There’s no doubting the importance of creating a robust and healthy support network made up of relationships with friends and family. However, close friendships don’t grow on trees, and it can be an intimidating ordeal to not only meet new people but then to continue cultivating a strong and healthy friendship.
For this reason, it’s far from uncommon to fear the effort of making new friends and meeting new people.
Why We Should Make Meeting New People a Priority
Despite the challenges often associated with forming new relationships, it’s critical that we make the effort to do so. As humans are naturally social beings, numerous studies have been performed which examine the importance of seeking solace in recreational socialization.
Our health depends on it!
Mayo Clinic states that adults with a network of social support are at a lesser risk of developing both physical and mental health problems such as high blood pressure and depression. Older adults who continue to nourish and maintain satisfying social lives are also more likely to live longer than more isolated older adults.
Meeting People Online: The Perfect Solution
How can we reconcile the importance of prioritizing an emotionally satisfying social network and the challenges associated with meeting new people?
This is where the Internet comes in.
The presence of online social media platforms, engaging community forums, and even social, multiplayer gaming experiences have entirely shifted the way that recent generations think about friendships and social interaction.
As many as 57% of teenagers have made friends online according to data collected in 2015, and this number is slated to increase across age groups as social media becomes more accessible to populations around the world. Research has shown that these digitally developed relationships offer plenty of benefits, which can enrich adolescent lives.
Responding to Skeptics
While the prospect of developing and maintaining friendships online is much more normalized today than it was a decade ago, there are still those who are skeptical of online relationships’ legitimacy. In response to these skeptics, a number of pieces have been written which defend the importance of online relationships.
They are just as authentic as physical relationships and, as sociologist Nathan Jurgenson says, “We’re coming to terms with there being just one reality and digital is part of it, not any less real or true.”
Advantages of Meeting People Online
Despite the naysayers, it can be easily argued that the advantages of meeting people online at any age far outweigh doubts cast on the prospect of online social networking. Here, we’ve highlighted seven benefits of meeting people online.
Distance and time are no object. Nothing has been so successful at being able to connect friends from across the world than the Internet. The existence of the internet and online social spheres have led to a world united like never before, and it’s this opportunity for global communication which creates limitless possibilities to find real and intimate friendships online.
Connect to others with niche interests. Many of us have interests, hobbies, and areas of expertise that are just a bit too unique to warrant local clubs or gatherings—this is especially true for those who live in less populated areas or who may have limited access to transportation within their own cities. When we meet people online, we break these barriers and engage with more passion and excitement than we might be able to locally.
Talk at your convenience. Thanks to the Internet, gone is the need for scheduling a time and place to hang out every time you want to organize a gathering with your pals. Instead, speaking online can be done on a whim. It requires less planning, but thanks to voice chats and video calls, these gatherings can be just as intimate as physical meetups!
Don’t wait to learn the details. Getting to know someone solely in-person sometimes means waiting a while before becoming close. While you can’t expect to become immediate friends with anyone you meet online, either, the nature of meeting people online makes it much easier to learn basics from the get-go. This is aided somewhat by the presence of carefully crafted online profiles which appear on many social media profiles and online forums.
Filter uncomfortable conversations. The unfortunate truth of socialization is that, to meet new people, you’ll often have to tolerate a few uncomfortable interactions before finding a conversation (and a person) where you can settle in and find yourself at home. At physical gatherings, it can be difficult to avoid these awkward conversations and politely remove yourself from them when you feel the vibe is off. When speaking online, however, you are in complete control of with whom you speak and when.
Meet a greater number of potential friends. With over 7.5 billion people in the world, it’s unreasonable to believe that we’ll find our closest relationships only in places physically near to us. The Internet offers us limitless opportunities to meet people online whom we might never have the pleasure of meeting in person. What a shame it would be to miss out on these special relationships only because you don’t physically cross paths!
Thrive on a confidence boost. Chatting with new people online can be a great way to overcome social fears and anxieties while buffing up on your conversational skills. Because making friends online is typically much more straightforward than physical meetups designed to help individuals meet new people, many prefer the perceived safety of chatting at their own pace, in their own homes. While many online relationships progress to video or voice calls, the initial process of meeting new people in chatrooms or on forums is associated with less pressure than physical gatherings. Worry less about physical appearances and eye contact, and focus more on personalities and developing relationships.
Whether you choose to use the Internet as a way to meet local folks, or if you’ve harnessed the power of social media to speak regularly with a new friend halfway across the world, never underestimate the way that meeting people online through a service like FaceFlow can entirely revolutionize your social life.