Viral TikTok video brings together lonely Vancouverites hoping to make friends

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Making friends can be hard in Vancouver, a subject that ironically went viral on TikTok on Saturday.

The creator of the video, Katrina Martin, even made a meetup group in response to the support she received. Two hundred people are planning on being there.

@katrinamartin_In honour of the best hard decision I ever made. #vancouverbc #vancouver #canada #vancouvergirl #movingforward yelena belova needs a hug – eliza

She describes it as a “very casual hangout for people to be able to come, make friends, and chat with people.”

When she moved to Vancouver from Ontario four years ago, Martin says her friends warned her:

“A lot of people told me when I was planning on moving out here, they were like ‘Vancouver is so hard to meet people,’ and I was like ‘How hard can it be?’ I had moved to other cities on my own and lived in foreign countries by myself, and I had never found it that hard to meet people. When I moved out here I was like, oh — this city’s a bit different!”

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Martin says she wants to break the culture of “cliqueyness” and loneliness here.

“I got some responses from people talking about how lonely Vancouver is, and so I decided, you know what? Let’s do something about it,” she says. “I definitely didn’t expect such a strong response right off the bat, but it just goes to show how ready people are to make some friends and put themselves out there.”

It’s happening on Sunday, almost immediately after her video garnered attention from people struggling to socialize around the city.

One problem with common social attitudes in the city is unreliability, adds Martin.

“In Vancouver, I know there’s something called the ‘B.C. Bail,’ where people say they’re going to do something and then cancel last minute if they find better plans or just don’t want to do it, and that’s something I’ve found is more prevalent here than in other places for sure,” she said.

Martin was surprised by the inpouring of solidarity online but maintains her original goal for the video: Helping others make new connections in a place where flakiness and exclusivity can be common. Despite her shock, she is also excited, particularly to meet some of the people who responded enthusiastically to her TikTok.

The Instagram page “We Should Be Friends Vancouver” has more details on the event.

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