December 3, 2018

Food for Thought

I joined 4 other Instagrammers for this excellent Thai food—although I wouldn’t have recognized it as Thai if nobody had told me. It’s nice to see chefs pushing the American palate, and it’s also nice to have friends who encourage each other to try new things. People regularly ask me how I meet people online. I haven’t thought about it much because I’ve been meeting people online since the late 90s. Before social media, I exchanged lots of emails with strangers, and if they happen to be in New York, I would arrange to meet in person.

The prerequisite for meeting interesting people online is to share something interesting online. It doesn’t have to be interesting to everyone; it just has to be really interesting to a few people. You wouldn’t have time to meet thousands of people anyway. For those who do not share anything online, it would indeed be a mystery because there is no possibility of making connections if they are not out there to be seen. Just sharing anything personal wouldn’t work. If your rants and raves are just like the million other rants and raves online, connecting with you would be just as awkward as trying to connect with a random stranger on the street.

If you’ve ever lived in a foreign country as an expat, you’d know how easy it is to make friends with fellow expats. The fact that you were willing to move to, say, Tokyo, allows you to connect easily with others who were also willing to do the same. That is, you have to stake something. On the Internet, the willingness to travel far is expressed as your willingness to be yourself unapologetically. It’s more about depth than about breadth. Digging deep within yourself and sharing what you find works as a garbage sifter.

#thaifood #nycfood #nycfoodie #nyceats #makingfriends #meetingpeople