Social media is big on the whole “connecting people” thing, but many fail to capitalize on today’s online tools when it comes to making friends. Sure, you can send a friend invite or add people to your contacts list, but unless they turn into friends that you actually share a strong bond with, they’re nothing more than acquaintances and a bunch of names that pop up every now and then on your feed. That raises the question: is it possible to develop true friendships online? The answer is yes, but there’s a catch.
Making new friends online is definitely possible, but you need to take the right approach to things. There are plenty of things that make it very different from making friends offline. For example, there’s no 100% guarantee that an online profile is the real thing until you meet an individual in person. If you want to make friends, you need as much information about the people, and the best way to get information is to establish good communication.
Finding Common Ground
One of the easiest ways to make friends online is by seeking people with whom you can relate to. This way, you’ll have an easier time breaking the ice and starting conversations that could lead to new friendships. You don’t even have to start from nothing if you already have a long list of contacts in your social media account. It’s just a matter of finding that common ground between you and your new friends.
If you can’t find anybody on your friends list that shares your interests, start by checking out fan pages or online message boards – you’re bound to find a few people that are also eager to find new friends online.
Communication – Beyond the Contacts List
The good thing about connecting with people online is that there are countless ways to get in touch with them. Aside from tagging people in your posts or saying hello thru integrated messengers, you can even invite them to use other communication platforms like a group communication app. Mobile communication applications can also help you find or make groups that will allow you to seek out people who share a common interest, be it gaming, a TV show fandom, or one of the many worthwhile hobbies out there
Having lots of options to communicate is good, but what matters more is that you communicate often. The more you can talk to each other, the more comfortable you become at sharing your ideas and stories. Given enough time, you could even ask them to start video or voice calls with you, which helps a lot in setting you up for the next step.
Meeting Them in Person
With enough communication and time, you and your new online friends might want to consider overcoming the digital barrier and actually meeting up in person. This works best for active, tightly-knit online circles (unless a friend doesn’t mind meeting you in a one-to-one scenario). Ask your new friends if they want to meet somewhere that everyone can easily access.
If you’re more of a people person, this shouldn’t be a major challenge for you. However, introverted individuals might experience a case of cold feet (which is why they prefer looking for friends online in the first place). If you’re one of those people, just remember that you’re meeting up with people that want you to be part of their world. Stay calm and keep a positive attitude, and you’ll have a great time with your new friends.
Making new friends, whether online or otherwise, is always a possibility. With the right approach to things, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the right people that can be lifelong companions once you get to know them.