A stranger to me is defined differently to everyone. Some people may find that someone they know of identifies as a stranger. However, I definitely think differently. To me a stranger is someone who I know almost nothing about, except for possibly their appearance I am seeing for the first or second time. To constitute as a stranger for me, I would never have met you before, or heard of you, and probably haven’t “creeped” you on social media before.
Stranger, by dictionary definition, is defined as a person whom one does not know or with one whom one is not familiar. The real interesting question here may not be is what defies a stranger, but when a person is known. I think in itself that that is a more difficult question to answer with varying results. For me, I can only think of a person as know when we know each other’s name and without having to remember it, connected somewhat on social media, and know at least a bit about each other or know who our mutual friends are. It isn’t much for me, that’s for sure. I remember very vividly the last time I met a stranger, because I was studying in Korea for 4 months. Practically everyone was a stranger.. but it did not take long before I considered a person known. Sometimes it’s just easy because you both connect really well on some mutual understanding or humour.
I don’t think meeting face to face is when a person is considered known. Though I do value it, I actually have a couple online friends. Their online self feels real to me, enough that I am real with them. I am confident, and a believer as most would say, that I am the same online as outside. The only factor is, I’m usually more shy at first in person. I’m an introvert at heart, but I always have things to say.
Last point I want to make is that I am very comfortable once I consider a person known. Or actually, when I feel that I have made a deeper connection with a person, and not necessarily known. Since I am a bit shy, though other’s won’t agree at times, I tend to be more closed off and quiet. But to be frank, that’s not who I truly am. So maybe it isn’t the fact that it is when someone is known that we act differently, but more so the fact that we need to have some sort of deeper connection and an actual, mutual level of affection. Known is just not enough.