When you’re young it’s usually pretty easy to make friends, as you go to school and participate in after school events amongst other things, so there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people. However, as you get older it can be more difficult to make new friends as if you have a full-time job and a family you don’t get much time to yourself, or you may work from home and so don’t get many opportunities to socialise. The Internet has changed all this, though, making it possible for people of all ages and nationalities to come together, thus simplifying the whole process of finding friends.
Chat rooms can be a good place to start if you want to have a chat with someone. Most of the time you’ll find it is quite difficult to get a decent conversation going, but sometimes there are individuals you click with straight away. You might decide to exchange email addresses and communicate through instant messaging. There have been instances of people discovering each other in chat rooms, meeting in person and falling in love. You don’t have to go to chat rooms with any romantic intentions, though, and you could always find someone with similar interests as you.
You are more likely to find people to connect with through online forums, though, as these are very specific. If you have an interest in trains you can find many forums dedicated to this particular hobby, so that you already have something in common with the people there. Communicating through forums isn’t instantaneous as it is when you communicate through chat rooms, but if you find individuals that you want to get to know you can always exchange email addresses or telephone numbers and meet in person.
Social networking sites seem to have taken over from chat rooms as a way of meeting people, since you can find people with the same kinds of interests as yourself quickly and without the hassle of chatting to people you have no interest in. Social networking sites provide you with an effective way to keep in touch with old friends, but you can also make new friends by joining various online groups where you are able to meet like-minded individuals.
There is always the question of whether your online friends are ‘real’ friends, but, nowadays, if individuals get on well online they will often decide to meet in person anyway. Thus, the Internet has proved an invaluable tool for enabling individuals to make friends.