With the endless stories of social media-originated friendships that turned parasitic, and romances gone wrong, I developed an aversion for making friends online. Nonetheless, after several accusations, I decided to be a little friendlier and responsive to chats. Still, it’s been difficult making friends with most because the conversation hardly ever goes well. I wondered why and realized a few things that seem to make it difficult.
Salutation (Sup, Xup, Hy): What are those? If you are contacting someone for the first time, say your proper hello and introduce yourself with the name you prefer to be called (Yes, even if your name is obviously on the chat). Avoid sharing too much information before you get a response, it can be a turn-off too. Just keep it simple! For example, “Hello, my name is Debola. How are you doing?”
Endearments: I promise you that English words were not created in a vacuum or as fillers, they all have meaning. So “Dear” for instance, is for someone who is in actual fact, dear to you. REFRAIN from using endearments such as honey, dear, sweetie, babe, and baby in addressing a total stranger. While you may mean well and use endearments in the hope that it makes the other person comfortable, it almost always has the reverse effect. It is cheesy at best.
Location: Mehn, don’t ask me where I live! Do I know if you are related to a kidnapper or not? You expect me to trust you just like that in a security depraved country? If you want to be friends, be patient enough to get to know me before you ask to see me or ask about where I live.
About Contact info: I know we are in the age of technology but – and I can’t say this enough – you are a stranger! Please don’t expect me to give you my WhatsApp number right off the bat especially when it is not for business. Then…
Beep! #Email address. Beep! #Phone number Beep! Beeeeppp!! Beeeeeeeeepppp!!!
I stare at my phone screen and watch as you download all your details, hoping you will also drop the details to your bank account and safe deposit box too. Such nonsense!
Sharing Information: I get that you want to move the friendship along quickly but I am of the school of thought that friendship takes time to build. So please, resist the urge to share the heavy stuff or baggage immediately. I really empathize, but I honestly don’t want to have details of your divorce or heart break. Too soon bruh/sisptren!
The Love-talk: Oh my days! This one just makes me want to yank my hair out. You love me? For real?! Like for real for real?! Why and how exactly did you expect this tactic to work? YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW ME! I’m just gonna go ahead and conclude that you absolutely don’t know what you want. If you did, you’d try to get to know me and see if I am what you want or not. Quite logical, innit?!
The Sex-talk: Wait, how did we get here? No wait, how did YOU get here? It is in complete poor taste for you to brooch this subject with someone who is a complete stranger; no, not even flirtatious references.
The Proposal: You want to what?! Marry me? Nah, I can’t do this bruh! Y’know what? Read the last two points again. I might just have a headache if I have to elaborate here…
These things are complete turn-offs for most males and females of worth. Just because Facebook calls us friends does not mean we actually are. Like I have already explained, it takes time to build true friendships. So, if you must make friends online, invest time to build it and not merely rush the process because it hardly ever works.