How To Make Friends Online & Stay Connected

How To Make Friends Online & Stay Connected (Image Source: Shutterstock)

What Are Some Strategies To Make Friends Online?

Making friends online is ostensibly easier than ever. After all, there are lots of apps, games, and digital tools intended to help facilitate new online connections and allow you to meet people!

Be Picky About Where You Spend Time Online

We all have a limited amount of time and limited emotional energy. If you’re interested in finding friends online, be wise about where you spend your time and energy. To find people who have the same interests and values as you, you should be picky about where you spend your time and who you meet up with.

Always Be Kind

Of course, this rule of thumb can help you make new friends online just like it can help you make friends in three-dimensional space. Specifically, if you want to make friends online:

  • Don’t mock the ideas or posts of other people
  • Always reply with support or optimism, especially if you are chatting with people over social media or a game.
  • Try not to use language that seems condescending or overly complex. The more approachable your text seems, the kinder you’ll seem in the minds of people interacting with you.

Ask Questions

Want to know the best way to get people to open up to you? Ask them questions about themselves! Everyone, likely yourself included, loves to talk about themselves and their worries, desires, and interests.

  • How work is going or what they do for a living
  • Where they went to high school
  • What they appreciate about the last TV episode from a series you both like
  • Whether they have any shared interests with you, like video games or book clubs

Make Plans To Spend Time Together Online

The last and most important strategy to “friend dating” online is to make plans to spend time with those people. It’s that simple, but it feels elusive and difficult for many folks because most people don’t schedule their online time the same way they schedule in-person appointments.

How Can I Keep Online Friends for Good?

Lots of people also have trouble keeping online friendships, even if they can make friends with other folks easily enough. Here are some quality tips to keep in mind as you navigate friendships over the Internet.

Respond to Messages

For starters, don’t treat messages as optional. When someone sends you a message, whether it’s over a social media platform or in an online game, respond! Responding shows that you value their time and want to keep hanging out with them.

Don’t Act Like Online Friends Aren’t As Important as In-Person Friends

Similarly, don’t treat any online friendships as subpar or secondary to in-person (also known as IRL, or in real life) friendships unless you want them to feel like it. Online friendships made through social networking or apps like Snapchat and Tinder can be just as deep and important emotionally as in-person friendships. So act like it!

Keep Making Plans

Speaking of plans, keep making them if you want your online friendships to thrive. Plans can include:

  • Spending time on an online game or even planning to meet for the first time in a public place
  • Hanging out on a chat server, sending memes back and forth
  • Direct messaging each other while watching the same TV show or simply surfing the web

Take Advantage of Digital Communication Tools and “Styles”

Lastly, don’t treat all online messaging and communication as the exact same process as in-person communication. In fact, digital communication tools and conversational styles are unique, quirky, and fun to engage with. Take advantage of this and let your online relationships and friendships be unique compared to your in-person friendships.

Summary

As you can see, making friends online — and keeping them! — is pretty similar to making friends in person. The more online friends you cultivate, the happier you’ll be and the better your mental wellness will remain as digital communication continues to evolve in the years to come.

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