There is a myth about making friends on line, which seems to have a stigma attached to it as being ‘Weird’ and ‘uncool’ to make friends online, we are here to tell you that this myth is wrong and outdated! Many people could benefit by widening their social circle by using online tools. Currently, as it stands, in 2020 as adults we have less and less ‘true’ friends which makes us sad ☹.
There are so many ways to make friends, which we will cover in a different blog as today we are going to talk about how to make friends specifically online.
The Benefits of Making Friends Online
Online is the best starting point to find people who are like minded and have similar interests to yourself. If, for example, you were just to go to a bar, by yourself, not only is it difficult to get into a conversation with a one on one, but not everyone is going to be in the same boat as you, and it takes a certain amount of confidence to basically go in and say ‘Yoo Hoo I’m here to make friends!’ with jazz hands, while this statement is over exaggerated, it does take confidence to approach someone. By making friends online you can find people who have similar interests and passions, not only that but you can go online in your own environment, at home for example, where you are in your comfort zone.
Things to Avoid
Firstly, while you are online, be aware of some ‘don’t s’ that you may end up making and secondly manage your expectations.
Not everyone is a speedy messenger and can type 5 million words a minute, so don’t work yourself up to the point that you have talked yourself into that they don’t like you, just because they are slow to reply everyone is different. They might have been distracted by a phone call or getting themselves something to eat or drink, basically anything. Because you are not right there beside them you don’t know what their surroundings and circumstances are, and another thing when you are online there is not the same time factor for people giving you their reply or undivided attention as would happen in a bar situation.
Don’t be overly keen to meet up in real life from the get go, yes eventually you would like to meet up physically, however, if you jump in to meet up straight from the beginning its going to put folk off and might scupper your chances of taking the friendship/relationship to the next level.
Don’t give people your life story, while it may be super interesting and you might be gushing to tell them, so that they get to know you more quickly or you may want to vent about a person or a situation or something on TV or a newsworthy story, don’t use them as a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on as you may come over opinionated boring or self-absorbed. Stick to fluffy subjects and try to find out more about them, and a common interest or hobby.
Ways to Make Friends Online
When looking to make friends the easiest way to do so is to think of interests that you are passionate about and niche down on those interests. You are looking to find similar minded people and the way to do this is through your passions.
The best thing about looking for people similar to yourself online is that there are lots of ways to find these people. If you example you are interested in football, really have a think about going niche for example do you like a particular team or league? Are you a foodie? Specify that down a bit think what you particularly love such as Italian food or street food.
Where to search?
There are a handful of sites to use in order to find potential friends use sources such as:
- Friend searching apps
Please see below how you can use each of these to their full potential.
Make friends Online with Facebook
Join Facebook groups that relate to your interests or ones that are in your local area. Ideally once you have familiarized yourself with your chosen groups you should start to make contributions to these groups through images, text & videos. Let’s say you’re a Pug owner and you join the local pug group you should start posting content that the other pug owners people will enjoy seeing and will be able to relate to, not only that you can use your pugs as talking points and reasons to meet up at the next level of friendship.
You will also need to start engaging with other people’s posts, that means commenting, liking and sharing. Look at people’s profile images because after a couple of days/weeks you will start to recognise certain people’s profiles. This takes time and work to build up trust and confidence as well as making yourself ‘familiar’ with the other users.
Once you have been in the group for a while you can reach out to members of the group, start of gently to build a relationship like “Hey I loved that picture” or “That really made me laugh I also like…”
Once you have built a bit of a relationship you can arrange a meet in a coffee shop or bar to share your love of the particular passion, take the friendship to the next level.
Make Friends Online with Instagram
There will be a cross over in strategies with Facebook and Instagram. The best thing about Instagram is that interests are even more easily categorised! The platform uses hashtags (#) which people use to help tell people what their post is about.
For example, if you’re a food fan based in Manchester you can look at #FoodieMCR and all the posts in that hashtag will be associated with that. This is the perfect place to start engaging with those people, start to comment on people’s posts, like them and also don’t be afraid to DM them like “OMG I loved that foodie place as well!” and ask them a question so that it engages a conversation online.
This app will really help you go from the online world to the real world. Meet up does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s an online platform where you ‘meet up’ with potential friends who have the same interests as yourself, and many of them will be in the same boat as yourself and putting themselves out there to make friends as well.
The app itself has sub categories of ‘meet ups’ in varied interests and hobbies depending on the organisers of each individual ‘meet up’ and the beauty about this app is that as it is worldwide there will always be a ‘meet up’ near you.
People organise individual ‘meet ups’, they don’t particularly need to be in a certain niche, they can be like ‘Weekend Hill walking’ or ‘After work drinks’. Then within those ‘meet ups’ each organiser creates social events pertaining to the interest of the meet up.
Your first step is to join the specific meet up(s) that you are interested in, there is no limit to the amount of ‘meet ups’ you can join. Once you put your name down for an event you can interact with others to arrange times to meet before the event or just socialise (digitally) with their message boards. The hardest part is putting yourself out there and leaving the house, however, it’s very easy to attend, as they are usually well organised and friendly and remember everyone is in the same boat and they are wanting to meet YOU!
If you don’t see a meet up that you are particularly interested in then this is your opportunity to start your own meet up and reach out there so that others will join your one.
You can use additional apps like Bumble BFF or Gumtree communities to find social groups for like-minded people. Give it a try, join as many different things as possible, throw your friendship net out far and wide, that way you will find out what works best for you.
Online Video Gamers
One of the fastest growing opportunities to make friends online is the video game community. If you’re an avid gamer or passionate about a particular game (Red Dead Redemptions, Call of Duty, Minecraft etc) then start to play online with people and build connections with them. After a few weeks of playing you will recognise players icons/avatars so start to reach out on chat.
You can turn anything into an opportunity to make friends, it could be starting a new job, going to a family BBQ or on your commute to work. There are thousands of opportunities to make friends online you just need to know where to look. The best way to make friends online is to:
- Seek out an interest or passion that you have
- Choose a platform such as Facebook, Instagram or meetup
- Start engaging with the community
- Slowly reach out and message people within the community
- Build a relationship and trust
- Arrange to meet in person
Making friends is going to take effort and time so do not expect to happen overnight, it entails trust and confidence, these don’t happen instantaneously. You will also have to be consistent with the person you are looking to make friends with while avoiding the mistakes at the beginning of this blog.
Good Luck … the world is your oyster, be bold, get out there and see where it takes you and remember there are people, just like you, waiting to meet new friends too!