make contributions to discussions in the structured context of a panel, and I'll force myself out of my shell to make conversation during unstructured time, but it's very rare for such an interaction to end even with the exchange of contact information. So I have no way to continue the connection beyond the con, and when I come back the next year, I feel as though I'm starting all over again, even after five years of seeing many of the same people around.
This year, I actually opened up to a few people on my feelings about this, and I discovered other folks who feel much the same way. So I'm glad it's not just me. At the post-mortem session, I thought about saying something, but my thoughts aren't well-formed enough on this point to say anything coherent, and I'm not sure there's much the con culture could do about it anyway -- I have similar feelings about the professional librarian conferences I've attended, after all, so it is at least partly on me! For one thing, I do intend to seek out more folks on social media and see if I can be at least a bit more engaged. So if you're reading this post because I've recently added you on some platform or another, and you're trying to figure out why, now you know. :) Also I renew my semi-regular pledge to attempt to engage on Twitter more, since that's where so much of the sf/f fandom action is these days.
Will it make a difference in future years? Maybe. It certainly can't hurt, and having more cool people in my online social circles is always a good thing. I have hope for it, anyway.
Do others of you who go to cons feel this way? If so, what if anything have you done about it? I'd be interested to hear about other people's experiences.
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