I recently had an email from science journalist Angela Saini. We've never met, never spoken on the phone, never exchanged emails, yet each felt we knew the other slightly, as we had read each other's blog and posted comments on them.
So, in a way, I feel like I know Angela, but we don't really know each other at all. I suppose there's a two dimensional spectrum of knowing at play here. At one end is your best mate, at the other that embarrassing kind of 'knowing' someone where you go up to them in a bar, and you say 'don't I know you from somewhere?', and they sigh and say 'I'm on TV.'
But my initial example is a genuine two-way knowing from people who have had no real direct communication. With all the electronic media and social networking going on these days, I think we need a new word for this kind of indirect knowing someone. It could be to knowe someone (the 'e' at the end for electronic) or to kmow someone ('m' for media) - or something else much better someone else can think of.
Whatever it is, it would be useful to have such a word to get round the need to tediously introduce yourself 'We sort of know each other from exchanging comments on blogs' - or even worse, 'I "know" you electronically,' which sounds like a euphemism for low grade cybersex.
What do you think? I'd love to get to knowe you.