Making friends as an adult is hard. Making friends during a pandemic is even harder. In a time when interacting with strangers is totally off limits, how does one go about finding new friends? Enter: the internet. It might feel out of your comfort zone, but we're breaking down how to make friends online, because we could all use some extra human connection right now.
If you're single, you have probably used apps to find dates. And although you might have grown accustomed to swiping and sending messages to strangers, it likely felt uncomfortable at first. The same can be said of striking up conversations in search of a friendship connection. But once you get past the weirdness, you can discover some genuine friendships online. Below, read four suggestions for how to make friends online—and say hello to new members of your girl gang.
How to make friends online:
1. Join Facebook groups.
There are currently 620 million Facebook groups, aka mini communities online where people discuss a variety of topics like hobbies, sports, politics, parenting—the list goes on. Whatever you might be interested in—knitting, comic books, The Bachelor, parenting advice, things to do in your city—there's most likely a Facebook group for it.
Just search by keyword in the group section of the platform and existing groups will pop up with the amount of members. If it's a private group, you'll need to request to join. Then, say hello to a huge online community of people interested in the same things as you!
2. Use friendship apps.
There are tons of friendship apps out there, just like dating apps. Bumble BFF is perhaps the most well known and works exactly like the dating version. Other options are Friender, Hey! Vina, and Peanut (which is specifically for moms). Some other niche options include Meet My Dog, which allows dog owners to meet up for puppy playdates, and ATLETO, which matches you based on your sports preferences in case you need a jogging or tennis partner.
3. Take online group classes.
Taking a virtual class is a great way to make friends online—and you're learning something new while you're at it. Luckily, you'll know the people in your class are already interested in the same thing you are, so connecting will be smooth. Try an online cooking class if that's your jam, and afterward, reach out to a classmate and ask if they want to chat on the phone about what you learned.
4. Utilize college connections.
Moving to a new city as an adult always poses challenges for your social life. If you've just made the jump to a new city, utilize your college or hometown connections. For example, you could google "Iowans in NYC" or "University of Iowa alum NYC," and there's likely an online community of people connecting on their shared roots. Whether you simply chat online about your similar experiences or end up meeting in person to cheer on your college sports team, a mutual experience is a golden ticket to friendship—or at least a connection.