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We are very lucky to live in a world dripping in technology, full of apps that allow us to meet new people every day. From Tinder to Facebook, social media has allowed us to be far more social than ever before. Or has it?

How many times do you swipe left and right and scroll through the profiles of people who are putting themselves out there in the world, but never actually meet up? It’s a fact that social media is designed for us to be social, and yet we choose not to be. It’s far easier to be social on a screen than it is in person these days. We’re breeding a generation of people with a crippling shyness and social anxiety: ironic, huh? When it comes to dating, it’s not like the good ol’ days of asking someone out for dinner anymore. It’s all about signing up to dating sites and judging people on face value by cleverly edited profile pictures and *hashtag* filters. It may be the way that people meet now, but it doesn’t have to be the way that you attract someone to you.

Have you ever heard of a meet cute? A meet cute is the moment in a movie where the two main characters who are scripted to fall for each other meet for the very first time. You don’t get many meet cutes anymore, but you do get to decide how to put yourself out there in the world to find someone to fall in love with. Going on dates is often terrifying for people who are a little socially awkward, and websites like can be a helping hand when it comes to knowing what to say across the dinner table. The good news? Social anxiety doesn’t have to be permanent and you can move past it with ease if you work at it.

One of the best ways you can put yourself out there with ease is to push yourself. Yes, it’s outside your comfort zone. Yes, you may feel your skin creeping and your hair stand on end, but if you push yourself out to ask questions and pluck up a conversation, you may find it isn’t as scary as you think it is. You wouldn’t jump into the deep end unless you were an experienced swimmer, so give yourself a chance to take it slow – you just have to make sure that you do go for it. Despite the safety of your smartphone screen and your social media accounts, you need to keep showing up. Keep going for dates. Keep making the effort to ask questions and relax the shoulders when you speak. The more that you do it, the better off you will feel and the more confident at speaking to people you don’t know you will be. You can’t put yourself out there without a little risk and taking that risk will increase your ability to talk to new people. And you can’t pass up that chance.

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