“If your name is Marissa, please listen: I just heard some of your friends say that they were deliberately choosing to have their birthday party coincide with the weekend that you are out of town so you can’t go. TikTok help me find Marissa “said the user @drewbdoobdoo to his followers.
TikTok worked its magic and among the more than 14 million people who viewed her video was Marissa Meizz. Dozens of people had sent him the video and his instincts told him that his group of friends could have done something like that. Marissa decided to answer. “I want to know where you saw these people, because if it was in my neighborhood, I’m sure it’s me … if it’s about me, I’m going to need new friends,” he replied in another video.
The answer was seen by 6.4 million users and among the more than 5,000 comments there were people who said: “Forget those friends, I will be your friend.” That same night, when he was trying to answer all the support he was receiving, he realized that it was worth it to him to put aside those “three or four” hypocritical friends and exchange them for “millions of friends all over the world.” Thus arose No More Lonely Friends (No more lonely friends), a platform that makes meetings around the world for people to make friends in their city.
“I’ve been to 10 different states and I have events planned until the end of the year. It’s great to be able to meet people from all over the country and have friends in each state, it’s a dream come true. Now I’m not going to have to stay in one hotel (if I travel), “Meizz said with a laugh, from Central Park, the meeting point for his latest event.
The plan of the 23-year-old, who moved to New York last November, is to tour the East Coast of the United States this fall and during the winter to go to the West Coast and Australia to continue doing outdoor events.
“This is now my full-time job. Before I was in charge of costumes and production for film and television,” Marissa tells elDiario.es. The events have sponsors, they also sell promotional items for the organization and she has 262,500 followers on TikTok and 37,700 on Instagram.
Pandemic and social media
For Meizz, the key to the success of his organization lies in the reopening after a year of restrictions due to the pandemic and in the great impact that social networks have on generation Z.
“All these people went through more than a year of isolation and now they are seeing how socialization returns. We have returned to talk with people, to meet them. I stopped being in contact with many friends during the pandemic. This is a additional push, to meet people, “says now Meizz, who through his organization has met his roommate and his current circle of friends.
Sitting in the shade of a tree with three Texas girls he has just met, Aries King tells that it is the third event he has participated in. “I moved to New York in June and this is how I have been able to make friends. Honestly, it has been great. Now I have a chat group with people with whom I can hang out,” says the young man and details that with some of the Thirty participants from that group have gone shopping in second-hand stores and even to parties at their homes.
Looking for friends
Having recently moved seems to be one of the common denominators among many of the attendees.
Hemank Lamba, who is also new to the city, points out that it is very difficult to make friends in New York, especially with the pandemic in the background. “These events that provide a safe, outdoor space are quite good for meeting people.” For her part, Nina Gardner, who has followed the story of Meizz on Instagram and moved to the city this summer, says that it is easier to make friends at events of this type than going out to bars, since they usually go to parties with a group of friends and not alone.
Another way to meet friends is on online platforms, as happened to Nicholas Nestor a decade ago when he decided to send a private message to a Twitter user after coinciding with her in a tweet about video games: “We met in person three years ago because she He lives in California and this November I’m going to his wedding, “he says. The New Yorker points out that he also meets people through dating applications: “I’m going to see someone tonight, after the meeting, for Bumble, we’re going to see a play.”