How to Find Friends Online: Tips for Making Meaningful Connections

Did you know that forming friendships online can open up a world of possibilities? Just like making friends in person, making friends online requires effort and energy to truly get to know someone. While some connections may fizzle out, others may blossom into strong friendships. When it comes to finding friends online, there are both pros and cons to consider. On the positive side, you can quickly connect with people who share your interests and the convenience of communicating anytime. However, challenges include interpreting non-verbal cues and navigating the transition from online to in-person friendships. Forming friendships online can lead to meaningful and fulfilling relationships despite these differences.

Ways to Make Like-Minded Friends Online

When aiming to make new friends, it is crucial to be specific about the type of people you want to connect with. Simply saying, “I want a new friend,” can lead to frustration when trying to find meaningful friendships. Just like when you go to the grocery store hungry and without a plan, you may wander around, unsure what to buy. But if you add a filter like, “I am hungry, but I want something quick and easy to eat on the go,” you can quickly identify foods like a banana, string cheese, or a roll that meets your criteria. Similarly, when looking to make friends, consider what interests you want to discuss, activities you want to do together, areas where you need support, topics you want to talk about, experiences you want to share, and ways to support others. By reflecting on these aspects, you can pinpoint the people you want to meet and stand out in a crowd of potential friends.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What interests do I want to talk to my new friends about?
  • What activities do I want to do with them?
  • In what ways do I need support?
  • What areas of life do I want to talk to them about?
  • What experiences do I wish I had more people to share with?
  • In what ways can I support others?

Specific filters are even more important when making friends online because the internet is big! Luckily, the internet allows you to easily search for groups or individuals who share your interests by using hashtags, following threads, or joining online communities. It quickly curates smaller groups of like-minded people and increases your chances of finding friends who align with what you are looking for.

Are online friends real friends?

Sure! Friendship is a spectrum, and we hang out with our friends in all sorts of contexts (Check out my Wheel of Connection to learn more). Some friends are limited to specific environments like work or church, while others are present in multiple areas of our lives. Online friends, although initially only connected through the internet, have the potential to grow into offline friendships or be integrated into other online communities we engage with. The beauty of friendships lies in the ability to connect with others regardless of the platform or medium, ultimately enriching our social experiences.

Just like any friendship, building online friendships takes time, so it’s important to be patient. Keep in mind that the effort you put into the relationship will directly impact what you get out of it, so make sure to engage many times and avoid just lurking in the background actively. Remember, online friendships can be just as real and meaningful as in-person ones if nurtured and maintained properly.

When it comes to forming connections online, it’s important to give the same time and effort as you would in person. Whether you’re chatting in a group setting or engaging in private messages, the bond you create with online friends can be just as real and meaningful as those formed face-to-face. It’s all about finding that balance between group interactions and one-on-one conversations to truly nurture those friendships. So, don’t underestimate the power of online friendships – they can be just as genuine and fulfilling as any other relationship in your life.

When building relationships online, it’s important to manage your time wisely. Finding a healthy balance between virtual connections and real-life interactions is key. Avoid getting caught up in online groups or threads that don’t genuinely interest you. It’s like joining a volunteer group in person for a cause you don’t care about – it won’t be fulfilling in the long run.

Finally, it’s important to prioritize meaningful interactions over superficial ones. Don’t feel obligated to respond to every message in a group chat, just like you wouldn’t feel the need to interject in every passing conversation at a networking event. By focusing on quality over quantity, you can cultivate deeper connections with online friends.

Choosing the Right Platform to Make Friends Online

Different platforms work better in different ways. Some allow you to search for groups and connect with various people around a singular topic – similar to joining an in-person group that focuses on an interest or a volunteer group. Others allow you to follow a singular person and potentially connect with them in the DMs or connect with others who follow them and build connections in the comments. Some platforms are similar to showing up at a big party where you’re all throwing out ideas in real-time. Depending on the kinds of connections you are looking to make, you might choose one platform over another, but at the end of the day, remember that social media is meant to be just that… social. To make connections on the internet, you need to be social. Don’t just lurk in these groups or platforms. Instead, make a point of engaging in virtual small talk, responding to messages and comments, and asking questions.

Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms are a fantastic way to connect with friends online. You can easily find people who share your interests and hobbies through the search features and public conversations. It’s like attending a networking event with access to transcripts of every past meeting. With the added search bar feature, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re joining Facebook groups, engaging in Instagram communities, or participating in Twitter chats, there are numerous opportunities to meet like-minded individuals.

These platforms allow you to connect with people worldwide and discover others who have similar interests in no time. Remember that not everyone may be as social on social media, so not all interactions may lead to lasting conversations. Consistency is key when engaging with others in these groups and threads. By actively participating and joining relevant groups, you may encounter interesting individuals you wouldn’t have met otherwise in your daily life. Remember to use privacy settings wisely to protect your personal information while interacting online.

Instagram / Tiktok

Instagram and TikTok are great platforms for connecting with individuals or organizations that share your interests. Building relationships with creators through their content and direct messages can lead to meaningful connections. Personally, I’ve made many business friends through interactions on these platforms, sparking conversations that have continued in the DMs. Additionally, engaging with other followers in the comments can also be a way to connect. Starting a fun conversation, sending a DM, sharing other pages or resources related to your interests, or even organizing virtual hangouts can all help foster new connections. Remember, behind every social media account is a real person, so don’t hesitate to reach out and start a conversation.


Facebook offers robust search capabilities that allow users to easily find groups and events related to their interests and hobbies. This feature enables individuals to connect with like-minded people and engage in public conversations. Joining a group on Facebook is akin to participating in a community in person – consistency, value contribution, and active engagement are key. Users can foster meaningful connections by interacting with group members, offering assistance, sharing resources, and initiating one-on-one conversations. Volunteering to assist group organizers or create content can further enhance networking opportunities. If the desired group does not exist, users can create their own, fostering a sense of community and collaboration on the platform.


Twitter/X and Threads offer a platform to engage in discussions and debates or simply find interesting conversations. It’s like being part of a group chat but open to the public for anyone to join in. Remember the public nature of these interactions, but remember the potential to connect with individuals you may never have met otherwise. It’s a great way to expand your network and engage with diverse perspectives.


Some individuals opt for using apps to connect with new people online. With a wide array of apps available, each catering to different friendship dynamics, it’s crucial to research whether the app aligns with the type of friends you are seeking. While these apps facilitate initial online interactions, their primary goal is to facilitate in-person meetups.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality lets you make friends and hang out with people in a virtual world. It’s great for anyone, but especially if you live in a small town, feel like you don’t fit in, get nervous around others, or are an introvert trying to meet other introverts and make friends. In virtual reality, you can chat and have fun without meeting face to face. This is super helpful if you feel alone, as it gives you a sense of belonging and community that you might be missing in real life.

The virtual reality world is super cool if you haven’t tried it! You can hang out with others in virtual worlds or multiplayer games where you can form niche communities based on specific interests or hobbies. Whether it’s joining a virtual book club, attending a live concert in VR, or participating in a virtual support group, individuals can connect with others who share their passions and values just like they would in a public place. Even if you’re far apart, you can feel close to people and make real friendships. Virtual reality helps you feel like you belong and make friends in a special way that regular social media can’t do.

Online Communities

Reddit / Discord / Twitch

You can find awesome communities on Reddit, Discord servers, or specialized forums. These places are like hangout spots where you can chat, share ideas, and even play online games together!

First things first, you gotta find a community that matches your hobbies or favorite topics. Whether you’re into video games, anime, cooking, or even knitting, there’s a group out there for you. Look for active communities where people post regularly and interact with each other. It’s more fun when everyone is involved and sharing cool stuff!

