Making Friends Online
Making Friends Online
Trust is the new global currency. The internet’s strong pull to connect provides an amazing new community of creatives, professionals, students, and curious people looking to meet and interact. Farmers from the outskirts of Melbourne tweet tech developers in Kenya, while New Yorkers and young Londoners search for start-up cash from crowdfunding sites and offline venture capitalists.
Taking note, brands are shifting to encourage engagement; taking it a step further than just comments and likes, they’re moving roles from ‘salesperson’ to ‘host.’ Instagram holds ‘Instameets,’ Twitter hashtags and Snapchat stories curate strangers into a single unit, all while Facebook Events facilitate conversations among strangers. More and more, people are taking a genuine, real approach to these online community.
Connection, collaboration, and skill-sharing wildly enhance and further today’s ideas. The power that lies behind incorporating feedback, opinion, and differing perspective goes further than UX. In that power lies the opportunity to innovate. The opportunity to reinvent and redesign things we take for granted, and build the things we’ll take for granted in a few years. That’s why the internet, and the heaps of communities that come along with it, are so damn great.
But with meeting new people, comes an issue of trust. The power of incorporating perspective is only as strong as the trust you have for its source. The screen prevents us from enacting upon ‘a gut reaction.’ Body language is hidden. Social queues are hidden. Converting online connections to offline friends becomes a risk, and the faith behind the mutual interest becomes the steam driving the interaction.
You ask yourself: “How much do I believe in this? Should I bring a friend to our meeting?” I wonder what their Twitter profile looks like?”
Doubt begins creeping.
Each passing thought spurs negativity; what makes the internet so great, also plays to its downfall. But behind that black screen of doubt lies the potential of positivity. Behind that black screen lies the power of feedback, opinion, and differing perspective. Behind that black screen lies the opportunity to reinvent and redesign things we take for granted. Behind that black screen lies someone else doubting you.
Trust. It’s something we’re told is earned, not given. But our landscape has changed; apps like Tinder and Bumble are based on offline interactions. Instameets are a pinnacle part of Instagram’s expansion. Human connection is something we’re losing, but the very things that are taking them away give us an opportunity to reclaim that touch. As a society we’re circling back to physical, organic meetings.
We shouldn’t be scared to meet a few new friends.