I recently did a search on Google for “Find people to talk to”, and got 480 million results. “People to talk to online” yielded 313 million results. The first few search results pages are filled with free chat rooms for talking with strangers for casual talk. You begin to think if using these services would lead to conversations on uncomfortable topics and who would you be talking to anyway. Bots are the new thing, but chatting with bots gets boring quickly.
However, if you want something meaningful in your conversations, you need to find and connect with people at a deeper level based in common interests. Finding such people is more difficult. The usual routes are school and college alumni events, mixers, and networking events. We all know from personal experience with such in-person “networking” activities, that the process is somewhat clumsy and not always satisfying. As someone said, it is like dealing with bagels where people who know each other usually hang out together and entering that conversation is somewhat difficult like breaking a bagel. It can be done though, but takes guts to insert yourself in an ongoing conversation. Then begins the awkward phase of asking what the other person does and showing interest with the hope that they in turn will ask you about you and what you want. The burning questions in the back of your mind always are: what’s in it for him or her to speak with me and what if I cannot offer anything in return? Then comes handshakes and “Good to meet you” pleasantries. Finally, the follow up. Most don’t care to respond to your follow ups, and so you begin to question if it was all worthwhile to begin with.
That is the traditional route. Nothing wrong with that. I have made many contacts this way. But I made more contacts on the phone when there was a specific common interest and a reason for the other person to speak with me.
This begs the question if there is another way to make connections. There is, if you can find an online platform where people who want to engage with others can express their interests and then get matched up with others having similar interests. Such a platform can be very effective as both sides know well that there has to be some give and take in the conversation. Everybody has needs, but you don’t quite know what that is till you make the connection. If you begin a conversation on common ground, it would move to actual engagement, then to give and take, and result in both sides getting something out of the dialog. Not only that, you would begin to develop new relationships and new friends.
The more specific the basis for conversation, the more productive it would be. So, find a platform that enables you to find the right real people based on areas of specific, common interest. Everybody has interests and people have a desire to talk with others. Not all conversations are with family and friends.