Once you’ve found a community to join, don’t be shy! Jump into conversations, ask a question or two, and share your thoughts. The more you engage with others, the easier it is to make friends. You can also participate in group activities like game nights, book clubs, or art challenges. It’s a great way to bond with people and have fun together.

If you start feeling a connection with someone in the group, why not reach out to them privately? Send them a friendly message introducing yourself and sharing something you have in common. Making friends online is all about being open and genuine. Who knows, you might just find your new closest friend in the digital world!

Starting Conversations and Sending Messages to Get to Know Someone Better

Starting Conversations

Again! This is all similar to in-person interactions. You want to initiate contact by expressing genuine interest in others’ experiences or opinions. By asking open-ended questions, you can spark meaningful conversations that delve deeper into shared interests. Active listening is crucial; it shows that you value what the other person has to say.

Sending Messages

In the realm of making friends online, initiating contact through messaging is key. It allows for more intimate interactions and paves the way for deeper connections with like-minded individuals who share your hobbies or values. Remember always to be patient when waiting for responses; everyone has their pace in engaging with new acquaintances.

Starting Conversations that Lead to In-Person Meetings

When transitioning from online connections to in-person meetings, safety should always be a top priority. Consider starting with a virtual coffee date or facetime to ease into the transition. When meeting in person, choose public locations and make sure to inform a friend or family member of your plans. Protect your personal information and trust your instincts throughout the process. It’s important to prioritize your safety and well-being when taking online connections offline.

Being Yourself When Making Friends Online

Being Yourself

Authenticity plays a crucial role in building relationships, whether in person or online. It is important to embrace your true self when connecting with others virtually. Many people find that they can express themselves more freely online, allowing them to explore different aspects of their personality. Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with individuals who appreciate and accept you for who you are.

Being authentic not only helps in forming lasting friendships but also in creating more meaningful connections. When others like you for your genuine self, the bond that is formed is stronger and more fulfilling.

Authenticity attracts like-minded individuals who resonate with your true personality, leading to deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Having Fun Together

To nurture online friendships, plan activities that bring joy and laughter into the relationship. Organize virtual game nights or engage in multiplayer games together for shared fun experiences. Exploring collaborative platforms can also create interactive moments of enjoyment within your friendship circle. You might even consider introducing friends to other online friends once you get to know each other and exapand your social circle!

Pros and Cons of Finding Friends Online


Online friendships, stemming from finding friends online, provide unparalleled flexibility. You can connect with individuals irrespective of their location or time zone. Moreover, these platforms enable you to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and a broad age range, widening your social horizons.

Online platforms offer a myriad of options to find good friends based on specific interests. By utilizing search filters tailored to your preferences, you can swiftly identify individuals sharing common interests or experiences. This targeted approach saves time compared to traditional in-person methods of searching for companionship.


Despite the benefits, establishing trust and rapport in an online setting presents challenges. The absence of non-verbal cues may lead to miscommunications or misunderstandings between individuals interacting virtually. Furthermore, cultivating genuine and enduring friendships through digital means requires considerable time and effort.

Moreover, transitioning from an online friendship to an in-person relationship poses its own set of challenges that may require careful navigation by both parties involved.

Final Remarks

Are you ready to go make some friends online now?! I hope so. There are so many opportunities for genuine online friendships. So, get out there and start connecting! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there; the right friends are waiting for you on the other side of that screen.

Profile Photo for Alex Alexander a blonde haired white woman smiling at the camera. She is in her 30s with her hair down and curled and wearing a grey sweater.

Hi! I'm Alex.

I am just a person who has spent an extraordinary amount of time trying to understand some of the relationships that I hold most dear. I invite you to join in on the conversation below in the comments section below.

Ask questions, leave comments, share critiques or give advice. All are welcome.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Hi. I'm Alex.

I'm just a gal who cares deeply about community + friendship. Why? Well, I didn't have a healthy support system growing up.

So I built one... out of friends. I believe a healthy support system is the ultimate self-care.

Every new blog post... straight to your inbox.