Meeting new people is easy, right? WRONG.
It always seems such a breeze when you're young. You move to a new place, you go to work, you go out for drinks - people are everywhere, especially in the city and you just assume you'll acquire friends in no time. But how long is no time? Everyone makes it look so easy but realistically, it doesn't happen that way and these days our heads are in our phones more than they are the actual conversation.
Moving to uni is different to moving to a new city. You meet people in class and lectures and it's a room full of people in the exact same boat, the rest is history. Fast-forward to graduate life, moving to a completely new city without a single contact in your phonebook and you have a whole other story. I mean, who's gonna hold your hair back while you're sick on a heavy night out?
Going out week after week in the hope of forming some impromptu girl gang in the bar toilets is more and more frustrating when by each Sunday morning you're still sat in your apartment wondering how the hell Carrie Bradshaw even got friends in the first place while you're sat with a cuppa on your bill with no one to cook up hangover food for you.
That's where the digital revolution comes in. Before we became so delved into our Instagram feeds, talking to people IRL was the absolute norm. I'm lucky enough to remember a time in my life when chatting to the person stood next to you at the bus stop or in the till queue actually happened and we weren't afraid of approaching another human being. Today, we exile ourselves into do-not-disturb mode and use our phones as a clear signal that we don't want to interact. So, how do people even make friends these days if you didn't go to uni in town or wasn't raised there? Walk into a bar and chat to random people? Nope - being the random drunk girl talking to random people never goes down well... Hold up a sign outside the shops saying 'Friends Wanted'? Don't think that one sounds too socially accepted either... Or... Go online?
The amount of young people using dating websites and apps has tripled in the past three years and two thirds of those users have actively gone out to meet people they have spoken to on the apps, proving the use of the internet has become a vital part of our social lives already.
The stigma around meeting people online is still lingering in tiny fractions (probably thanks to those sugar daddies sites...) and has gradually become so much more positively received, but with Generation X, having a dating app on your phone has become as standard as Facebook and Twitter. There's an app for everything now, and that includes apps for finding friends for those all important girly nights and pamper sessions such as Badoo. It's a breath of fresh air in comparison to those sleazy dating apps that attract booty-call seeking men (and women) and if we can speed date for companionship and even flat mates, then why not for actual friends? Without even realising, we already organically make new friends within our own little blogosphere, be it with those people who we frequently tweet back or those whose Instagram photos we often drop a comment to. In the blogosphere, we're like-minded people and it doesn't feel unnatural at all, even though it's technically meeting people online still - and now we can do this on 'dating' apps too.
So... why are we so reluctant to use new ways of meeting people and instead put ourselves in social purgatory? The digital age has changed our lives for the better already and the days of inconvenience are long gone. Meeting people doesn't have to be so taboo anymore and 'dating' doesn't have to be just for significant others. With video features to really get a scope on someone's personality (Badoo being the first), meeting people digitally is becoming more virtual than ever. Let's embrace the internet for all it has to offer and be the social butterflies we know we all are!