Millennials are a unique breed: the generation of Instagram and avocado toast is approaching every area of life — from careers to living situations — with completely different values, philosophies and ideologies than their parents and grandparents.
It’s no secret that Tinder and Bumble have completely changed the dating game, but what about friendship? How can millennials forge true, supportive relationships in the digital age?
While it may seem difficult to begin growing your network, with the right attitude, the process can actually be quite painless. Try the five tips below to find your tribe, and develop long-lasting, fun and fulfilling friendships this year.
1. Don’t be afraid to slide into those DMs
Although you may hesitate to message a stranger out of the blue on a platform like Instagram or LinkedIn, you’d be surprised at how normalized this has become. As a friend-making strategy, it couldn’t be more perfect — you get to see a preview of their interests, likes and dislikes, and you may even have mutual friends. If you come across someone you feel like you’d vibe with, message him or her asking to grab a coffee. Even if you don’t become lifelong buds, you’ll gain a new connection out of the deal.
2. Join a co-working space
Millennials in the workforce are becoming increasingly more likely to go the independent route than their parents, and co-working spaces seem to be popping up all over the world. If you work from home or on a freelance basis, joining a co-working space can be an awesome way to meet like-minded creative types and build your network. Even if you have a full-time job, visiting a co-working space or an independent coffee shop to work on your creative pursuits once in a while will open the door to a whole new world of people you never would have met otherwise.
3. Follow your passions
Whether you love writing, cooking, yoga or ballet, heading to a weekly class or workshop can be an easy way to develop natural friendships. Remember how easy it was to make friends at school? When you see the same people every week, you begin to ease into organic friendships that don’t feel forced or awkward at all. The next time you’re at boxing practice or pottery class, strike up a casual conversation with a familiar face. You just may make a new friend out of it.
4. Start a blog
Connecting with your tribe is much easier when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and put yourself out there without apology. Starting a blog is a great way to do this. Sharing your thoughts, opinions and ideas on subjects like food, philosophy or even beauty will open the door for new friends and connections to grow, plus it will provide you with a creative outlet during your spare time. Comment on other blogs you love, and be sure to stay true to you. Being authentic is one of the quickest ways to find real, supportive friends fast.
Millennials are all about exploring the world, so planning a trip to a fun destination like Iceland, Peru, or Lisbon can be an easy way to make friends on an international scale. With FaceTime, Skype and iMessage, there’s nothing stopping you from creating a global network of friends all around the world, and traveling is one of the best ways to forge cross-cultural friendships. Hostels, local bars, or even guided tours are all easy ways to make fast friends, so get out your passport and be spontaneous.