Facebook is a social network designed to socialize and generate contact with friends and acquaintances from all over the world. However, the platform warns users that it is not advisable to befriend strangers on a public platform such as Facebook (where personal data and experiences appear) and warns that you always be careful when accepting requests from people you do not know.
The risks faced by a person who gives way to strangers to their platform are various, especially because in this type of profiles users reveal aspects of their identity and their life: schools in which they have studied, tastes, activities, travel, friends …
One of the main problems that can appear in these types of contacts is identity theft. In these cases, strangers select a victim and begin to collect personal information from the victim. Due to the anonymous nature of the Internet, most forms of identity theft and fraud now take place online. A scammer can start a scam (via Facebook, for example) that will immediately allow them to commit identity theft.
Another point that is at risk when accepting strangers is that they have access to their plans, whether or not you are going to take a trip, for example. The platform explains that there are groups that “access personal profiles through friend requests to find out if a family will leave the house in high season to perpetuate a home robbery.”
All kinds of criminals use Facebook and the media have often reported how underage users have been misled. They are a clear target for scam victims. Sometimes a victim is tricked into sending money to a scammer under the false claim that they are in some kind of cyber relationship.
In addition to these types of problems, contacting strangers can also lead to isolation. One can stick to the computer and never leave the house or reconnect with friends. Normal socialization that interacts with people is also essential and may stop when interacting with strangers.
More unlikely, but safer
These new friendships of maturity are often different from those of young people. Usually, as we’ve already mentioned, they are more affinity-based friendships. But, in addition, as the psychologist Cristina Vidal explains, at that age one is “more selective” because each one “knows himself better and knows better what he likes”.
This slows the transition from superficial to intimate friendship a bit —it is not done with just anyone—, making it “less likely”, although “more secure.” “From the age of 30, we have already accumulated disappointments and we are also more cautious when it comes to trusting,” adds Vidal.
Regarding these new friendships, Borja Carrasco, the interviewee who forged a circle of friends by frequenting a local, points out that when you are older you have the advantage that you know yourself better and do not have to pretend. “That is appreciated by the others and you are grateful that they do. If you know someone you like and with whom you have chemistry, it will likely stick, since you are not going to change overnight,” he says.
Juan Vázquez, the person who befriended his boss, says that “an advantage of turning 35 is that he has been leaving a burden: those friendships you had at 20, with whom there was not even much in common except go to the same institute or college “. Also, with these new friends, there is “no absurd nostalgia and no one judges you for being someone you were not.”
How to make friends after 30?
Not everything is always a success story. Some people also say that, after 30, they feel lazier when it comes to going out into the world and starting the process to meet other people. In addition, as Cristina Vidal points out, the personality of each person also influences. “If I am over 30 and an introvert, it will be more difficult for me to socialize.”
Another issue that also influences is the cultural environment. Kris Wyatt, 34, considers herself very sociable and had no trouble making friends when she left for Sicily. But since moving to Bremerhaven in northern Germany with her partner, she has failed to fit in with anyone. Isa, who moved from Madrid to Barcelona a year ago, also notices that feeling that “everyone has a life already made.”
To make new friends it is important, first of all, to expose yourself to situations in which you are going to meet like-minded people. “We have to choose contexts in which we will share leisure and we can be almost as spontaneous as when we were children”, says Cristina Vidal. Dance classes, sports groups, and reading clubs, among others, would be good options.
Many times, it is the new circumstances that “force”. When Eva Castillo, 34, moved from her native Almería to Zaragoza, she signed up for activities and forced herself to do new things both to entertain herself “and to make friends.”
And then, you have to be patient and dedicate time to the budding friendship. According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, it takes about 50 hours to consider someone a casual friend, 90 hours to consider them a true friend, and 200 hours for an intimate friendship.
Antía Paz, the interviewee who made friends thanks to the carrying, says that, in addition to thanks to motherhood, she made friends by getting “into political series.”
Natàlia Cantó thinks that this is a reasonable path. This involvement, in addition, could serve, according to the expert, to demand decisions that return a certain dignity to our lives: working hours that allow us to get home early, wages that do not push us to the limit when only two weeks of the month have passed. In circumstances like this it is difficult to have an open mind to go out and know, he concludes.