How to Discover a Wealth of Friends with Social Media Hashtags

How to Discover a Wealth of Friends with Social Media Hashtags

How to Discover a Wealth of Friends with Social Media Hashtags

Connect, Don’t Disconnect, on Social Media

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about loneliness and isolation. And I got to thinking about social media. We’re all on at least one or more platforms, right? But how often do you hear about people connecting through social media, even though it’s supposed to be social? More often, you hear about how everyone is becoming more isolated.

lonely road photo

A Stranger is a Friend You Haven’t Met

Recently, I traveled to Japan, and met a couple of people that I knew only through our social media connections. I knew a few people in Japan–mostly relatives–and have been tweeting or posting along with others. So I thought “why not try to meet some people in real life?”

japan forest photo

Shinjuku and Flowers

The first person I met was Chiaki F, who I’ve known since forever on Twitter. We met for coffee in Shinjuku. Since we ended up hitting it off, we went shopping together, and ended up talking for hours! It was such fun to meet her, even though we’d already done some of the work on Twitter and Instagram. And now, when I see her flower posts on Instagram or Twitter, I really understand where she’s coming from. Flowers are a big deal in Japan. So when the cherry blossoms bloom, for instance, everyone gets involved and goes to where the blossoms are. I can’t imagine people here in the United States having the same reaction to beautiful trees–although I wish they would! There are also wisterias, azaleas, and autumn leaves which are also a huge deal.

forest friend photo

Kimonos and Tea

The next person I met was Mizuho. We crossed paths in a more roundabout way. I’m part of a Facebook group, and a friend of hers had posted about the beautiful kimonos her mother had left her. I took my mother to meet her at her studio, and we had tea and osembe (Japanese crackers), which is always a winning combination. And I purchased an antique kimono from her. I really loved hearing her stories about her life in the U.S. It turns out that Mizuho had been to Santa Cruz, and had also studied in Colorado. Such a small world! We have been connected on Instagram, and sometimes use the same hashtags there.

santa cruz photo

Follow the Hashtags!

If you’re traveling, and have the opportunity to meet someone in real life that you’ve only known through social media, I strongly recommend connecting with them. And although you may be following local hashtags, you might want to begin following the hashtags of the places you are going to visit before you get there. So for me, those might be #Tokyo, #Japan, and so on. Where do you plan to visit? Leave me a comment, please!





  1. It is really important to use hashtags for travel and even for daily life.

  2. I love this post, Carol, and the pictures are magnificent! (By the way, welcome home!!!)

    It sounds like you had an amazing trip. I’m glad you were proactive and met with some of your internet friends. I think that’s really brave. As usual, there’s great advice here in terms of using hashtags to connect IRL before one takes a trip. We’re going to Munchkin House @ Alpine Meadows in June and now I think I’ll try out the hashtag approach!

    Hope you’re having a wonderful Saturday. I was gifted 2 tix to Redwood Mountain Faire so even though I’m no longer a fan of summer music festivals since I used to work at them, I’m going to go. ;) I must admit I’d like to check out the arts & crafts booths and the vegan food! Take care, my dear – I’m glad you’re back.


    p.s. Lucy and I will be walking frequently by what I consider to be “your” Alpine Meadows house, LOL!

    p.p.s I finally met someone IRL who I’ve communicated with on Facebook’s Ben Lomond Neighbors & she’s very cool; we went to La Placa Bakery yesterday.

    • Hi Dyane! Thank you for the welcome back. It was an amazing trip, in so many ways!

      Yes, try out the hashtag approach (especially on Instagram), and see what happens with Tahoe. You may find some new friends that way. I found quite a few people posting about the places in Japan that I was visiting while I was there.

      We still need to do that hike at Fall Creek some time! Give Lucy a pat on the head from me.


  3. p.p. p.s. Hey! Where’s my antique kimono???
    Dyane “I Had Too Much Coffee Today” Harwood

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