Our society has changed and evolved from how it used to be, and the Internet has played a major role in this.
When it comes to how we socialize, maintain friendships, and meet new people, our online world has transformed friendships. (More on how maintaining friendships has been affected in another blog post to come!)
Nowadays, especially thanks to the efforts of online dating, meeting someone online has become completely normalized.
From this, we have evolved to accepting a new type of relationship from the online world - making platonic friends online.
Here's our roundup of some of the latest ways to meet new friends online.
1. Online Friendship Sites
How it works: Take the concept of online dating, make a few tweaks, and adjust the model for platonic friendship instead.
Online friendship sites, (like FriendMatch!) take a proven model for meeting new people, and apply it to friends instead of romance.
Similar to dating sites and apps, you fill out a profile online first.
Then you can browse profiles of other members, but instead of filtering by physical attributes, you will be filtering your search by other options such as location, age, hobbies, and interests.
To start a new friendship, just like with dating you must start by sending a message to those members you are interested in.
Besides FriendMatch, other friendship sites include BumbleBFF, Girlfriend Circles (women only), and Peanut.
- Meet new people with confidence. Unlike any other methods in this article, you can confidently message members on these sites and apps, knowing that every member registered is looking to meet new friends.
- Easy, familiar setup: Simply browse profiles and send messages to those who you think you might click with.
- Low cost. Unlike dating sites, many friendship sites are much less expensive to use, if not free. (FriendMatch is free to use, with an upgraded option that lets you send more messages daily.)
- With a dating site, once you have successfully met a match, you're done! But with friendship sites, there is no limit to how many friends you can make.
- You can make new friends nearby, locally that you can meet in person, or you can make online-only friendships if you are just looking for someone to talk to.
- Just like with online dating, you might not meet your bff instantly. It takes time and sometimes patience, sometimes many messages and meetups to find the person you will click with. But hang in there, because the right friend is worth the effort!
- Just like any social network or dating network, you might be approached by people you are not interested in getting to know. You have the option to ignore these requests, respond with your non-interest, or block the members on most sites and apps.
Nowadays, another way that some people are making new friendships online is through blogging!
How it works: Whether you are a blogger yourself, or a fan of someone else's blog, real friendships are made through blogging platforms.
There are thousands of blogs and bloggers out there to choose from, one for every interest. Many bloggers share information about their interests, or even their daily life. You might follow a blog because the blogger has many things in common with yourself, and you enjoy following their story.
Friendships can happen through blogs when you start connecting with each other, often through the comments section first.
In some cases, one blogger will comment frequently on a blog post, and sometimes through this, commonalities are found, and sometimes connections are formed. This leads to direct messaging, which leads to a deeper connection.
Some bloggers have different meet and greet events, where these friendships can move from online to offline, or sometimes some comments lead to other forms of messaging if a connection is made, which leads to friendship, either online only or offline.
- When bloggers connect with each other, through their posts it can feel like you have already gotten to know each other, and already know which things you have in common.
- Blogging can be deceptively lonely - while bloggers share highlights from their lives, being a blogger is still a unique position to hold that local friends and family will not always completley understand, so it can be really refreshing to meet with fellow bloggers who understand this way of life.
- Unlike with friendship sites and apps, you can't always be certain that the blogger you love to follow is actually interested in meeting new friends, so it's best to build a friendship more slowly via this route.
- If you don't have a blog yourself, it might be harder to connect with a blogger you feel would make a great friend for you, because even if you share details about yourself in supportive comments on their blog posts, the blogger might categorize you as a fan and not a friend.
3. Discussion Forums and Facebook Groups
Zero waste groups and forums, vegan groups, keto groups, professional groups, pregnancy and new mom groups - there is a niche online discussion forum or Facebook group for just about every hobby or interest out there!
How it works: Start by joining a group that matches up with your interests. Here, in this group, you will find and connect with other people who share the same interests as you. You don't need to jump into narrowing down a new friend right away, but start by just participating in the discussions. Eventually, you might find that you connect with some members really well, or have more things in common with them, or perhaps live nearby them.
There are two ways to find new friends from these groups:
1) Occasionally these groups will host offline meetups and events, when you attend you might just meet some new, like-minded friends.
2) You can also send a direct message to someone you feel you have a connection with, starting with a deeper conversation, and from there perhaps moving on to a platonic online friendship, or even meeting up for an offline, traditional friendship.
- No need for searching profiles - you already have things in common with the people in these groups.
- Hosted group events offline give you the chance to meet new friends.
- Similar to the other methods in this article, you can't be certain that the people you would like to become friends with are actively seeking new friendships.
- Group events and meetups can be intimidating to go to alone.
Similar to blogging, friendships are now being formed right off Instagram! Through Instagram, people often share lots of information about themselves, their lifestyle, their goals. From this, you might start to feel like you know which people you have lots in common with, or which people you might like to get to know.
How it works: If you think someone you follow on Instagram would also make a nice addition to your social circle, start by getting to know them through Instagram. Leave comments on their posts, or reply to their Instagram stories.
You can take it step further by sending a direct message and introducing yourself. Slowly, over time and many messages, comments back and forth, you might start getting to know each other better. From here, you have the option to suggest meeting up sometime to hang out, or just keep it as an online friendship.
- You can go slow with meeting new friends on Instagram - if you feel like the friend-chemistry isn't working, it's easy to back out.
- No certainty that the person you know on Instagram is actually looking to make new friends.
5. Online Classifieds Sites
Remember, way before the Internet days, when people used to place romance ads in the newspaper classifieds? This is still happening!
How it works: Now people are usingCraigslist, Kijiji, Angie's List, even newspaper online classifieds in their search not just for romantic relationships, but for friendships! People are now posting ads that introduce themselves, and describe what kind of friends they are seeking, in a creative way to find new friends locally.
- You can approach with confidence - those who are posting these ads are looking for new friendships.
- Lots of scrolling - since online classifieds sites are not designed for friendship seeking, it's not easy to filter by things like age, gender, location, and interests, as you can with friendship websites and apps.
Meetup has been around for awhile, and the concept is that groups of people host offline group encounters as a chance to go out, socialize, and meet new people.
- No planning required, just show up!
- Going out in a group style by yourself can be intimidating.
- Not really designed for 1 on 1 friendships.
There you have it! Our list of some of the modern ways to find new friendship online.
Did we miss any ideas? Please share in the comments below!