It's easy to meet people for free online. All kinds of websites have been developed that offer this type of opportunity. Perhaps the most popular are the well-known social networking sites that give individuals the chance to develop what amounts to a personal website. Some associations will set up a community network on the company's website so that association members can become acquainted with one another. Online dating sites are also extremely popular places to find other people. Though many of these charge a monthly fee for the service, others are free. Other popular options are local meeting, international pen pal, and hospitality/travel sites. Each of these can help individuals get acquainted with others either in their own neighborhood, somewhere else in the country, or in foreign places. Whether a person wants to meet people for free to make new friends, find a potential spouse, or to learn more about other cultures, the internet is the one-stop shopping place. All these communities are as close as a person is to a keyboard and an internet connection.
The most popular social networking communities began as places for teenagers and college students to connect with one another. However, the major sites have increased their appeal so that now individuals of all ages are setting up profiles and web pages. Through these communities, individuals can stay in touch with family and friends who are also members. The sites also help an individual find people that they may have lost touch with over the years. For example, it's often possible to find former high school classmates or old army buddies. Additionally, an individual can meet people for free by joining or forming a group that centers on a specific hobby, occupation, geographic location, or some other criterion. Other popular sites are geared to the business professional. The concept is similar the user creates an account and a profile. But the purpose is to be part of a network of business professionals who can promote each other's companies and careers. Some associations also provide an online community as a service to members. For example, a popular organization catering to senior citizens offers an online community where members can join groups based on their interests. Networking sites usually have some type of search or sort feature that helps users find the groups that they would be interested in joining.
Single people can meet other singles by signing up with an online dating service. Singles should be careful about using this type of resource to meet people for free, however, Too many of these sites are used to arrange casual physical encounters. Such activity isn't safe or healthy; it also goes against Scripture. Paul instructs the Roman Christians: "Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof" (Romans 13:13-14). It's not necessarily wrong for single people of faith to use online dating services, but they should use services that are created especially for the Christian community even if a monthly fee has to be paid. This is a much better way to find marriage prospects than a sleazy free site. Another option is to find a site that tells about meetings and events in one's local community. This isn't a dating service, and isn't limited to singles, but can be a great way to meet people for free who enjoy similar activities. For example, a jogger can use the site to find running clubs in his neighborhood. Or a stay-at-home mom might be able to find play groups that meet at local parks.
For people who like to travel or who just like to learn about other countries and their cultures, an international pen pal site can be a great community to join. The major sites let users search by language, location, gender, and age. Establishing a friendship with someone from another country can be a helpful way to improve one's fluency in another language or just to learn more about a city or country before traveling to it. Becoming acquainted with someone from a place where one plans to visit can be a great experience. The pen pal can tell where the locals really go out to eat and provide interesting information about a culture and its people that might not be found in the tourist guides. Some hospitality sites are designed to help travelers meet people for free by arranging home-cooked meals in the houses of locals or even overnight stays. These types of dining and lodging events will provide a memorable experience and perhaps even longlasting friendships.
An individual only needs to know why he wants to meet people for free before taking the steps to do so. Both casual and business relationships can be formed at the popular networking sites. Someone who belongs to an association knows she already has something in common with other members of the same association so these communities can be great places to make new friends. Online dating services might help a single person find the person of his dreams, but may also turn into a nightmare and should be used with discretion and wisdom. A better alternative might be a local meeting site that allows users to enter a city or zip code and find out what is happening in one's own neighborhood or community. Those with an interest in foreign lands can join international pen pal sites and the more adventurous can meet people for free by joining a hospitality or travel community. All these options give people the opportunity to get acquainted with others who have similar interests, hobbies, occupations, and experiences.
Online Social CommunityAn online social community, also known as a social networking website, has become the most popular meeting place for Americans of all ages. Millions of people have logged on and found one another through the many online social community network websites that have been created in the past ten years. These websites range from exclusive and invitation only sites for only the jet set crowd to the freest of free websites where even canines and felines have their profiles posted. These communities started out as something for high school and college students to spend evening and weekend hours perusing, but quickly turned into national phenoms that have pulled in people of all ages. Dating and matchmaking were the first reasons these sites were created, particularly meeting the Gen Y need to stay in touch with college friends. But these Internet neighborhoods quickly caught on as places where likeminded people from all walks of life could meet and discuss things of interest to their lives. From ecology to old cars to business networks where new customers and vendors could be found, World Wide Web neighborhoods have sprung up like wildfire, enabling people with similar interests but thousands of miles apart to converse daily if desired.
An online social community can have a serious tone to it and a mission to match. There are a number of websites that have been created to pull together persons from around the world who are concerned about ecology and the concern for possible global climate changes. There are social communities that champion certain medical issues that bring people together and there are educational websites that allow people to discuss and forum on subjects that affect every student in America. There are sites that unite book lovers and sites help artists sell their work as well as Internet websites that help connect families. But there are the not so serious online neighborhoods as well.
There are websites that offer dog lovers the opportunity to worship dogs, and cat lovers the same on another site. The social interaction on these sites centers on anecdotal stories of how cute their pets are and how quickly they were house trained. There are online social community sites for movies lovers who can opine on the esoteric meaning of Fahrenheit 451 as well as a site where young girls can display their fashion designs and share new ideas, usually punctuated my omg and lol. There are online social community websites that unite shoppers who can show pictures of their latest "bagged" quarry and where conversations can go on for hours over, "What, you paid how much for that?" And travel neighborhoods on the World Wide Web allow visitors to talk with natives for the best places to eat and see while others just allow world travelers to mingle and exchange stories and information.
In most cases, a social networking website will allow users to post profiles and pictures in order for others to get to know them better. These sites enable people to tell one's life story if desired; likes and dislikes, education, occupation, favorite music, and on some websites the ability to even embed video are also possible. There is little surprise that these sites are so popular. They allow a modicum of intimacy without involvement and only as much exposure as a person is comfortable with displaying. The online social community allows a person to share exactly what is on one's mind without fear of repercussion and in the safety of one's home and with no hint of where a person lives, truth can be said, anger can be displayed, love can be declared and dates for the unveiling can be made. One of the marks of a genuine Christian is the love of God's Word, the Bible. "Oh how I love they law, it is my meditation all the day. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119: 97, 105)
One of the most important issues regarding Internet neighborhoods is the concern about security. It is extremely important that the online social community providers that a person chooses have the ability to make sure that profiles are private unless the one owning the profile wants others to view it. A person should, of course, not use real names or real ID information unless ready to deal with unwanted emails, and visitors to one's site. A person should be able to see the disclaimer of the website without any hassle, and getting a hold of the webmaster ought to be an easy task. Some websites may charge a monthly fee, while others will be free.
If there is a downside to the presence of the online social community websites all over the Web, it can be their tendency to further alienate people physically from one another. The kids don't play outside together after school and during the summers, neighbors don't know one another and sitting before computer screens viewing flickering images made by mega pixels may easily add to the compartmentalizing of the American people. Even with video conferencing, which is sure to take off in the years to come, the ability to touch a shoulder in encouragement, to wipe a tear from a friend's eye and the ability to grasp and shake a warm hand in embrace may be further lost. Worse yet, what if the desire for those very human actions is lost? Tears are hard to wipe away with a mouse click.