Here’s How Brits Are Using Social Media To Meet Their Best Friends
Social media is such a fundamental piece of our lives right now. We use it for everything from organizing events to catching up with old school friends. So, why shouldn’t we use it to meet new people too? Rather surprisingly, 44% of Brits say that they met one of their best friends on social media, according to recent research commissioned by Diet Coke.
“The rise of social media means that we can communicate with our friends easily and it is also a great tool for meeting new people,” explains Natalie Whitehead-Farr, Senior Brand Manager for Coca-Cola Great Britain. And, with more and more people connecting online, there’s never been a better time to reach out.
How to connect safely with people online
If you do plan to find some new besties online, though, there are some things that you ought to know. Ensuring that you are always safe and secure should be your top priority. Here are just seven little tips that you might want to keep in mind.
1. Join online communities
Of course, you can make connections through the online friends you already have, but why not take things one step further? If you’re looking for people who share your interests, you might want to join an online community. Social media sites, such as Facebook, have group functions that allow you to be a part of a load of people with something in common.
When you join a group (or online forum!), you can be certain that you will engage with people who share your interests. That means that you will have something to chat about first off the bat, and so things will not be awkward or uncomfortable.
2. Try a social app
Every year, thousands of singles meet ‘the one’ via a dating app; it’s increasingly the most popular way to find a partner. Why should making friends be any different?
There are actually so-called social apps you can use, such as Huggle, which can help you connect with potential friends in your area. These apps work in a similar way to dating apps, meaning you can flick through matches and find people who live nearby and may have similar interests or even personalities. Genius.
3. Be sincere and ‘real’
Of course, one of the major temptations when engaging with people online is to present yourself as someone you’re just not. We’re talking about making real connections here, though, and to do that you really need to be yourself.
There’s no sense trying to trick someone into liking you online by acting differently to how you would in real life. Should you meet them in the future, they will be in for a real shock when you’re not the same person you appeared to be online. Be genuine.
4. Watch out for catfish
Catfishing, i.e. someone pretending to be another person, is a massive problem in the online world. When you’re talking to someone new online, you absolutely have to keep this in mind at all times.
There are, of course, certain ways to spot a catfish. If someone is shady about their life, has ‘model like’ photos, and never speaks via the phone or on Skype, these are some major warning signs. Remember, not everything (or, indeed, everyone) is what it seems in the online world.
5. Never give away personal details
While we’re on the topic of online trickery, here’s one rule that you absolutely always have to stick to. Remember, no one should ever ask you for your personal details online. That includes everything from your banking details to where you live. You don’t need to share this information with anyone and doing so could be a real mistake.
If someone you don’t know IRL asks for these things online, don’t hand them over. Remember, this person could be anyone and you really have no idea what their intentions are. The safest thing you can do is avoid sharing any sensitive information with people online.
6. Don’t move too fast!
The last thing you want to do online is move too fast. Sure, meeting people in the digital sphere is getting more and more common, but that doesn’t mean that you need to rush ahead of yourself. Building a friendship online will doubtless take longer than it does when you meet someone in the real world.
That means that rather than messaging your new bestie all day, every day, you should take a step back and keep things chilled. One of two things will happen when you do so; either things will fizzle out or you will build a meaningful connection with someone. In each of these scenarios, you’ve lost nothing by trying.
7. Never meet alone
Finally, here’s a major rule that you absolutely have to keep in mind. If you do take the leap to meet someone face-to-face, you should never do so alone. Be sure to choose a public place in which to meet, take a friend along with you, and let others know where you are. Now, this may seem over-cautious but your safety has to come first in this situation.
So, would you be willing to meet a new friend online or does the idea of doing so fill you with terror? Leave us a comment below and let us know!