This whole problem of meeting people in your 20's isn't limited to just friendships, it covers romantic relationships too.
For the first part of our dating lives we meet members of the oppostive sex at school, and sometimes through friends of friends. This happens while we're still in the habit of striking up conversation with people we may not know because we have something obvious in common (same class, same friend, etc). But once you have left school, friends of friends and the bar seem to be the most obvious connection to meeting people.
Now, the friends of friends option makes a lot of sense. Except when you start to realize that your circle of friends is getting smaller, and you aren't meeting new friends, and so the potential to meet members of the opposite sex has drastically decreased. Not to mention the fact that nobody wants to set their friends up with their other friends for fear it won't work out or will end badly or some other reason entirely.
The bar has long been considered a bad idea for meeting people. It's too loud. It's too crowded. People are drunk. You never meet anyone worth knowing. Now, of course these are excuses and not all true. But once again, by the age of 25 we have pretty much abandoned our ability to just walk up to someone and say "Hello."
This leads me to online dating websites. Online dating seems to boost our ability to just say "Hello." The whole point of being on a dating website is to open yourself up to meeting new people, people you might not have otherwise met. However there seems to be a large number of people on those sites that aren't quite ready or willing to actually meet. Does that defeat the purpose?
For the last 3 or so years I have been using online dating websites. I've used 3 different sites and had various levels of success and defeat with each. At first I was shy even online but after some time I realized that I could send the first email, and that I could meet people, go on dates. I learned not to take it personally if someone doesn't reply to my email, says they aren't interested in me, or never calls after our first date. But lately I've been wondering why it is that I can't do this in person. Why can't I just approach a guy in a coffee shop, bar, store, or wherever, and say "Hi. I'm Melissa."?