In today’s fast paced technically driven world, physical proximity to loved ones is a luxury. Our focus on goals and other aspects of everyday life can distract us or make it difficult to find time with friends. Furthermore, with gadgets now ruling a large part of our time, people often feel more comfortable talking on the phone or online rather than meeting in person. This is a factor of both comfort and efficiency.
Dr. Abraham Maslow’s study on the hierarchy of human needs have shown that humans socialize because they need to belong somewhere. We need friends to talk to and compare ideas against. And yet, we can’t always reach out to our old trusted friends, not because of distance but as a result of other challenges technology can’t solve. Time-zones can wreak havoc with long-distance relationships, be it friendship or romance, and can damage them with time.
Sometimes we just need to talk. It doesn’t matter who we are talking to as long as we can share our feelings and feel heard and validated. After all, a stranger is only a friend you haven’t met yet! Being social does not necessarily mean you have to be very close friends. It means being comfortable opening up to somebody in order to spend time with them. To balance work pressure and myriad other social and economic pressures, it is important that we talk to people we trust. Meeting new people can also make that process exciting, as we learn new things from each person we come across.
If you have just left your friend behind in your home city or you have walked out of a troubled friendship and want to talk through it, an accessible and straightforward option is to make new friends using technology and social media platforms. There are so many strangers out there who could be waiting to talk to and listen to you. What’s more, you have the option to remain faceless and anonymous to share all you want without being judged!
Here are a few tips on how to meet new people and talk to strangers online:
- Look for the most feasible, safest networking platforms
Social networking is the order of the day and since our lives are now more device-driven than they’ve ever been, it has become easier to connect with more people, including old friends as well as strangers. If we need to meet new people, why not use the time we’re already spending on social networking sites? It’s important to be careful, as cybercrimes are on the rise, so when you choose your online platform, look for one that is popular, paid, and enjoys a good reputation for safety. These sites can connect us with old friends and new people who might become friends or confidantes in the future.
- Choose chat rooms or communities that are of interest to you
If you are interested in cricket, for example, and you join a group or chat room that is full of people who specialize in billiards, you will not be able to relate much to the members. Since your interests would not match, you won’t be able to contribute and get to know people, thus defeating the whole purpose of joining that chat room. However, if you want to learn about billiards, join anyway — just make your interest and your level of expertise known! To ensure that you find the right kind of people who make you comfortable, it is essential that you choose a forum that covers your interest areas. This will ensure more people will be available to connect, making the initial steps easier.
- Talk about things that are special to both of you
When you reach out to a stranger and start talking, it implies the need to share something— something that is perhaps simmering inside of you and is a part of your most special memories or fundamental to your personality. Talking about something that is special to you helps break the ice and build trust. But only sharing will not bring complete trust. Ask the other person to share their feelings, memories and moments, too. This will give both of your common ground on which to connect.
- Try to become more familiar
If you talk to someone regularly, try getting to know more about the person. This will create a sense of familiarity and ensure a step towards security. Most people who join chat rooms are open to sharing about the people or things that are important to them. Talking about those topics can ensure more detailed conversations, increasing the chances you get to know someone well. References to something both of you care about in life will make conversations easier to conduct and maintain.
- Exchange stories from the past
Exchanging old stories with each other can make things comfortable between you and a stranger/new friend. Having said that, that doesn’t mean you have to share embarrassing or offensive stories. You don’t want to scare the person with something inappropriate, but childhood stories can help break the ice and initiate conversation between quieter talking companions. In case you find your friend on the other side is not too talkative, ask about incidents and things from their childhood — which soccer team they supported or which TV shows they watched or what crazy pet they always wanted. Easy, comforting, universal questions make a good starting point.
- Ask for advice or knowledge about something they know
Humans love to show their knowledge and grasp of things. If you start talking to a new person about a common interest area or even if the person has different interests and still appears interesting to you, let the person talk about what they know. Asking for their advice about things that they have a stronger perspective on vis-à-vis your own knowledge can help people feel more comfortable. This process can lead to a very fruitful relationship of mutual admiration and respect. You might also share your knowledge on the same topic, and either validate or debate your opinion with your friends. This helps to develop trust, especially when you are beginning a relationship.
- Listen to the other person
We love to socialize and talk, but when we are trying to get acquainted with a stranger who does not know us or our habits well, we mustn’t make them feel rejected or ignored because we end up talking too much. Good listening is one of the most important tools of communication. Unless you take your time to listen to the other person, it will be difficult to cross that line between stranger and friend. Remember, as much as you like to talk, the other person also has the same need and unless you give them that space or platform, they will not be interested for too long.
Take and give time to process information
While talking or conveying our thoughts is important, we also need to remember that the other person might feel overwhelmed by the bombardment of information from your side. Both you and your conversation partner should take time to process the information adequately to acquaint each with the other person and decide if this is someone you enjoy speaking to and might want to be friends with long term.
Many modern devices come preloaded with a number of social platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter. Beyond these standard sites, other frequently recommended networking platforms can offer security, choice, and proper resources to connect with new people and find more lasting relationships. When you are trying to meet or get introduced to new people, don’t forget to keep an eye out for cyber fraud and other cyber exploitation. You can read more about that here.
Ensure they have an active and valid social media profile. Somebody with significant social media presence (typically more than 150 followers or friends, for instance) is less likely to be a fraud or a dubious character. Although we can’t get to the bottom of each persons’ biography, it is safer to trace information that can be validated by multiple sources. There are some other chat sites like Camfrog.com that are connected to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, thus ensuring better security over other chat sites.
How does Camfrog help reach out to more people?
Camfrog is a chat service that offers several special features.
- Available free for usage – Camfrog can be installed and used on any device free of cost. Basic chat services are available free of cost, allowing you to check out public chat rooms and interest areas based on chat topics. More personalized services and access to private rooms and other updated features are available at the cost of a membership fee.
- Device agnostic – Camfrog chat services are available on Windows, Android, and iOS Regardless of what device you own, Camfrog is accessible to you. You can now invite your friends from other platforms or meet strangers and make them into friends on Camfrog.
- User-friendly – Camfrog, like most chat services, is extremely user-friendly with a whole host of attractive features. With a convenient user-friendly interface, supported by virtual gifts and a whole range of emoticons, Camfrog ensures a pleasant and exciting experience for users.
- Gifting and earning money – To make online chatting, broadcasts, and other services more interesting, Camfrog offers virtual gifts and stickers. You can earn credits and buy these virtual gifts, each of which has a distinct value. Users who start their own stream and gain followers can also earn money by broadcasting their interests and collecting gifts.
- Multiple language options – Camfrog is available with 57 language packs to ensure language isn’t a barrier in communication. You need to sign in to the site to be able to download a language pack.
- Deaf-friendly services – Camfrog has built-in features specifically for hearing-impaired users and with the growing popularity of this service among hearing-impaired people, there is a separate deaf video chat room feature and a special feature where the “Talk” mode is automatically disabled.
Meeting new people enhances our world experiences and makes us more informed. Every new person we connect with gives us something new to think about. We can start to learn from them as well as lean on them while offering the same in return. Social networking is often accused of isolating people from a known old world, but that position overlooks the fact that it introduces them to another set of friends who are almost always actively interacting with each other and expressing themselves.
Reaching out to strangers isn’t so bad an idea after all! To quote inspirational speaker Israelmore Ayivor – “Every friend was once a stranger and if you know this, you have to understand that conversations are the beginning of connection”.