Making Friends in an Online Contest World (Warning Signs)
Online Contest World Friends
Making new friends in a hobby that you love is always a great bonus. But doing it online can be very risky and well, sometimes just not worth it. As much fun as it is to share the love of this hobby with people like minded, many people behind the keyboard aren't who they say they are.
I have a very close circle of contest lovers that I consider my friends. We share low entry contests with each other, give each other the heads up of new contests, nominate each other and root for each other. It really is a blessing. I refer to these wonderful people as my contest tribe.
These friendships will last forever and the bonds that are made are truly amazing.
BUT making friends online in the contest world can also be not such a wise idea. I have seen more and more total fakes behind Facebook names and social media accounts. It's easy to get sucked in, and start a friendship with an online contest buddy and they turn into a nightmare.
When it comes to everything contests I love being transparent. I don't beat around the bush or try and make this hobby seem like it's all gum drops and bubblegum, because we all know it isn't. As a contest group admin I have gotten such mean messages about other contesters it's horrible. Asking me to delete them from the group just because of their own issues. Not everyone is a friend in this hobby.
Tips to Making Online Contest Friends
- Let friendships start organically
- Don't send friends requests to random people you don't know
- Don't message people you don't know
- Build friendships in online contest groups and forums by commenting on their posts.
- Ask before sending a friends request
- Don't give out your details such as email and phone number (for at least a number of months)
- Have authentic social media accounts- bare accounts lead to doubts
- Be real and genuine
- Congratulate people who win prizes and be genuinely happy for them
- Join and follow only trustworthy contest forums and groups. (There are very very few of those)
- Offer more than you expect to receive
Red Flags to Stay Away
- People who message you asking you to do leg work for their contest hobby (run the other way)
- Accounts that are pretty much bare. Not a single photo of themselves, just random stick photos.
- Social media profile names that make no sense
- People who don't know you but send friends requests on Facebook
- People who pout on your giveaway entries because you didn't tag them and ask "What about me" (RUN and block) . As disgusting as that is, yes it's happening and sponsors take note of those fools too.
- People who ask you to enter any contest for them
- People who ask for your mailing address after only a couple of online interactions