Meeting someone for the first time can be a daunting experience. Every first conversation takes the same route. What are you studying? Where do you work? Whereabouts are you from? It’s all essential information in getting to know someone, but is all the chit-chat really necessary?
You wouldn’t be friends with someone you knew nothing about, would you? Small talk can provide some basic information on the other person with which you can relate to. You can find common interests or beliefs that can allow you to expand your knowledge of the other person. Over time, trust and understanding is built and you both feel safer talking about deeper topics, if you choose to.
Reflecting on current friends, I think back to when we first met and the conversations we had then. All the basic getting-to-know-you chit-chat, eventually leading to a hobby, opinion, some common interest that strengthens our bond and solidifies our friendship that bit more. To neither ask nor answer basic, somewhat boring questions to others presents little to no chance that your relationship with them will progress beyond anything but an acquaintance. But making the effort to ask and answer those questions can be incredibly rewarding. All it takes it time.