Making friends only gets harder as you get older, gone are the days you can start playing a game with someone, and they become your best friend within minutes. When you were little, you could fall out and makeup in the space of an hour, swap best friends each week and invite the whole class to your birthday party. Then somehow along the way, things got awkward, people got embarrassed, cliques were made, and life got complicated. But it doesn’t have to be that way; you can still make new friends, no matter what age you are. There are millions of people in the world, and there’s bound to be some who are feeling just the same as you are, some who love the same music, TV shows or weird hobby that you love and thanks to the internet you can find them all at the click of a button. Plus, now it’s not strange to make friends online, everyone’s doing it, whether they’re looking for a partner, a community of people with a common interest or just a friendship and it doesn’t matter how old you are either, you can find the right place with the right people for you.
So, where to start?
Well, you want to make real friends, right? People, you have something in common with? So the first thing you need to do is to be yourself. You need to know yourself and if you’re not sure what you like or what makes you happy then have a real think about it, try a few things and make sure you know what you want out of a friendship. Do you want someone to chat to? Someone, to go hiking with? Someone to go on holidays with? Someone, to go to concerts with? Someone to go on nights out with? Or just some company? Whatever it is, you can find it.
Choose The Right Network
As you’re true to yourself, only use social media or social communities that you like, there’s no point using one you’re not comfortable with because then you’re not being yourself and probably won’t find a like-minded person. If you like using Facebook, then start there, if it’s gaming you’re into, then a gaming community page or just gaming itself will lead you to people who are into it too. If it’s something quite a niche you like, then, strangely enough, there’s probably an excellent chance of you finding some like-minded people online. Even real estate professionals use this technique for finding real estate leads as there are groups on just about everything on Facebook and you can find out by just typing in the subject you’re looking for into the search bar and see which groups come up. If by some strange chance there isn’t a group to your liking, then why not start one yourself? You could do something quite similar on Instagram; if you set up a new account just for whatever subject it is you’re interested in and then follow similar accounts, you can begin to engage with people that way.
Start a Conversation
On Facebook, people often share photos in a group, so if you want to start making friends, then you need to participate. Share pictures or comments yourself, engage with others, comment, and like their posts, and soon you’ll start to recognize other people, and they will recognize you too. If it’s the kind of group where people do arrange meetings or socials regularly, then make sure you join the next one, if it’s not then again, you could start it yourself or at least suggest it. If you don’t feel quite ready to share this idea with everyone, then send someone a personal message and see what they think.
Starting a conversation on Instagram is quite similar, although there are no groups. However, if you’re following accounts who are into the same things as you then again comment and like their photos, start to engage, they will begin to recognize you, and you could then start a conversation.
Apps and Websites
There are now apps and websites dedicated to just making friends online, so the only people you’re going to find on there are people looking to make friends, just like you. You’ll need to start by writing your online profile, these can be daunting to write, but stick to the first point and be yourself. Your profile is significant because it’s essentially the first impression you give off, it is the first thing that people will see and the thing that people will notice and ultimately what will help people determine whether they want to have a friendship with you or not.
Your username is another essential part of your online profile, so if you’re using a network which requires a username (some need you to put your real name) then it’s something your kind of stuck with, so make sure it’s a name you’re happy with and something that represents you.
If you’re going to use lots of different networks then it is a good idea to keep the same username, so there is consistency, it will make you more recognizable and easier to remember as well.
Tell people about yourself in your profile; it is like a sales pitch to tell people what you like, what you’re into, what you’re looking for and generally if they’re going to have anything in common with you. Take a look at other people’s profiles, and see which ones you think are good, what is it that makes you want to chat with someone, take some inspiration from them. Once your profile is ready, then why not connect with some of those who you looked at and thought looked good and interesting? Start with a connection, if they accept, then say Hey! Introduce yourself and ask them about something they mentioned on their profile. Try speaking to a few people and see what happens, don’t get disheartened if people don’t reply, there could be several reasons why so don’t take it personally and keep trying. You’ll get there eventually.