Have you ever had this feeling of wanting to mingle while not really fancying going out? Maybe you had a bad day at work, or you don’t want to spend money on food and drinks. Or maybe the couch seemed extra cozy and you’d like someone to join you but at the same time keep it all to yourself. Well, I think many of us have been there before, so I developed a guide to socializing online for introverts.
A lot of what happens online is just one-sided content consumption. People read, watch, look up information, or engage in automated e-commerce. On the other hand, there’s lots of human-to-human interaction going as well.
Specific ways have arisen for netizens to get together and communicate. A whole range of platforms have been developed to facilitate socializing online.
Now, of course you’ve got your forums and Facebooks, but what are some of the other, perhaps less talked about places for linking with other individuals online?
reddit – the self-proclaimed front page of the Internet is a wondrous mine of content. The definition of a rabbit hole, albeit a well-structured one, you’ll quickly find yourself wanting to explore.
The website is a little like Facebook, but with only your cool friends posting. Come to think of it, Facebook groups would be the closer equivalent. Content on reddit is organized into subreddits – topic-specific threads of posts people can engage with.
This is a great way to explore niche interests, hobbies, find answers to mind-blowing questions, have a laugh, be amazed, and discover new things. Spend enough time on the platform and you’ll be sure to find a community of people that share your interests, however unusual they may be.
I’ve been reading recently that Facebook and LinkedIn activity is shifting towards private groups. Apparently, sharing updates frequently with your entire network on the particular platform is not what people are after these days.
Understandably, interactions within a closer circle are more meaningful and rewarding. Group members have the benefit of not having to sift through tons of often irrelevant information and get straight to the point.
Even more interesting and dynamic are group chats people can participate in using platforms like Messenger or Instagram. Their purpose will vary from one group to another, but I think most of them are simply established to have fun, roast each other, discuss current events, or arrange meetings. Definitely something to consider if you’re trying to socialize online.
Live streaming has become so popular, it’d be interesting to hear what’s the first thing that comes to people’s minds upon hearing the words. For me it’s definitely sports, mostly basketball, but I have friends who are into soccer and motorsports and I don’t mind joining them.
These days, live streaming yourself playing games is huge, with Twitch becoming one of the most recognized brands online. Games have always been a way to bring people together, it’s just that the spectators’ interaction styles have evolved.
The currently available technology allows for anything to be live streamed, even on the go. As far as socializing online goes, viewers can join live chats to engage with streamers and other viewers in real time.
Ah, Netflix, The Devourer of Time, The Home Theater With Regular Priced Nachos. In some instances, you might want to enjoy a movie by yourself, but getting sucked into a series with a couple of friends is something else.
Your gatherings become kind of like hitting the movies together but without actually leaving the couch. What happens though if a new episode premieres and you can’t set up a session for whatever reason? Well, it turns out there are some solutions available.
Netflix Party is a Chrome extension which only requires one of your crew to install it. Once installed, you’ll have a button in your browser providing a link to be shared with folks you want to watch the movie with. The extension opens a chat room where you guys can interact in real time.
Alternatively, you can use Rabbit – a stream-sharing service compatible with any browser. One of you will have control over the stream which will be shared directly on the Rabbit site.
Online communities pop up and grow all over the Internet, which means socializing online has literally never been easier. The hard part may be finding exactly the one you’d like to join.
That said, let me plant an idea in your head… Why not become a leader and start your own online community?
Now, I’m not saying this is going to be easy. It will definitely take time to attract and keep members around. A lot will depend on what the focal point of the community will be. The good news is the tools to lay the foundation are within anyone’s reach.
All you’ll need for starters is a simple website and some sort of a communication platform for members to get engaged. If you don’t have the resources for custom web design, use any of the CMS available. Add a forum or a chat room and you’re good to go.
Take matters into your own hands and start socializing online on your own terms!
Trying to mingle without leaving your home? No sweat! Socializing online has never been easier. From reddit and Quora, to group chats, to watching live streams, or movies – you can interact with friends and strangers in the digital realm.
It’s remarkable how the Internet provides exposure to so many other people and their views and perspectives. We can learn from them, expand our knowledge, have fun, make new friends and more.
Make no mistake though, I still want you to go out. You should never make the online a substitute for the real world. There’s no replacement for actual, face-to-face human interaction, but there are interesting variations of it definitely worth exploring.