I Googled you and I found you! Nervous laugh...
April 15, 2013 9:15 AM   Subscribe

I have an internet friend (never met IRL) whom I met on a discussion board for a health issue we share in common. We connected because we live in the same city and are undergoing the same treatments. He has told me his uncommon first name, his employer, and the hospital where he's being treated, as well as the fact that (unfortunately) his most recent procedure had a lot of complications and he's still in hospital. Would it be really weird to send flowers and/or a card?

I've sent him a message to let him know he's in my prayers etc etc, but the do-gooder in me wants to send flowers. I know his last name based on the information he's shared, so I easily can, but I don't want to be a creeper about it (since he never explicitly told me his last name). Do or do not? What does the hive say?

PS - His floor does allow flowers, I know many wards don't.
posted by telegraph to Human Relations (11 answers total)
That's a do not. You're an internet friend, you sent internet well-wishes. Until you engage in rl socializing, that's the limit in my opinion.
posted by Think_Long at 9:19 AM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

I think that if you are good friends, whether or not you've met IRL, flowers would be a really nice gesture.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 9:22 AM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, do not. You could PM this person and ask if he would like to share enough info so that you could send him something.

Side note: I know some people love flowers, but I am not one that does. I got sick and people sent me a bunch of these and I had to sit around for a week watching them die. I would rather have had a book.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:22 AM on April 15, 2013 [6 favorites]

Hospitals generally don't allow flowers on the wards anymore. Am I missing something?

But I would send a card if that's what you wanted to do. It's 2013; if protecting his privacy was a concern for him, we can assume he knew better than to share personally identifiable details.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:25 AM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Do not. He probably has internet access at the hospital. Y'all are internet friends. Stick with the mode of communication you've had established.
posted by RainyJay at 9:28 AM on April 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I think you should just be open! "I want to send you some flowers! You're at City Name Hospital, right? Which floor/how should I address them?"

Clarifying - I agree that you should not send without asking him this first.
posted by amaire at 9:29 AM on April 15, 2013 [9 favorites]

Internet greetings are great and all, but if I were in a hospital, I would enjoy flowers. I second amarie's suggestion, though, so the other person can either politely decline, or tell you that they aren't allowed in the hospital (which is news to me, but the last time I was in a hospital was almost two years ago for the birth of my son, and people brought all sorts of gifts to mothers and new born babies).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:33 AM on April 15, 2013

Best answer: Since it's an internet friend, I would just ask him if you can send flowers. That way you know beforehand if they'd be comfortable with that. If they say no, it's no harm no foul. And if they say yes, then you can go ahead.

And like think_long who would prefer a book, you might ask if they'd like a book or some magazines. Flowers are nice if you don't have any for a bit of cheer but books or magazine can be better because being in bed all day is boring. Magazines are good since they don't require as much concentration. But be sure to inquire about reading taste if you go this route. I'd rather have flowers than an awful (to me) book. Your favorites might be dreck to someone else.
posted by shoesietart at 9:35 AM on April 15, 2013

Best answer: Hospitals generally don't allow flowers on the wards anymore. Am I missing something?

Yes, read the whole post.

In answer to the question, I think you should send him a message and say, "I'd like to send you flowers! Are you ok with giving me your last name so I can do that?" Don't admit that you google-stalked him.
posted by amro at 9:58 AM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

"can I send you something?"
posted by oceanjesse at 10:13 AM on April 15, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks all! Asking first... should have thought of that. I like a nice surprise but not when it comes at the expense of being a little creeped out.
posted by telegraph at 10:56 AM on April 15, 2013

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