It’s strange how the social psychology of the world has changed so that the internet dominates the world of friendship. Online is the new world where friends are met and made, but sometimes the internet isn’t enough. Perhaps we should take some pointers from how senior people meet by chatting offline.
The internet is a virtual world where the rules are strange and everyone hides behind a mask of anonymity. The only way to make friends, “real” friends, is to unplug the internet and start chatting offline, by going into the real world. Senior people meet in the real world and seem to see the value in this instantly. The start talking and they take their time, yet too often those of the younger generation seem to be so much in a hurry to get back to our computers that we don’t see the value in this.
You can meet people everywhere, and knowing how to make friends isn’t hard. If you want to learn how to make friends, then the first thing for you to do is just to try and see it as something of value. Everyone is trying to learn how to make friends, and you can meet people who want to be friends with you extremely easily.
You don’t need to know social psychology to be able to know how to make friends in real life. It doesn’t take a degree in social psychology, but rather just an air of friendliness and a sincere interest in people.
Senior people meet by getting out there and finding someone who’s alone, and just going up to them and introducing themselves. Try this exercise yourself. Break the ice with a joke or a statement of similar interests, and you’ll see that it’s actually easy to learn how to make friends. Start talking and you’ll learn how much you might have in common with others who are like you.
The truth is that very few lasting connections are forged through the internet, so you should waste as little time as possible in that field. It shouldn’t be a foreign idea to you to talk and make a connection with a total stranger once you realize that most senior people meet that way every day. It doesn’t mean that it’s an impossibility to meet online, but try the real world for a change. You can find a whole world of real, true, and lasting friends simply by getting away from your computer and chatting “offline” for a few minutes: the way that it used to be, the way senior people meet.
Photo Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives