Age Doesn’t Matter When It Comes to Making Friends Online

Age Doesn’t Matter When It Comes to Making Friends Online

Waking up in the morning, what's the very first thing you do? If you're like me, it's pressing the snooze on your alarm on your phone.  The second thing I do is check my phone notifications. My day begins and ends with my phone, and I don't think I'm the only one. With the increase day-to-day use of technology, there's a lot of talk around 'connection' and how it's shifted with our use of social media, apps, and other technological tools. I think it's easy to claim that with our noses glued to our phones, 'technology = bad'. It's a common thought that our dependence on technology means that we aren't as connected with our fellow humans. However, I'm not convinced that that's entirely true.

 

As we get older, our social circles change. In grade school, we have a tight-knit group of friends we see daily. In university, we might start to draft a little, as schoolwork and part-time jobs take over out lives. Moving into adulthood, getting our first full-time jobs, and entering into more serious relationships, we lose touch even more.

 

As we age, our friendship group becomes smaller and smaller, visits less and less frequent. A senior living in isolation, is not uncommon and loneliness can feel even more pronounced. Perhaps their partner has passed away, their family lives in a different city, or friends fall ill.  

 

Technology can actually help us connect with one another, through these periods of vulnerability. 

 

Apps like Panion are tools that offer us a platform to meet someone that we have something in common with.  Meeting potential romantic partners online has been a popular choice for millennials for a while now, so it not seem like a natural move. However, according to research by Medalerthelp.org, a surprising 70% of users 65 and over accessing the web every day. 

 

 

Age Doesn't Matter
There’s no age restriction on making new friends online. Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger.

 

Age shouldn't be a factor when thinking about making friends online. Here's three reasons why giving online friendship apps a try is worth your while:
 

 

The veil of anonymity gives people room to be more open about their thoughts and feelings.

 

Think of the regular conversations we tend to have when we first meet someone new. We take our time dipping our toe in the pool to gauge the other person’s sentiments and values. This process happens much faster online. We don’t have to worry about looks or how the other person might feel about our political persuasions. (Sure, if we decide to share those parts of us later, we can.) An intellectual and emotional connection is much easier to form with a like-minded individual from behind the safety of the veil.



Friendships made online are less demanding than ones “in real life.”

 

It’s much easier to set boundaries when you start off online. Social conventions do not have as much of a stronghold there as they do in real life, for one. Fellow app users typically expect life outside of PCs and mobile phones to take precedence. You can expect a more forgiving attitude for belated birthday greetings or having to cancel on a chat date of some kind. And, should you choose to include them in your physical “here and now” world, it helps that you have all the time to broach the topic and set expectations.


 

The best part of starting a friendship online

 

Perhaps the nicest thing about finding the courage to explore making friends online is the fact that it can reinvigorate our sense of wonder and curiosity. It’s nice to step out of our own little bubble sometimes. Seeing a different world through someone else’s eyes can introduce us to new, exciting things and awe-inspiring perspectives. It’s a wonderful experience and all possible with a few swipes and presses of your fingertips. There’s no need to feel anxious. You can always decide if and when you want to meet up with someone face-to-face, so go ahead: give Panion a try.

Nikola Djordjevic, MD
Nikola Djordjevic, MD
Nikola Djordjevic, MD, is a doctor from Serbia who, out of his passion for helping others, reviews medical alert systems and writes a blog dedicated to health, aging, retirement, and other senior-related topics.