A guide to making friends online – the Willow&Blake/Awkward Collective story.
A self-assessed social media addict, I have been known to make friends on the internet. Judge if you will, but I don’t see a problem with it. Why wouldn’t you want to find like-minded folks who revel (perhaps that’s a stretch) in your rants about music, culture or beards? That’s my explanation and I’m sticking with it.
I’ve made a few really good friends over time, people who I have come to rely on as confidants, mentors and most importantly – people who’ll come to gigs with me so I don’t have to stand there on my own. One of my most rewarding online relationships I’ve developed has been with Melbourne-based Jess Hatzis. I cannot remember who was first to follow (chances are it was me), but it doesn’t really matter now. Starting out as a simple twitter exchange, we were soon discussing career aspirations, relationships and family. Our friendship network has since expanded, and I’ve become friends with her friends (and vice versa).
As someone prone to “ruts”, Jess (who’s a couple of years younger) is somewhat of a mentor, especially when it comes to stepping outside my comfort zone. She and two other girls, Erika and Bree recently took the plunge, quitting their jobs to launch Willow&Blake. Predominantly a copywriting agency (with clients ranging from Broadsheet to Jelly Beans), they also throw parties, write engaging narratives and distract us while we’re supposed to be working with their witty social-media nous. The Willow&Blake juggernaut has been a huge influence for the Awkward Collective during our infancy, and it’s been great having someone there to bounce ideas off and provide encouragement.
I recently spent a long weekend down in Melbourne with one of my “real life” friends, but with the bonus of getting to “meet” Jess. It’s always a bit of a worry meeting these long-time friends in reality – what if they’re not the person you thought they were? I’ve never been disappointed in the past, and this instance was no different. What followed was a day filled with coffee, pizza, cocktails, and 2am dumplings in China Town (all before Jess meandered off for a 3am DJ set). In the words of Mr Ice Cube, “It was a good day”.
Many of the people that Willow&Blake write about are relationships they’ve built through strange beginnings, so this ties nicely in with my yarn. In today’s world, the barriers of distance and time zones are no longer applicable people, mingling doesn’t need to be in person. So, get out there and make some new friends, and while you’re at it…check out Willow&Blake and Kolors.