How to Make Internet Friends (Safely)

February 19, 2020 • Shannon Flynn

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A couple of decades ago, the only way to make friends was
in person. Thanks to the internet, making friends has taken on a new
platform. 

The internet allows for a different way of interacting
with people. You can connect with anyone from all over the globe in seconds.
These connections enable individuals to expand their horizons as well as hone in on
their interests. 

This form of connectivity also offers a platform for people who have anxiety or are shy.

Others who may not have the means to meet a range of friends offline can also find comfort on the internet. These friendships can also help web surfers develop social skills and awareness. 

The web is a technological ocean of possibilities. If you
need help on how to make internet friends, start with the following
steps: 

1. Join Groups

One of the best ways to find friends on the internet is to
join groups on various platforms that center your hobbies and interests.

Depending on your personality, you may want to join a
smaller group to stand out and bond with someone more closely. Or you may want
to join a larger gathering for more possibilities.

If you enjoy gaming, many platforms — like Discord — offer
the ability to chat while gaming with others. Joining a niche hones in on what
you love and lets you bond with others who feel the same. 

Facebook and Reddit offer groups and communities for
almost everything. There, you are sure to connect with like-minded
people. 

2. Download Apps

While all social media and chatrooms will most likely have apps, other applications exist that are specific to making friends online.

Some of these are similar to dating apps, but they’re for friendships. Others focus on events nearby and show where to connect with people. 

Bumble BFF is an excellent example of one of these
platforms. The company branched out from dating and developed this app to
connect friend matches. Here, anyone can message first and start a
friendship. An app like InterPals helps connect people globally. With this
platform, you can learn
or teach a language
through conversations with penpals. 

Many applications have specific focuses, too. Meet My Dog
brings dog owners
and their furry friends
together. The possibilities become
endless once you have the right resources. 

3. Make Your Profiles

Once you’ve downloaded your apps and joined your groups,
the next step is to create or update your profiles. Think of your profile as
your home base. This is where people will click to get to know you, so it
should represent who you are.

Your bio will reflect you — what it will look like is your
decision.

If you want to keep it short and sweet, you can do so. If
you want to give a sneak-peek into your personality and your interests and
hobbies, that works as well. Some apps and groups offer a fuller template than
others, so share the information you’d like to represent yourself with.

4. Initiate and Join Conversations 

When you’re ready to start reaching out, you can build connections in numerous ways.

Depending on the platform, you can initiate or join a
conversation. If you’re on an app, you might select who you’d like to speak to
and send them a message. If it’s a group, you can share content or comment on
others’ posts. 

Once you start talking to people, remember to be patient
and calm, and keep your options open. No one can build a relationship in a day.
Friendships happen naturally and gradually. 

5. Stay Safe

Connecting with anyone has certain levels of risk
depending on how well you know them. Internet friends can sometimes come with more risk than meeting a friend in
person. While many people on the internet are harmless, it’s still important to
proceed with caution.

First, ask a friend. If someone sends you a friend request
or messages you, and you’re not sure who they are or how they found you, ask a
friend if they know this person. You can look for mutuals on their social
media pages, too. 

If you’re reaching out on apps or forums looking for
friends, make sure they display their information. If they’re secretive while
talking to you, you might want to take a step back. 

Remember to protect your profile as well. Don’t post any
personal details or content that isn’t necessary for strangers to see or
know. 

Last, always use your best judgment. If something
feels off, then it probably is. Trust yourself. 

If you ever meet with your online friends in person, bring
someone you trust or let loved ones know where you’re going. Always meet in a
public space with lots of other individuals around. You could video chat with
them before the meet-up to confirm their identity.

Connecting With Others Across the Internet

Follow the tips above when making internet friends and
remember to practice safety measures. Then, you’ll be ready to open yourself up
to the world of friends waiting for you on the web.



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