Today, the opportunities to make new friends online are abundant. But while the path from stranger to best friend doesn’t really change depending on your vehicle of introduction (the real world vs. the virtual one), there are some “best practices” which are unique to virtual introductions, and should be adhered to when hoping to meeting new friends online.
Tips for Connecting from SocialJane.com
Tips for Connecting
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Forming new friendships is a process. It can happen very quickly or it can take a while, developing over the course of many get-togethers or exchanges. Regardless of the timeframe over which a friendship forms, they all require the same steps: A meeting, an introduction, and a series of interactions in which increasing levels of disclosure are provided. Friendships happen naturally and follow a common path. When meeting new people, take time to get to know others, put yourself in places and situations that invite introductions to new people, and above all else, have fun and enjoy the process. Most likely, these new friends will be in your life for a long, long time.
It took two years and a dog for me to finally meet my neighbors.
As soon as we moved to our first house, I began an evening ritual: to walk the neighborhood, rain or shine. Enjoying the quiet suburban streets, wondering what happened to sidewalks and stepping onto the nearest lawn when a car (or, let's face it, a truck--I live in the South and people like their trucks) got too close.
Less than a decade ago, most people preferred to say they’d met a significant other at a bar rather than admit to having found someone special online. Today, the convenience of picking and choosing potential dates from the comfort of home has become so accepted that one in five new committed relationships (including marriage) are between people who met through a dating website. Job hunting using just the newspaper want ads is all but unthinkable. More and more of us make career connections and reconnect with old friends on websites like LindedIn and Facebook. Still, there is sometimes hesitation about taking the next logical step and connecting with like-minded, similarly interested, potential friends through a friendship networking site. The question is, why?
I get up at 7:00 a.m., put coffee in the machine, feed the cat, then the dog, and head downstairs to my home office. I hold conference calls, prepare power points, and analyze the monthly budget all in the comfort of my pajamas … with un-brushed teeth.
Divorce can be contagious. According to a study by Dr. James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, you’re 147 percent more likely to get divorced if you’ve got a divorced friend, rather than if all your friends are still married. But unlike the swine flu or common cold, “catching” divorce fever from a friend can be a good thing. At least it was for my mom.
This article started as a way to address women and their feelings of isolation, but as I spent time with the topic, I kept coming back to the words “connect” and “connection.” Connecting, I thought, is the opposite of isolation, and if it’s the opposite, then surely it’s also the solution. One study I read suggested that the opposite of isolation is belonging—that to no longer feel isolated, one must feel a sense of belonging.
When I think of womans groups or clubs, no one particular image comes immediately to mind. There is such a great variety of organizations that form to unite and support women, that my mind kind of stumbles to find that one iconic image of what “womans groups” looks like. Ultimately, though, there is a club for everyone and everything.
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