I have a friend. And I promise this is not the beginning of an awkward anecdote designed to ask for advice for this “friend” of mine. This friend is real. In fact, I’m looking at her right now.
She’s my cheerleader in my writing career and support network in my low impact lifestyle journey. She’s great. Everybody should have a friend like that, who supports you in difficult moments.
I also have a very supportive mom, but she’s not a person I can rant to. She expects clear guidance as to what kind of things I want to eat (no meat? Sure honey, what do you want to eat instead then?) and what kind of items we want to buy.
But over the years and my various passion projects, I’ve discovered that the bigger and more involved support network is, the bigger the chance of success.
So I went to social media, to find some more friends.
It went exactly as well as you might suspect.
Because you can’t just decide to go out and make friends. True friendships take time to develop and the Internet, unfortunately, adds a barrier of a screen. Sure, it makes it easier to actually find people, but then establishing interactions that are more personal is problematic.
Add to that the whole performative aspect of social media that the movements I’m interested in suffer from, and making genuine connections becomes even more difficult.
And so: I struggle.
I’m naturally an anxious person, an introvert. So making connections with people takes time for me and adds a lot of stress in the meantime, while those people are still strangers for me. Interacting with people does not come naturally to me, I have to put in the extra effort. Not to mention it feels super weird to me to reach out to people I don’t already have a relationship with.
But I try.
I know people have goals when it comes to their social media presence: the followers count, the engagement rate, etc. Well here’s my goal for the rest of the year:
I will try to make genuine connections on both Twitter and Instagram. Try to expand my use of those platforms beyond posting to them and “liking” other people’s content.
What could possibly go wrong, right?
Wish me luck!