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How to Make Friends Online

How to Make Friends Online: A ‘Friendly’ Guide to Making Close Relationships On The Internet

“Friendship is rare,” as Tenacious D once sang. It can seem so to some anyway. Many of us are spending increasing amounts of time isolated. This is because more people are working from home or too busy in the office. This can make it difficult to make friends and maintain relationships.

Friendship is crucial for human existence. We’re social creatures after all. Friends can boost mental health. They provide us with a shoulder to cry on and allow us to be ourselves. They expose us to the culture we may otherwise have missed. True companions can challenge us to be better and strive for more from life.

If you want to make new friends, you can do so on the internet. Yes, it’s not only for Netflix, memes, and retail industry IT solutions. Meeting new people can be intimidating. You may find it easier to socialize online. Then, once you feel comfortable, you can meet up in person. But you don’t have to. Online friendship can be just as meaningful and valuable as in-person friendship.

Where to Meet People

There are many places online where you can interact with people, but not all are good places to make friends. The comment section of a news website, for instance, rarely encourages meaningful conversations. Just lots of all-caps yelling. Look for places where sustained conversations around shared interests can occur.

Where to Meet People

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  • Facebook groups: There are many groups built around specific interests on Facebook. By joining one of these, you’ll get opportunities to interact with people who like the same things you do. Finding a connection can lead to friendship.
  • Reddit: There’s a subreddit for almost every conceivable interest. This allows you to find one built around something you’re passionate about. If you can talk with knowledge about a subject on Reddit, you’ll be able to become friends with like-minded people.
  • LinkedIn: The social media site for professionals allows you to find people working in your industry. It gives you the opportunity to discuss shared experiences with strangers. Picture two call center experts debating the best methods of call routing. Pretty soon, they’ll chat about other topics. It’s an excellent way to start a friendship.
  • Interest-focused websites: There are a variety of websites that allow for discussion around certain hobbies. Sites like Silent Book Club or Deviantart have communities consisting of people with specific interests. Again, it’s about finding connections around shared passions.
  • Friend Apps: Think but for platonic friendship. Sites like FriendMatch allow you to find new pals, even if you lead a busy lifestyle.
  • Discord: Popular amongst gamers, this messaging app allows for the creation of groups where anyone can drop in. It can also host private chats. It’s used by popular YouTubers to provide a place for them to chat with their communities and allow them to chat amongst themselves.

These are just a few suggestions. The key is to find places where connections can be made that lead to meaningful conversations.

5 Tips for Making Friends Online

Spruce up your social media

Get your social media profiles to a good state. You want to present yourself in a good light. You may have posted some stuff that was funny amongst your college friends 15 years ago that hasn’t aged well. Then you should get rid of it! Even if you are not using social media as your primary way to meet people. When you do, they’ll likely check out your profile.

Spruce Up Your Social Media

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Make your profile public. If people can’t check you out, they’ll likely not try too hard to get to know you. You’re not required to publish loads of private information, but be as open as you’re comfortable with.

Update your information and your profile picture. If you’re going to make friends you’ll need social media, that projects who you are today. That gives you the best chance of creating a lasting relationship.

Have good interactions

Whatever platform you’re using, you’ll need to get in on the conversation. Find communities in which you’ll have something to say. On LinkedIn, for example, you could see a discussion about business phone services. Maybe that’s something you know about. Get involved by suggesting Grasshopper alternatives like Dialpad.

You don’t have to keep the conversation going if you don’t think it’s going anywhere. That’s the advantage of doing this online. If someone says something that’s a red flag for you, then stop talking to them. You’ll know when you feel the right kind of connection.

If you’re feeling a connection, ask lots of relevant questions. It will keep the discussion flowing. You’ll know it’s going well when questions are asked of you. This signals you’ve got their attention, and they want to know more.

Be genuine

Be Genuine

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To make true friends, you have to be yourself. If you use an artificial persona online, you’re not really making friends. The other person doesn’t really know who you are, so how can that be friendship? This doesn’t mean you must reveal your innermost secrets. It does require a level of openness though.

If you’re talking with someone who works in a similar field to you and you like their work, tell them. Peer-to-peer recognition always goes a long way to creating bonds between people. Conversely, if you’ve seen something about their work you wish to critique, tread carefully. If you can’t resist criticism, ensure it’s kind and constructive.

An advantage of doing this online is you have time to think about what to say. This is if you’re conversing through written communication. That means that if you emotionally react to something said, you can take a beat to craft a response that’s genuine but not rude or unkind.

Build on connections

Upon connecting with someone online, look for opportunities for further interaction. Going back to the LinkedIn example from earlier, imagine that person goes on to talk about call flow at their company’s call center. You could ask, “oh, what is call flow?” to keep the conversation going and strengthen the connection.

Once you’ve made a good connection with someone, get more personal with your inquiries. Keep it surface level to begin with. Ask questions like “any plans this weekend?” and build your rapport. You don’t want to be intrusive as that can be off-putting. Eventually, you’ll be able to reveal other shared interests that expand your range of topics of conversation. This will help turn the initial connection into a bond.

Make plans

Once you feel you have a good rapport with someone, you should make some sort of plan. If you’re local, you could invite them along for drinks with other friends. Perhaps you could meet somewhere and go for a hike. If they live outside your timezone, propose a video chat or phone call. If all goes well, you’ve got a new friend.

Make Plans

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Don’t Forget to Maintain Your Friendships

A friendship is like a house plant. It needs constant care and attention. We all lead busy lives but taking the time to reach out to someone means a lot to them. It should be reciprocal too. True friendship is a two-way street.


Jessica Day – Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad

Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. She is an expert in collaborating with multi-functional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Jessica Day also published articles for domains such as Women Love Tech and Digital Agency Network. Here is her LinkedIn.

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