Question about socialization

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Ec_Prokta, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Ec_Prokta

    Ec_Prokta Continuum Shift Anomaly

    Jan 14, 2009
    I'm rather good at socializing on the internet. I make friends rather easily, and conversations are the easiest thing in the world online. However, despite all the friends I have online, I'm still rather lonely.

    In the real world, I have trouble introducing myself to kids my age, and striking up a conversation after that is easier said than done. I have 2 friends that I see once or twice a month. I'm never lonely when I'm hanging out with either one of them.

    Why is this? Shouldn't I have heaps of expertise in this area thanks to my online friendships?

  2. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Not necessiarily. many of the things that enable friendships online become issues when making face to face friendships. apperanaces, skin color, attractiveness are all a moot point when everyone's a 1 inch cartoom and a jumble of letters. Also online are all your friends your age, or do they skew higer or lower? Do you live in an area where your ideas and views will find people to mesh with, or will they set you apart (geography plays a big part here).

    Like many adults, most of my friends have moved off after college, so 99% of our hanging out is online. For us it works.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    In general (not all cases of course), on-line friendships aren't very demanding. Person-to-person friendships are. So it's apples and oranges really. I think lots of people who are shy, a bit different in their views or thinking, or who are just plain socially awkward for various reasons can find on-line friendships much easier. I was all three of those as a youngster and still am (to a large extent) as an adult...although now I refer to it as antisocial [​IMG]. There's nothing wrong with just have one or three people that you're close to in person. Some people are introverts and some are extroverts, and a whole bunch are somewhere in between the two. [​IMG]
  4. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    On-line friendships also allow you plenty of time to come up with your replies, no instant demand. You don't get (or in some cases need) the invaluable feedback of facial expression and tone. Many young people are actually falling behind in their ability to read these things that are key in personal relationships.

    I had what I thought was a great working professional relationship with some one on-line for 6 months until one day I casually made a comment that made it clear I was female. He freaked and our relationship never recovered. It should have been utterly irrelevant, but some how to him it mattered.

    All that matters IRL....
  5. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    This may sound corny but "This too shall pass" You will get over this stage and have more friends in the future, but is hard to go through when you are in the middle of it. Just keep trying as much as you can and maybe a hobby could help where you could talk about the hobby with other people. [​IMG]

  6. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    No, internet skills don't translate well to other situations. Interacting on the internet is just too easy.

    You have to do more things, more quickly, in person. And think about it - you might really make someone mad on the internet, but they might not bother to respond. So the feedback you get is usually not very accurate.

    In many ways, internet socializing is really kind of limited. People still really NEED face-to-face socializing, too.

    There's a human warmth there that you just don't get on line - the hugs, the appreciative smile, an admiring glance, the great feeling you get when someone looks up at you and pats the empty chair next to them.

    The only thing that makes you a good in person socializer is practice.

    See if you can get involved in some of your family's activities for example. That's a good place to start. You might plan a family activity, entertainment for a Labor Day barbecue, for example, or coordinate a hike or picnic.

    Another thing you might consider is cooking - YES! Cooking. What a great socializer. Most kitchen stores give low cost gourmet cooking classes and most towns have a cooking school that does some teaching. Imagine how knocked out your friends would be if you showed up at the next birthday party with a gorgeous birthday cake you made and decorated yourself. Cooking is an incredible 'social enabler'. People love to talk about food, and if if you can cook, you always have something to talk to people about. Everybody has an opinion about food. You might consider specializing in something really awesome, like grilling or desserts.

    Another possibility is taking your dog to a training class. There's always a lot of socializing around before and after and I've met some really nice people that way.

    Any kind of competition can put you in touch with friends with similar interests, and people with similar interests always have something to talk about too. Anything from chess to tennis can be fun to do with others. Many of the 'Fun Runs' around here are incredibly popular and bring together all sorts of people - fun non-competitive events can allow a lot of visting and socializing.

    You can join a local club connected with school, such as future farmers, tutoring younger students, or anything you're really interested in.

    At 14, I volunteered in a special program to provide tutoring to younger students.

    A few years later, I was working at a Crisis Center, and there was a sixteen year old kid working the crisis lines right beside me. He was phenomenal! He simply went through the same training the adults got and he was just excellent.

    You just never know what you can do til you get out there and try it. And you never know all you were missing unless you make a change.

    You can also do something totally new - volunteer at a local pet rescue, for example. And there are only a kajillian other things you could do - such as volunteer with Habitat for Humanity or a river cleanup organization, or a political re-election campaign office, or get a volunteer or intern position at an office or a type of business you're interested in.

    If you do a little nosing around, you'll find that there are so many fascinating things you can do. If you're excited about something, it makes it easier to participate.

    Anything that gets you moving and doing and talking - WITH people, face to face!

    And I have to say too, that reaching out there and learning to do something new, also involves embarassing moments and those times when you ask yourself, 'WHY did I say that????' LOL. But that's all part of the process of learning....and when you're older you'll look back proudly on how brave you were to try new things. Besides....we're all, always learning such things.

    To be perfectly honest, we're ALL ALWAYS 'learning to socialize better'. I'm almost 60 and I'm constantly finding things I need to be better at. For me, my next project is learning Spanish. My new business will put me in contact with every type of person, and I want to put everyone at ease.

    You should never, ever feel bad like that's a negative thing. It just means you're really conscientious and a good person, if you want to be better at something.

    We're all basically, 'Works in Progress', we're all always 'learning' and we're all always finding better ways to do things.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  7. Ec_Prokta

    Ec_Prokta Continuum Shift Anomaly

    Jan 14, 2009
    Thanks for your replies, everyone!

    Welsummer, I'm definitely trying to get out there and sign up for classes. My mom keeps forgetting, however. [​IMG]

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