Are you feeling lost and disconnected in a world where we’re all connected online?
It can be difficult to sort through all the noise on social media to find real friends, but it is possible. If you’re looking to build authentic connections and to find your community, you can use social media as a tool to help you get there.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to navigate social media in order to form authentic connections and real friends.
The Illusion of friendship.
It is no secret that social media has become an important part of our lives. It’s where we connect with friends, family, and even strangers from all corners of the globe. But with the rise of social media, the concept of true friendship becomes less and less recognizable. It’s not uncommon to feel a sense of loneliness despite having hundreds or even thousands of online friends.
We’ve become so focused on our online presence that we forget the importance of true connections.
We graduate high school thinking that it will be easy to stay in contact with our friends, just to find them at a distance some several months later.
We may turn to social media for help, thinking that if we embellish our lives with filters and captions, more people will find us interesting… interesting enough to want to be friends maybe? We might even try to accumulate a big following to feel validated.
But there is something you should know…
Having a huge following or a long list of friends on social media does not equate to having true friends.
Social media may have made it easier to connect with people, but it has also created a distance that prevents us from forming genuine relationships. We interact with people through screens, but we don’t take the time to get to know them.
We’ve lost touch with the art of conversation and the value of human connection.
It’s important to recognize that social media is just a tool, and it should not be our sole source of human interaction. Effort is required to build relationships in the real world.
But… It’s only through vulnerability and authenticity that we can form these true friendships.
Take off the filter.
While social media can help connect you with like-minded individuals, it often fosters a false sense of intimacy. It is a breeding ground for fake interactions and shallow relationships.
The curated world of filters and highlight reels can make it difficult to distinguish between genuine authenticity and superficiality.
That’s why it is so vital to take off the filter and embrace our individuality. Likes and comments may make you feel validated in the short term, but they are no substitute for real, meaningful interactions.
True friends are those who accept you for who you are, flaws and all. You can let down your guard and be vulnerable with them, sharing your deepest fears and desires without fear of judgment.
However, forming these kinds of authentic connections requires vulnerability. This means being honest about our struggles, fears, and imperfections. It means allowing ourselves to be seen and heard, even when we don’t have it all together.
Only then can we attract “true friends” who accept us for who we are, without any pretenses or expectations.
Easier said than done, right?
Of course, forming authentic connections takes a lot of effort. But trust me, it will be well worth it. Having a group of true friends will prove to be essential to your self-development and wellbeing. They offer support, encouragement, accountability, and help to navigate life’s ups and downs.
You might think to yourself… “I can still find friends like this online. That’s what DMing is for.”
That may be true. However, it is difficult to form a real connection via social media without first determining your boundaries, and interpreting what a real friendship looks like to you.
What does your true friend look like?
Social media may be convenient, but it can also be isolating and misleading. Don’t get caught up in the idea that having thousands of online followers or friends is a measure of your worth. Focus on forming meaningful relationships with people who are aware of your value.
Remember, the goal is to form connections that are real and lasting, not superficial and fleeting. By embracing the importance of true connection and the pitfalls of online interactions, you can begin to navigate social media more effectively and form authentic connections with others.
To avoid the pitfalls of online interactions, start by identifying what a true friendship means to you.
To do this, you first have to ask these questions, “What does a true friend look like to me?” “What are my core values?” “What are my boundaries?”
Real friends are those who support and care for you; they are there to celebrate your successes and comfort you in your struggles. They’re the people you’ll feel the freedom to express your individuality with, without fear of judgment or rejection.
While social media can be a useful tool for maintaining connections with existing friends, it’s important to not rely on it solely for forming new ones.
Get social! Although we may feel the anxiety that comes with leaving the comfort of our homes to place ourselves in rooms where we know absolutely no one, it will prove to be very beneficial.
Studies show that engaging in activities like social events can give us a fulfilling sense of connection. This sense will lead to benefits like mood improvement and better communication skills.
Investing time and effort in building relationships is key to forming real friendships, but, equally as important is determining whether or not that friendship is good for you.
“A friend is like an elevator. They can either pull you up or push you down.”
Sometimes, in order to grow and find authentic relationships, we might have to let go of toxic ones. Often, despite our best efforts, we may find ourselves in relationships that are draining or harmful.
Don’t be afraid to prioritize your own well-being by ending these relationships. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and make you feel good about yourself, rather than those who bring you down.
You might have noticed that I stressed the importance of forming connections with those who possess similar values quite frequently throughout this article. This is because it truly is essential to a friendship.
Do we have a lot in common?
While it’s true that we can’t expect to agree on everything with everyone, having a foundation of shared interests and values can lay the groundwork for a meaningful and long-lasting friendship.
One way to discover common interests is to join clubs, groups, or classes centered around a hobby or activity you enjoy. This can lead to meeting like-minded individuals who share your passion for that specific interest.
However, while interests may bring people together, values are what keep them together. Whether it’s a shared belief in kindness, respect, or a particular cause, having similar values can help build strong and meaningful relationships.
It’s important to remember that finding common interests and shared values is a two-way street. While you may be eager to connect with others who share your interests, it’s just as important to show interest in theirs. Taking the time to learn about their values can help deepen the relationship and show them that you care.
So, take the time to explore your own interests and values and actively seek out others who share them. It may take some effort, but finding relationships based on these aspects can lead to some of the most fulfilling and authentic connections of your life.
Where to go from here?
In this social media-driven age, it’s easy to get caught up in the illusion of friendship. There are hundreds of online connections, yet you may feel lonelier and more disconnected than ever before. But, by focusing on building real connections and finding our community, you can cultivate true friendships that enrich your life.
It takes effort, vulnerability, and authenticity to build meaningful relationships, but the benefits are immeasurable. Having a supportive friend group can boost our confidence, improve our mental health, and make life’s ups and downs easier to navigate.
So, let go of the toxic relationships and negative influences that hold you back. Instead, invest time and energy into finding connections with people who share your values and interests. Finding real friends may be difficult at first, but it is certainly not impossible.