Building Your Social Networks
Social media websites and apps are a great way to keep in contact with your friends and family, but it is also just as important to connect with them in person. Follow these tips to start on your path to building or expanding your healthy relationships.
Ways to expand your social network
- Get out with your pet. Seek out a dog park and make conversation with those who stop to talk.
- Work out. Join a class through a local gym, senior center, or community fitness facility. You could even start a lunchtime walking group at work.
- Do lunch. Invite an acquaintance to join you for a meal, grab a coffee, or meet up for a drink.
- Volunteer. Hospitals, places of worship, museums, community centers, and other organizations often need volunteers. You can form strong connections when you work with people who share a mutual interest.
- Accept invitations. When you’re invited to a social gathering, say yes. Contact someone who recently invited you to an activity and return the favor.
- Join a cause. Get together with a group of people working toward a goal you believe in, such as a political election or preservation project.
- Join a hobby group. Find a nearby group with similar interests in such things as auto racing, music, gardening, books, or crafts.
How can social media affect my relationships?
Joining an online community through a social media outlet might help you make or maintain connections and relieve loneliness. However, research suggests that use of social networking sites doesn’t necessarily translate to a larger offline network or closer offline relationships with network members. Always remember to be cautious when sharing personal information or arranging an activity with someone you’ve only met online.
Did you know?
Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, especially if you’re new in town. Visit VolunteerMatch.org to find a nonprofit you’re passionate about!