If shyness prevents you from leaving the house to meet new people at clubs and events, online socialization may help. Various methods exist to enrich your online social life, even if you are very shy or have social anxiety.
Online Socialization for Shy People – Chat Rooms
Chat rooms found on the internet can be good outlets for socialization for shy people and those with social anxiety issues. You can find general chat rooms where anything goes, though these might be too fast-paced or wild for comfort. They also reduce the possibility of finding a topic of interest for an individual.
Targeted or topical chat rooms may be more ideal, as may ones that are only for a particular age, location, or demographic of people. If you enter a chat room with people similar to you who are interested in a particular topic, it becomes easier for a shy person to interact.
Online Socialization for Shy People – Message Boards
Message or discussion boards, also called forums, can be ideal social outlets for shy people. There is no immediate need to communicate; you can add something to the conversation whenever you feel comfortable. Message boards can also be targeted by topic or type of person.
Online Socialization for Shy People – Social Networking
Social networking may sound horrifying for a very shy person or one with social anxiety issues. However, it is even easier to get involved here than with chat rooms. Create a profile page that lists your interests and others can find you. Leaving small messages, or just saying, ‘Hi’ on other’s pages is not as stressful as joining conversations.
Online Socialization for Shy People – Virtual Chats
One step above text chat rooms are the relatively new world of virtual chats, or 3D chat games, such as There.com or SecondLife. In these online worlds, a shy person can become an attractive avatar and speak with other characters by typing. It is annonymous if you want it to be, and gives good practice for real life interactions in a relatively safe and pressure free environment. Remember, you can always log out or close the window.
While shy people and those with social anxiety issues have trouble making and keeping friends in the real world, the online realm offers opportunities not only to meet new people, but to practice social skills in a more controlled environment. Through the use of chat rooms, forums, social networking and virtual chat programs, a shy person can have an active social life with less stress and worry.