I’m not huge on crowds, so how did I make 50 friends in one month? My example is below.
As the years with the internet has progressed, it has made it easier to meet people online. People can find potential dates, people can sell things to one another, people can Couchsurf to make travel cheaper, etc.
As you know I’m a connector. I want to meet as many people as I possibly can.
Since I’m not the type to go to parties, I’m grateful for the internet.
The reason for this is that I like conversations with ridiculous amount of depth.
There are three types of conversation levels:
1. Small talk. When you talk to a stranger or have to talk to someone politely (just imagine that relative you aren’t close to.), then you have this. You ask them “How’s the weather?” or “How’s it going?” I don’t like going through it often because it’s boring and not that rewarding.
2. Interests. When you find a common interest, then the conversation gets better. If they like blogs and you do too, then you can talk about your favorite blogs, their favorite blogs, what type of blogs both of you like, etc. It’s nice to relate to someone but not quite where I’d like to be.
3. Passions, life-goals, visions, metaphysics, crazy relationship stuff that no one shares with anyone anymore. Now this is where I’d like to land with people because this is the most satisfying type of conversation. It can be difficult to reach this level when you’re not already close with someone but that’s what I strive to reach. I feel that the internet makes it easier for that when you’re just focusing on someone’s words rather than all the outside influence of clothes, appearances, and other activities.
All I did was find a site where there were thousands of people. You can do this with a forum or any other online site. Then I personally sent them messages based on their taste (music, movies, books, philosophy).
The 90-9-1 rule (by Sebastian Marshall*) applied here in a different way.
-Around 90% of people I talked to didn’t click. They wouldn’t reply or either party would stop replying after a couple of exchanges.
-9% of people I ended up talking to about interests, their culture, anything that caused good conversation. I still talk to them to this day.
-The magical 1% wavelength are those few people where you have free reign. There are almost no limits as to what you two can talk about because you have the same type of humor and a huge depth of commonality that nothing is taboo. These are the people I look for.
But that’s 1%. It holds true. Here’s my personal example:
During March 2010, I sent messages to around 400 people. I already knew that the percentages would end up being 90-9-1.
Around half replied to me. Then I replied back to them.
-Around another half replied to me. After a few rounds of talking to people I came down to around 50 people. I was about to connect with that many through many rounds of messages. They’re great to talk to about passions and interests. (It held true that around 9% of people will connect with you in a great way.) This is my definition of an awesome friend.
-However, out of those 50, I’ve only had the magical 1% wavelength with 4 people. So it goes to show how many people I had to initiate contact with in order to find the people who I could really connect with. This is the type of interaction I look for ideally because there are no limits. You can almost free flow to the person about what you’re feeling and thinking.
Of course, there are pros and cons to meeting people online.
-For people who can’t take rejection well, it’s somewhere easy to start.
If someone doesn’t reply to you, then it’s totally fine to take. I like being able to find people with similar tastes on forums, twitter, and other websites very quickly.
-People are able to past through the waste of time that is ‘small talk’ extremely quickly. It makes it easier for me to get through to someone’s passion right away.
-You can talk to someone’s mind (see their words visually) rather than having to see their outer appearance visually. You can see their interests in text (through profiles, blogs, social media, etc.), rather than have to cold guess when you’re meeting a stranger in the real world.
-You can analyze what someone said and give more thought to how you want to reply. It isn’t awkward to be a bit more introspective and give more time between replies when you do reply.
Bonus: -Half the adrenaline rush is trying to figure out how to meet them in real life.
*I’ll get more into this soon in a future post.
-People can easily fake their identity. You can filter out many of the fakes by the general rule, “If it’s too good to be true, then it’s definitely a fake.” You can also feel the pushy atmosphere and something about them is off. I block those people quickly because they don’t deserve the time.
-People you meet can be far away. The only other unfortunate situation is if people you meet are far away. I’ve had this happen to me a lot of the time. Luckily, Skype makes it possible to get close to the real-life depth of talking to someone face to face.
The internet gives another option on being able to meet people. That’s the genius behind it. All ways of meeting people are great (offline, online, online –> offline) but meeting people online breaks the location barrier, breaks the group influence barrier, and creates a way to go around the small talk.