When I think about my closest friends in Charlotte, I realize that I’ve met a lot of them through Twitter. We would respond to each other’s tweets, then eventually either make plans to meet up or happen to meet at an event and the rest, as they say, is history. I always thought this was a pretty normal way to make friends as an adult in 2015, but recently I was talking with some of the other C5 writers when I was informed that, in fact, it’s not as common as I thought.
I guess I hadn’t considered that there could be a certain creep factor in trying to meet people via Twitter. There’s a fine line between friendly and weird AF and you need to toe it carefully. So how do you successfully move Twitter friendships into real life connections without sketching the other person out? Here are some tricks I’ve used thus far:
Build the connection first
Take time to get to know your would-be friend before you ask them to meet in person. Hitting the “follow” button and then immediately inviting them out radiates stage-five clinger vibes. Also, let them know why you’d like to meet. Do you think their tweets are hysterical? Do you share a common interest?
— Lauren Levine (@lifewithlauren1) December 28, 2015
Make it convenient for them
If you’re looking to meet a Twitter connection for the first time, make it easy for them to say “yes” to your invitation. If they live in NoDa, offer to meet them at Smelly Cat, for example. Don’t make them trek out to you in Ballantyne.
No one wants to have to put on real pants and drive out to meet someone they don’t really know for coffee, only to have to listen to that person perform a monologue for an hour. Ask questions and actually listen to what the person is saying.
Don’t be afraid to tell them about yourself
If you treat your whole interaction like a job interview (think formal, stiff responses) it can be hard to move from social media acquaintances to real-life friends. You don’t need to spill every gory detail of a date you went on, but be willing to divulge some personal information about yourself. What projects are you excited about at work? What will it be like when you head home for Christmas? Do you have a crazy uncle to deal with? We all do. Let’s talk about it.
— Lauren Levine (@lifewithlauren1) December 22, 2015
Set another plan
Another thing that’s easy to forget: grabbing a drink once is great, but if you never make an effort to see your new pal again, the depth of your connection will be limited. Set plans for another in-person hang out, but also make it a point to keep in regular contact in between get-togethers. Send them a text, e-mail them a link you think they’d be interested to see, or be their 11th like on an Instagram picture. You know they’ll appreciate you then.