2 Tips to Get the Most Out of Online CommunitiesJun 26, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the earth, social distancing has become the norm for many communities. While this helps lower the spread of coronavirus, it has also put a strain on maintaining healthy relationships and social connections.
Fortunately, the internet has become the medium of choice through which many satisfy their need for socialization. For some this might have been an easy transition, but others might find it difficult to adjust. The Internet, after all, is unknown territory to a surprising number of individuals, and it’s a pretty vast space that can feel quite daunting.
If you are feeling anxious about forging new relationships, and finding a community you can belong to on the Internet, here are a couple of tips to help you more easily fit in.
1. Look at the Community Culture
Each online community is different in its own way, and it will take time for you to find one that fits you perfectly.
To discover what each community’s culture is like, you can start by reviewing their rules. Do they come across as too serious, or do they lean towards being more fun-loving? The rules are a good reflection of the people who formed the community, and there is a good chance that they also translate to its members.
After looking at the rules, look at the nature of their communications. Are the people talking positively or negatively? Are they respectful or immature? Do the moderators often chat with the members? Are they talking about anything specifically?
By looking at how people communicate, you gain a better idea of what the community is like. That way, you can find online spaces for people who are similar to you.
2. Always be positive (at least at first)
While online friendships do not necessarily form instantly, the first impression you make is going to stick in people’s minds. Make sure this counts and reflects favourably on you, so try to be positive whenever you are online.
For example, remember to introduce yourself whenever you join and enter a new community. This will help you acquaint yourself with others. At the same time, it gives an excellent first impression to those checking out the “new guy.”
If you find yourself a little too shy or afraid to make friends, then approach things slowly. Spend a few minutes to an hour each day chatting with different people in the community. Comment on what other people are sharing and provide words of encouragement. Agree with other people’s opinions (as long as you actually do, don’t be a suck up).
Sooner or later, you are going to find those who share your interests. Before you know it, you are talking to your new friends as if you have known them your whole life!
If there is one final tip that we must share with you, it is to always talk to other people with confidence, even if you don’t actually feel confident. Rather than saying, “I’m shy, so please bear with me,” say, ” I’m looking forward to talking with you more.” That way, people will know that you want to be part of the community, encouraging them to welcome you with open arms.
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