But even social media itself can feel a bit like a one-way street; luckily there are other digital platforms actively replicating the nuances of meeting someone the good old-fashioned way… the bar. Hmm… I’m intrigued. A virtual bar, you say? Inside.bar recreates the bar-going experience in your own home through virtual video chat. In a world where networking and establishing social connections and online relationships mean everything, Inside.bar makes socializing easier without you breaking the bank or even putting on shoes.
That's right, you can make new long-distance friends without ever having to leave your couch.
There are enough dating apps in the world, so Inside.bar isn’t the place to pick up your next hot date. Instead, patrons frequent the Inside.bar to meet other like-minded individuals in their industries or those who share similar hobbies or interests. To get you started, Inside.bar asks you to select your language and pin-point 3-5 interests that’ll help match you with other patrons.
Inside.bar offers the best of both worlds to extroverts looking for an outlet to interact with others, and introverts practising putting themselves out there safely and comfortably.
It’s normal to be sceptical about meeting new people online. Most of us were conditioned by our parents to never trust strangers (especially on the internet).
While there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy scepticism, more and more people are dipping their toes in the digital pond during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Gartner, there was a shocking 93% increase in video and voice conversations on popular social networking and dating app Bumble during the tail-end of March. Right at the peak of the pandemic and everyone's self-quarantine.
Perhaps a little unorthodox and uncomfortable for some at first, video chats and voice messages quickly became the new normal for internet users confined to their homes during the pandemic. How to get the most out of your virtual ‘hangout’ After a long day of work, it can be daunting to walk into a full bar filled with people you don’t know. You might assume everyone is paired off with their partner or group of friends. This can have you feeling low and second-guessing yourself. However, a digital bar means everyone is there on their terms, independent of their social circles, and open to meeting new people.
Ask about their ‘why’ When you share the same love for something, whether it be collecting certain items, volunteering, sports, or films, you will both undoubtedly have very interesting and personal reasons for how or why you got started loving it in the first place. This question alone calls upon a person’s passions and motivations, a topic that is sure to spark lively conversation. What are their future goals? Now that you have some background on why they are passionate, you can ask what do they wish to accomplish in the long-run? Asking this question presents the opportunity for you to determine where you can fit into the equation. Perhaps you know someone else you could connect them to, or you have some advice you could pass down. Either way, this question opens up many doors for you two to help each other in accomplishing your goals and overall building trust.
This is a super important question that surprisingly most people forget to ask at the end of their conversation. Don’t be bashful, if you think the connection was strong then offer to stay in touch through social media and arrange another video call soon. Never forget, people like to feel wanted. If you don’t put yourself out there, you could be missing out on a new long-distance friend!
To answer briefly, just because a connection is made online rather than in-person, it doesn’t mean the bond is considered any less than or weaker in comparison. According to a TechCrunch article, the internet has made longer relationships more feasible through consistency, convenience, and multi-way communication.
The internet is a platform for those with similar hobbies and opinions to connect and communicate; much like a bar, sporting event, public concert, or other in-person events. The internet presents the same fundamentals to progressing relationships (if not more conveniently) than attempting to develop relationships off-line. New relationships make or break according to these key elements: consistency in communication, convenience (location and availability), and reciprocity.
According to a 2016 study, research supports the idea that intimate online relationships can be similar to relationships made offline in terms of “meaning, intimacy, and stability.” Also, keeping in touch online has helped both types of relationships develop over time. After meeting someone new over video chat or messaging, extend your communication through engaging with each other via social media channels to cover all these bases when you're not video-chatting.
Reciprocate and validate your new connection with likes, comments, and general acknowledgement. Share funny memes, videos, or tweets with them to spark new conversations and continue to make an effort by staying consistent. The convenience of communicating on the internet has eradicated the need for local convenience. Essentially, you can be long-distance friends with anyone from any part of the world thanks to the internet!
Now that you’re primed and ready to jump into the vast world of social networking in a virtual bar setting, just go for it!
A common red-flag that most people are concerned with when meeting new people online is that it’s so easy to lie. Prove those people wrong by being your most authentic self and you’ll attract others who are being genuine also.
It’s all about consistency when establishing new online relationships and it can be hard work. But in the digital age, expanding your social circle has never been simpler (and honestly, more fun).