With social-distancing becoming the new normal, making friends the traditional way isn’t that easy. Here are some suggestions for how to make new friends online (without making it awkward AF).
Finding like-minded friends online starts with finding the right network. Working with the right network will help you find more people that you are interested in getting to know and vice versa. Choosing smaller communities is better than larger ones because it’s easier to make connections. Smaller communities have a more inclusive atmosphere whereas, in larger communities, it’s harder to stand out and connect.
Niche interest groups on social media are great places to find like-minded people. Join local groups on Facebook centered around topics of interest, and follow Instagram accounts that speak to your interests and connect over those interests. There are also plenty of mobile apps and websites, similar to online dating, where you can find friends.
- Bumble BFF: Bumble BFF is the same concept as Bumble for dating, only for platonic friends. Users still create a profile with photos, a short bio, and swipe right on connections. With Bumble BFF, either match can start the conversation, it’s not gendered.
- Friender: Also a swipe app, Friender matches your profile with similar profiles. Friender uses your added interests to suggest matches that have at least one thing in common with you. Already having common interests gives you something to talk about, and increases the chances of meeting more people with common interests.
- Nextdoor: Meeting people when you are new to a neighborhood can be challenging. With Nextdoor, you can find out everything that is going on nearby, from yard sales to babysitting work. Nextdoor helps you integrate into the neighborhood and stay current with neighbors.
- the Tundra: the Tundra is a new social networking site that allows users to build communities based on shared interests. Think of it like Reddit and Tumblr where everyday enthusiasts come together to share in topics of interest. Are you looking for new friends with an interest in agriculture? the Tundra can help you find fellow enthusiasts interested in sharing the best agricultural themed entertainment.
Starting a conversation online is different than in real life. Here are some tips on how to break the ice on different online platforms and eventually meet in person.
- Facebook Niche Interest Groups: Facebook groups are all about interacting by sharing photos and content with the group. Engage with posts by liking them and leaving comments or questions. After a few weeks of interacting with the group and recognizing members, it’ll be a good time to send private messages or see if there is a regular meetup you can join.
- Instagram: On Instagram, you should follow people who share a niche interest with you. Engage directly with Instagram profiles by liking and commenting on content. Eventually, you will get to know each other through comments and you can naturally transition to private messages.
- “Friend Dating” Apps or Websites: Once you have written a personal profile you can start looking at other profiles to see if you have much in common. When you find a match, send a casual message introducing yourself and pointing out what you see in common. Message several people at first since not everyone will turn out to be a match. If you get a positive response, then chatting and a meeting will be pretty straightforward.
Always use caution when meeting with someone you meet online. Before you meet someone, use GoLookUp to run an inmate search using their free online database. Public record information about arrest records, mugshots, and sex offenders is made available by free search services that can keep you protected.