At the age of seven, David Morin and his parents moved from a big city to a small town in Sweden.

He went from connecting with people often, to not having much social interaction. Morin was also an only child, and his parents were much older than most of the other parents amongst his peers. So, this gave him maturity and sometimes awkwardness when communicating with others in his age group.

Because Morin didn’t have interactions with his peers often, during his free time, he started making inventions. And by age seventeen, he co-founded his first multimillion-dollar business.

David Morin Photo: Supplied

The electronic business made money selling USB drives. Although the business eventually failed, by age 24, Morin was nominated “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” in his home state of Sweden. But after his second electronic start-up failed, Morin was diagnosed with burnout due to chronic stress.

Three years later, Morin was selected for the NYC Green card lottery and moved to Brooklyn. He founded his third company named SocialSelf, a website that offers resources and practical advice about social psychology while helping people become more socially savvy. 

“I am able to connect more,” said Morin. “Coming to Brooklyn makes me so appreciative of people all over the world. I meet cool people from everywhere.”

Said Morin.

“Avoid awkward silence. Get past empty small talk. Beat self-consciousness,” the site boasts. The user starts with a diagnostic quiz. Using a team of psychologists, counselors and therapists. The information gathered is turned into accessible and practical advice for people interested in improving their social skills.

The team produces articles and courses on topics, such as how to have authentic interactions, form meaningful relationships and develop long-lasting self-confidence, particularly in the digital age: People are socializing now more than ever but are interfacing entirely through a screen.

“There’s a weird paradox: Everyone is connected but people have so much social anxiety,” said Morin.

“Social interaction is not easy,” he continues. “We have lots of what you call social access but not much natural in-person encounters,”

During the pandemic, Morin’s blog reached 1 million international visitors per month. “The pandemic showed people how to do more things digitally,” said Morin.

“Building a social community is tough for some people, especially people with social anxiety. Someone with social anxiety fears interacting and talking to strangers,” he said.

“Everyday activities cause them to feel overly worried. Sometimes they fear things not turning out well and fear being in situations where they may be scrutinized, evaluated, or judged by others.” 

According to Morin, social interactions should be about how you can connect more and enjoy one another’s time. The more you try to impress people, it could actually send the opposite signal and come off insincere and actually push the other person away.

David Morin Photo: Supplied

“In the world before the internet, people were linked to people within their own community,” he said.

“Today, there are many ways to stay connected with people worldwide if you choose. Social media creates a space for people to stay connected virtually. But social media is making it more difficult for people to identify and respond to social cues.”

Social media platforms allow people to portray polished versions of their lives. That being said, social media makes people happier when they use it to stay connected to people they know, versus using it to follow people they have no connection to, like celebrities, according to Morin.

“If you want to be unhappy compare yourself to people better off than you,” said Morin.

Morin, who was once socially awkward, now runs a successful business helping others become more socially savvy. Today, SocialSelf expertise is trusted by leading publications such as TIME Magazine, WebMD and The Hill

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