The vast majority of people are unsure why they should join any online network. Those who do join often quickly drop out. So why should Joe and Jane have any interest in online networking?
Sports clubs, churches and business clubs are all seen as ways to meet and get to know people. We all know that we join for our own interest and to help the group. In working to help the club we get to know each other, and we often find ways to help each other too.
This community activity is networking. There may be some members with a business objective like making more sales, but that's seldom if ever announced. Your social reputation would take a steep nosedive if everytime you meet your club mates you try to sell them something. In fact making such a direct sales effort is probably a no-no. In this social context people simply don't make the mistake of delivering a sales pitch to their club mates or friends.
Today you can join online networks. Once again those networks usually have a purpose that is some form of mutual interest that holds the group together. That's what you are there for. Engage with the group to help the purpose of the group. Respond to the needs of members. Exchange ideas on a win/win basis. These people don't expect to become the target of your sales efforts, although everybody understands that we all survive by making sales to someone.
On any large worldwide network, whatever your passion, you will find people who share your vision and your desire to succeed, or to be recognized. On a network like Ryze you can find people like yourself. Those people can help you to learn more about who you are and about the things you care about. No big deal here. Join, find some groups or networks related to the things that interest you. Then look for a few friends in those groups. People like you. Keep in touch.
Two things will happen, but over a few years, not immediately. First you may find that you meet more friends than you expect, and that some of them introduce you to new things. And over time your interests change and you begin to find other groups that are more interesting to be part of. Being a member, even at low levels of participation, perhaps visiting once a week, keeps you in touch and enlarges your life options.
Who you are depends on what you've done in the past. Who you will become depends on what you do now. Investing time to be connected to other people across the world is an investment in your own future. Quietly pursue that idea. Join the most interesting groups, get to know the best people, become involved in the issues that concern them. Over time you'll become someone with knowledge, someone with ideas, and someone with lots of friends and useful contacts. We all need that.
Your networking purpose is to become a person who understands "the world" because you know and talk with people in dozens of countries. Those people will help you think about who you are and about your own country in new ways. Your understanding about what is interesting and what is or isn't important will change. You'll slowly develop a larger "vision" of the world and your place in it. Because you DID something different, you will be a person with new and better options, a person with a changed future.
We become what we do. We tend to be like the things we think about most of the time. Our friends are the people who share an interest in the things we care most about. In the short term you have the life you have. In the long term you will have the life you made for yourself. If you have the courage to choose your interests and your friends wisely your life will be like that. You can have an "Open Future" but you must choose what it will be.