- Internet & the Web
3 Best Methods of Finding Friends Online
Making friends as an adult isn't always easy. Everyone else seems to already have their circle of friends set in place and you're left feeling like the odd one out. It doesn't ever feel good to be the lone kid without playmates even if you're all grown up. That's why so many people turn to the Internet in search of new friends.
Unfortunately, finding friends online isn't always easy. People say that they want to be friends but then they never actually want to meet up with you. Or they offer the pretense of friendship but it becomes clear that they want something more romantic and that's not what you're seeking. Sometimes it's just a matter of not being able to find people online at all.
Here are some of the best methods of making friends online in today's world:
- Check Craigslist but do it carefully. There are some cities in which Craigslist is widely used by people who really are seeking "strictly platonic" friendships. San Francisco is one of those cities. You can put up an ad for friends and find people with similar interests. Unfortunately, you'll have to sift through a lot of bad apples to find the gems but it's a place where the gems do exist if you're willing to hunt for them. One tip here is to look at the activities, groups and community sections of the site instead of only the classified ad section. Be wary of revealing too much personal information on these sites until you get to know someone better online.
- Join online social meetup groups. If you truly want to meet friends online then you shouldn't be looking at places that are based only on email exchanges. Instead, you should be looking at online sites that are truly geared towards actual meetings with people. There are a number of sites that offer groups for people interested in certain activities. For example, Meetup.com has groups involved in everything from fine dining outings to entrepreneurial meetings for networking. Join a few groups that seem appealing based on your interests and start attending their events.
- Use the Internet to further existing connections. You probably already know people who might want to be friends with you; you just need to find a way to take those acquaintances to the next level. It can sometimes be awkward to just invite co-workers out to an activity. It's a lot less intimidating to get to know them a little better online first. Use social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn to engage in conversations with the people that you know in real life. Make use of IM to further those conversations. Ultimately, these can turn into good solid friendships.
The Internet is a great place to start meeting people and to get to know people better. It's a place where we do much of our communicating in today's world. But you have to be willing to invest the time and energy into developing and growing those connections much like you would in real life or else they're not going to go anywhere.