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Student Blog: Finding a Community Online

The Internet helped me find a close-knit community and made me realize that I was not alone.

Student Blog: Finding a Community Online
Picture Credit: Unsplash

I always found it hard to make new friends. With the Internet, it became infinitely simpler. I never fully applied the "Don't talk to strangers!" rule online, sorry Mom and Dad. Thanks to that, I discovered musical theatre. I live in Switzerland, and my school never offered theatre classes nor musical theatre classes. Growing up, I have only been scarcely exposed to this form of art.

It was so until, one day, while I was scrolling down my timeline on Twitter, I saw a video from Hamilton. I was stunned; in my head, musicals were nothing like this. I listened to the whole album, which led me to another album, which led me to be a musical theatre enthusiast. Once my deep dive into this rabbit hole over, I felt the need to share it with my friends. As one would expect, they were not all into it as much as I was, which is fine. It is perfectly normal and healthy to have different interests. Still, that is the main reason why I came back on Twitter, to find more people with the same interest as I have.

I found out that there existed a whole community online united around Broadway, and, suddenly, I was not alone anymore. Little by little, I met people who shared the same excitement I felt about theatre! It allowed me to discover even more shows and artists. I met people from all over the world, learned about other cultures and memorized more timezones than I would care to admit. Above all else, I made new friends.

Creating friendships on the Internet can be very intimidating. At first, these people are merely faceless strangers. So, how can you bond with them? Start by finding people who share the same interests as you and follow them. If they follow you back, great, now try to DM them! It can be something as simple as straightforwardly asking them if they want to be friends with you. You do not need to overthink this. If you don't want to message them, you can always comment under their publications and interact with them.

Group chats are also a great way to meet many people at once, even though they can die pretty quickly. As for Twitter, you will get accounts recommended depending on who you already follow. That is an excellent technique to discover new people. In short, do not be afraid to interact with others as long as you are respectful! If you are an introvert, you may even find it easier to start a friendship this way.

In conclusion, the Internet has made it remarkably easier to meet people who share the same passion you have. It is a great tool, when used correctly, to reunite us, especially during times when we are isolated one from another. We must nevertheless not forget the dangers that are attached to it. It perhaps sounds obvious, but do not share personal information such as your address or phone number with unknown people. Be safe and have fun!


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