How to make friends online safely
The internet, especially social networks like Facebook, have changed the way we interact with each other. By encouraging that change, we have also significantly changed how we make and maintain friends. They say making friends online is easy and very rewarding. What do you think about that? Does that sound right to you?
For shy and introvert people it may be true since there is a screen between them and the person they're interacting with, they see meeting and making friends online as a low-risk way of putting themselves out there. If you're not a social butterfly, the online sites and social networks offer you a great way to meet people and make friends.
The online mode of meeting friends also offers an easy way of finding persons with the same interest as you. You can be only one search and click away from finding a group or a club where there are other like-minded people you can engage with. It is less frightening than joining a group or club offline where you don't know anyone, by engaging with the group online you're more confident when you get to meet them in person.
Making friends online has its advantages if you haven't tried it yet you should explore the possibilities, you never know, maybe you'll find your next BFF. So can you make friends online? Is it safe? Take a look at this next tips, they'll help you get started.
Do a little browsing to find like-minded people
You need to do a little homework first, so get online and do a search of websites, forums, message boards, social networks that group people with the same interest. Apart from your work, what is it that you do? Do you have any hobbies, or are you interested in expanding your knowledge of some particular subject? We're sure that if you look for it, you'll find it.
When you find the niche groups or forums or communities with like-minded people you can immediately join them or you can do some little more research and observe the dynamics and what exactly are people talking about in the comments and by reading the reviews.
If what you see and read is something you can relate to, then signed in so you can be a part of the group.
Identify the users that can be your potential friends
Have you used dating apps to meet new people? Usually, after you signed up and fill your profile you start browsing other profiles to find people you with the same interests. Well, this is kind of like what you need to do here, once you signed up and set up your account, start searching to find users that you can relate to.
Join the conversation
Now that you have set up your account and have a general idea of what the forum or community or niche group is about and are familiar with what other users are saying, start engaging with them. Yes, it's time to join the conversation, otherwise how are the other members to know you're there? It can be scary to share opinions and let people in on what you think but it's the only way to make yourself known. You can start by liking the content and pictures the other members are posting but eventually you'll need to do more.
It shouldn't be too hard, these people have the same interest as you. This is an example of what you can do to join the conversation: Say you love baking and are exploring new ideas to expand your recipes and while you're browsing the comment section you found one that says more or less what you're looking for. There's a potential friend! reply to that comment and tell them you're looking for the same thing and maybe you could swap recipes or share some tips to improve your skills. That could be a good start, you two have something in common to talk about there's a good chance he/she'll reply to you.
Aim to talk as much as you listen
You have something in common with that person or persons you've started engaging, that can lead to conversations where you get to know each other better. Now you're DMing or writing e-mails, and that's great, you're on your way to becoming friends. Just remember that. as in an offline friendship, when you become friends with someone, this person likes to feel heard and appreciated.
So don't talk too much about yourself, make it a 50/50 rule, if asked a question about you, answer in short and concise terms (don't write a short novel) and then you asked the same question. That way both of you get to talk about themselves and the conversation has a flow, this is conducive to friendship, the give and take.
Making friends online comes with its risk too. If you don't have the right knowledge and social media "skill" it can turn out not a pleasant experience. That's why parents have to be on the lookout with their kids, so they can prevent any unpleasantness or potential danger.
We all could be in danger of falling into scams, or dangerous situations when we are meeting and making friends online. You have to be cautious and trust your instincts if something or someone looks and sound fishy then don't hesitate, don't follow through, don't engage with that person. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Social media lets you meet and become "friends" with total strangers, you'll do better if when asked to accept a friend request from a total stranger, you ask your actual friends if they know this person. You can also do a Google search for his/her name and picture.
If you're participating in forums and online games, don't use your actual name, create a user name and stick to it while you're getting the hang of things. Protecting your identity is very important (it may seem contradictory if you're looking for friendship) but if you're going to stay friends online that's your best choice.
How to make friends not dating
Making friends when you're a kid is so easy (well for most kids), sometimes it just takes for one of them to ask "Can I be your friend?" and that's it. Making friends as an adult is not that easy, we meet a few new people, our priorities change and well, we become "too cool" to ask someone if he/she wants to be our friend (also it's scary).
Making friends is kind of like dating but at the same time, it's not. Making friends either online or offline requires effort and sometimes we need a little help. Well. it turns out you can use these next three "tricks". It's the same approach you would apply to meet your potential boyfriend but in this case, you'll be applying them to make friends.
Don't be scared, sometimes we think we're the only ones looking for friends, turns out there are lots of people looking for friendship too. So you need to be bold, put away your fear and just ask if he or she wants to hang, you know have a cup of coffee or a beer. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the answers you'll get.
2. Rely on a wing-man/woman
If you're an introvert, this trick can help you when meeting a new potential friend. This way you'll avoid awkward silences and your wing-man/woman can give you the security you need to go along on your friend-date.
3. Join groups focus on activities you enjoy
Again, you'll have a better chance of meeting potential friends if you look for like-minded people. So pursue your interests joining groups that like the same as you. Or take a class or join the gym or volunteer. You'll meet someone who'll be looking to make a friend too and you can bond while talking about an interest you have in common.
Top 5 friend sites and apps that are worth a try
If you want a little more help in making friends online, there are some websites and apps that can smooth the way. You only have to sign up, post a profile and these sites and apps can help you connect with potential friends. You need to be open to the experience, Take a look at these 5 options.
1. Bumble BFF
This app has a good reputation when it comes to dating apps, so their version of friendship should feel familiar and easy to use. Check it out, it's pretty friendly.
With this app and website, you can meet platonic potential friends in your area that share your interest. Beware that no flirting is allowed.
Meetup helps you find specific group activities in your area or it could let you start your own group based on a particular interest. It has a great base of professionals and you can choose from a wide variety of activities until you find the one that speaks to you. It's a great way to meet like-minded people in your area.
With this app/website, you can keep informed of what's happening in your neighborhood. It's a great way to meet your neighbors so you can exchange information on your community that can lead to forge a friendship.
This app lets you find people near you that are very similar to you. You can meet them in groups of 3 so it isn't as intimidating. We3 enables you to find like-minded people that fit your lifestyle, have lots of common interest and share your values and beliefs.
How to make friends near you
Navigating the online route to make friends can lead you to meet people from all over the world and that's great! You can make new friends and at the same time learn so much about different cultures and places through the eyes and words of people who actually live there. But maybe it's better if you meet people who are near you, you know, in your neighborhood, in your community, in your city; these potential friends can actually hang with you in coffee shops, in the park, at the gym, at the movies. The proximity lets you build the connection.
How can you make friends near you?
1. Start with your neighbors
Go online and find out where your neighbors hang out, maybe at the community center or at the park or at the coffee shop around the corner. Go there on a regular basis and we're sure someone's going to approach you and welcome you to the neighborhood.
If you look online for places where you can do some kind of volunteer work for your new community, we're sure something's going to come up. Or ask at your local church, they always have volunteer work available. You'll meet potential friends there, plus you'll be doing a good deed.
Making friends online could be fun and also scary, you just have to be open to the experience and prepared for some strikes, but all in all, we're sure it's going to be worth it. Just remember to be yourself and stay safe.