If you look at most people’s social groups, they’re very tight.
You have lots of mutual friends on facebook.
You went to the same school/university/workplace.
But I think that way of acquiring friendships is quite unnatural.
Good friendships are based on mutual interest and shared experiences.
And I think because of the nature of school – people huddle in large groups. People of the same age, class, race.
Not because you all like something. But because you’re all in the same place, at the same time.
Most people don’t hang around with anyone else, or go looking for new friends because they’re afraid.
They need to feel part of a group. They need to feel comfortable.
But this is quite unhealthy, I think. Because you limit your social circle
When it gets too insular, it leads to friction and bitchiness. And people get into relationships just because they belong in the same groups, which they end up not enjoying.
They never leave that fluffy comfort zone of their friends.
I see this in play at networking events and meetups. You have people who stand alone and look a bit intimidated. Or people who huddle with their mates.
So you go and chat to them. Whether they’re 25 or 55. White or Black. Male or Female. Whatever.
And you end up making them feel comfortable there. They like you. And you end up connecting with all different types of people. Making connections with all kinds of disparate social circles. Developers. Marketers. Bankers. Small business owners. Lawyers.
It’s fun. And it’s valuable to meet so many people with different perspectives on life.
I think in the future, things with change.
Our social bonds will be stronger. Instead of being due to being at the same place at the same time, it’ll be because of mutual interests. You’ll meet and connect with more and more people who share the same interests. Technology will make new-friend discovery easier.
And that will make us all happier, methinks.