What is Gather?
It is a place where you can explore your interests and passions with like-minded individuals. Now more than ever, with the advent of social media, each and every one of us has a voice. In the past, the ability to communicate with multitudes of people took an extreme effort of will involving pens, paper, stamps and envelopes. The more ambitious and wealthy individuals could make themselves heard through mediums such as radio or television.
Today, being heard is as simple as logging on to Gather. Our website allows you to chat with potentially millions of different cultures, all over the world. Anyone who has access to the internet can communicate through this platform. The world has gotten smaller and this makes the individual's voice that much louder!
Having the ability to share our thoughts, beliefs, ideas and opinions through social media is only one among a myriad of world changing benefits offered by these platforms. Another benefit which is related, but slightly different, is that people from all the world's cultures can now communicate directly. Throughout history, the world has been plagued with misunderstanding and misinformation.
We have often been led to believe that other cultures are so vastly different from our own that establishing any common ground is next to impossible. Now that it is possible to converse with friends all over the world, it should also be possible to dispel a vast majority of cultural misconceptions. We are all people in this world, and we can get to know one another.
Social media, above anything else, offers us a platform to get to know one another. An open forum acting as a safe space for the free and open exchange of ideas and information. Conversation is possibly one of the most enlightening activities in which to engage. Using social media to converse, freely and openly, with individuals anywhere in the world is one of the best ways to foster a sense of understanding across cultural boundaries. In addition to this, conversation also has a host of other benefits. According to Cecile Andrews, talking to others promotes health, happiness and longevity. Essentially, the effective use of social media to connect and communicate is not only beneficial in bringing others together, it offers personal benefits as well.
Use Gather to Meet New Friends
Conversation comes easily enough for most people, but there are a few things to keep in mind in order to make the process more effective:
- Ask good questions: good conversation requires back and forth communication. In order to keep things interesting, make sure to ask good, thought provoking questions. As an example, "So, what's new?" is a much better opening question than "How've you been?"
- Share the floor: In a conversation, listening is just as important as talking. So, whenever you are engaged in a conversation, make sure the other party gets their chance to speak. If you find that you are the only one doing the talking, take a step back, ask the other person what they think and give them a chance to respond.
- Don't be combative: Everyone disagrees from time to time, but it's important not to turn disagreements into fights. If someone offer a point of view that differs from your own, it’s okay to offer your point of view, but try to do so in a positive and non-confrontational way.
- Stay positive with Gather: Sometimes it’s easy to get swept away by negativity. Negative conversation includes complaining, insults, and threats. Stay away from these things to keep a conversation healthy and engaging. Sometimes, it's impossible to avoid being negative, in these cases try using humor to decrease the intensity of your words.
- Social media gives everyone a voice, and gives us the ability to have healthy, stimulating conversations with people all over the world. If we engage others with sensitivity and courtesy, the conversations we have using social media is not only capable of bringing the world closer together, but helping us live healthier happier lives!