This week marks the one-year anniversary of Make New Friends Monday. Here’s an updated version of an earlier post I wrote, recounting and celebrating the great experience #mnfm has been for me, and others.
When my kids were home from college for winter break just over a year ago, the subject of Instagram came up. My daughter Cara said, “You have an Instagram account? What’s your name? I want to follow you.” I told her I only used it to play around with pictures and effects for my blog posts’ images, but that didn’t deter her.
I began to follow Cara and my daughter Julie, and instead of e-mailing or texting funny (and other) photos to them, as I used to do, I started posting them on Instagram. I also got into the habit of digging up old photos to post on Thursdays, as my daughters and their friends do, for Throwback Thursday #tbt.
I love the way Instagrammers create their own hashtags to go along with their photos, for example, they might put #AwkwardTweenStage with a goofy photo from their middle school years.
One Monday, I took a photo of myself with a guy who had spent the day in the subway posing as a gold-colored statue, a performance artist spray-painted gold from head to toe. I posted it on Instagram with the hashtag #mnfm. That night, Cara asked me what “mnfm” meant. I told her it was “MakeNewFriendsMonday” and she said she hadn’t heard of that. I explained that was because I had made it up.
I liked that she had assumed it was a “thing” that other people were doing, and it got me thinking how awesome it would be if every Monday people posted photos of themselves with someone they hadn’t previously known.
I officially kicked off #MakeNewFriendsMonday (and the short version, #mnfm) with a blog post. In the year since, I have posted pics with a new friend nearly every Monday (including on the Six Simple Rules Facebook page).
In my case, meeting new people comes easily. It helps that I meet new people all the time as part of my job. What isn’t as easy, even in this era of near-universal social media use, is asking someone to pose for a #MakeNewFriendsMonday photo, especially because I work in a pretty formal business environment. But, I’ve managed to do it—a nice growth experience.
I’m not sure how many people are participating in #MakeNewFriendsMonday, but I do get a lot of comments. “I love your Make Friends Monday” someone will say. I keep saying I should do that.”
I’m going to keep taking photos. It doesn’t matter what day it is. Making new friends is great and I’ll celebrate that every Monday that I can. I hope you’ll join me.
p.s. What do you think? Join the conversation with your comments…