Social media is notorious for making people, especially young people, anti-social and introverted in the real world. There is, however, another side to the coin. The rise of social networking sites has enabled more people to make a circle of acquaintances, based on friendships, professions and mutual interests. These virtual interactions can be broken into the following categories:
Social Networking Groups
Platforms like Facebook enable people to make groups based on similar appeals such as food, photography etc. One such example is DeviantArt, an online community for artists around the globe. As of January 2017, Deviantart brings together roughly 26 million users. On individual artworks and groups, critiques are found, through which people make affiliations. Recently, teachers have found online assemblages to be a great asset for interaction with students, such as KhanAcademy.com
Private Firms and institutes often host exhibitions and competitions internationally, in search of opportunity and appreciation. Setting up websites with complete details on participation and publicising these sites through social media results is gathering a large number of people, for example, international Model UN conferences. In the recent edition of Harvard Model UN (Boston) around 3300 delegates who attended, socialised, and made memorable acquaintances, sustainable by the use of social media.
International organisations use video conferencing for their member institutions/personnel to share annual advancements. An example is The RoundSquare, a group of international high schools sharing a set of ideals. The schools connect in online meetings where they plan projects and students represent the views of their schools, and more often than not, these students establish good relations with each other as international citizens.
Websites like WordPress have made it convenient for anyone with an internet connection to start a blog on their mutual pursuits. Fan-fiction writers have fully utilised this trend. Writers compose works on popular fanbases, those who follow the fan-base then comment on the stories and become conversant with their fellow fans by exchanging phone numbers or Facebook IDs. To exemplify, we take the famous website for amateur writers: Wattpad. The most popular fan-fictions include those based on Harry Styles, from the famous boyband, One-Direction, to Popular Youtuber, Dan Howell. The views range from around 15 million to 500,000 for popular content.
Forums and Chatrooms
Many websites, when spanned through, are found to have forums and Chatrooms. Some sites, like ‘Omegle’ and ‘Moco-Chat, Meet People‘ are purely dedicated to chat rooms and private messaging. Most of these Chatrooms consist of people sharing views about the latest video games, sports and music, among other things. Omegle connects about 25,000 people daily.
Dating and Matrimonial sites are prime sources to meet people of desirable qualities for the sake of establishing relationships. The most popular dating app lately is Tinder. The number of matches made by Tinder to date is a whopping 10 billion, out of which 2.6 million matches are made daily. More apps are emerging regularly for these purposes, making online interaction simpler by the day.