We, millennials, often get judged as being the generation behind phones and computers all day. (My parents still don't understand how I do all my work from only a computer). We can end up getting trapped in our apps looking at what is going on with people's lives without living our own. We scroll looking at who got engaged, having a breakdown, and so and so's new vacation spot. So, instead of using social media to have loose internet "like" friendships we can use it to actually socialize in real life.
I love social media! Being a traveler, the friends I have made are spread all over the world. My closest friends are spread across time zones so messaging and video chatting allows me to stay up to date and keep our friendships alive and engaging not just going back and forth "liking" statuses.
But, I must admit moving back to my hometown and my friends not close by meant I only could see them virtually or by going to see them.
But what about when I came home and realized I hadn't bothered to connect with people near me?
And what about when I went to a city I didn't actually know anyone?
I moved back home and realized most of my friends had left. I reconnected with some HS friends but sadly when you start to adult your schedules conflict and bye bye friendship.
So I harnessed the power of social media to actually start socializing IRL (in real life for the non nerds our there).
I love meeting people so for me this is easier, however, I am an introvert so scheduling and vetting people beforehand calms my anxiety, this is where social media plays in allowing you to get a feel for people.
These are the best tactics I have come up with so far!
- Facebook Groups
- Facebook Events
- Make your own event!
Meetup is by far my favorite which has also been the gateway to many other events and groups. You can find people based on your interest! I even got to hang out at Buzzfeed and make some solid friends who invite me to events they hear about or just even hang out. #MeetUpBuddies
Similar to meet up, events are on here, both free and paid. You can sort through them based on interest and proximity. I've used this to find free yoga classes while traveling and walking tours as well. While at home I use it to find concerts, classes, and cultural events as well.
There is a group for everything in your interest, you can easily find some near you using the search feature in facebook. If you're a traveler, there are a million groups our there that you can find other travelers. Often we're all behind our screens and want to meet up! So, don't be shy there are others who want to meet you too!
That being said the events section is amazing because facebook already knows your interests and your location. So most of the events that you see are completely relevant and will most likely lead to you finding other cool peeps.
I manage @PartTimExploradora and have met awesome people because of it but I know not everyone is keen on meeting up with internet strangers. IG is a great way to also find events, one great source for the Latinx community is @PalanteLatinx with curated events in urban cities. Don't be afraid to attend Instameets and also starting your own!
So maybe you can't find what you're looking for. Well then when all else fails make your own. Maybe you want to have brunch with a solid group of people or go on a hike. Don't be afraid to have open invites or message people to get them together. I've done this countless of times and been epically rejected but then I have the times that it's a total blast and one of my best memories. You can even make your own free event site using Splash, your friends will think you're legit AF.
Life starts at the edge of your comfort zone, but also remember to trust your gut! If you feel super uncertain about a situation better to be safe than sorry. Remember there is always safety in numbers. Meeting up with a group of people is always safer than one on one meet ups. That being said, don't fear meeting new people, you never know when it can blossom into a great friendship!
What are some of the ways you use the power of the internet to socialize in RL?
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