How To Meet People Online: 9 Tips

How To Meet People Online: 9 Tips
Table Of Contents

You don't have to stick to the friends you make at school or work these days. The internet has opened up an expansive space for us to connect, engage, and form meaningful relationships with people from around the globe. The internet has opened up an expansive space for us to connect, engage, and form meaningful relationships with people from around the globe. 

The possibilities are endless, from joining book clubs to playing games and participating in online communities to exploring dating apps for friendships. There are plenty of effective ways to meet new friends online, and if you're eager to meet, greet, and mingle, here are a few of the most effective ways to meet new friends online.

1. Utilize Social Media Platforms

Platforms like Snapchat and Facebook have built-in features to help you discover new people and start conversations. Snapchat, for example, has the “Discover” feature that lets you explore content from a wide range of categories, potentially leading you to like-minded individuals with whom you can connect. 

On the other hand, Facebook has countless groups catering to virtually every interest under the sun, providing a platform to engage in discussions, share ideas, and make new friends. Twitter (now X) and Instagram have also, historically, been avenues for making friends online — the platforms thrive off of connecting users with common interests. 

As the age of social media was up and coming, it was seen as more “taboo” to have online friendships. But did you know that nearly four in 10 Americans have friendships that are solely online? If you’re still thinking that having online friendships on social media isn’t the norm, you’re falling behind.

These platforms provide users an avenue for social networking, which involves engaging in conversations, participating in discussions, and showing genuine interest in others. These interactions, though online, can lead to meaningful friendships in the long run.

Above all, the key to making a good friend is to be one. Be respectful, show empathy, and be consistent in your interactions. These are the building blocks of any meaningful connection, online or otherwise.

While social media platforms provide plenty of opportunities to meet new friends online, it's also essential to consider your safety. Be careful about the amount of personal information you share, and always prioritize meeting in public places if you decide to take your online friendship into the real world.

2. Join Online Communities and Forums

Online communities and forums are spaces where people with shared interests, hobbies, or experiences come together to discuss, share knowledge, and support one another. Whether you're passionate about photography, love reading, or are crazy about cats, there's likely a forum or online community out there that matches your interest.

Platforms like Reddit and Discord host thousands of communities covering various topics. Reddit, often called "the front page of the internet," is home to numerous "subreddits," each dedicated to a specific topic. You can join these subreddits to engage in discussions, ask questions, or share interesting content related to the topic, paving the way to connect with others who share your interests.

Initially created for gamers, Discord has evolved into a platform that hosts a multitude of communities. From book clubs to language learning groups, you can join servers where discussions and activities related to your interests occur. Discord's voice chat feature also adds a personal touch to online interactions, making the process of meeting new friends online more engaging and real.

Participation is important in these communities. Actively engage in discussions, offer your thoughts, and show respect for others' opinions. Over time, these online interactions can evolve into meaningful friendships. 

3. Explore Dating Apps for Friends

Dating apps have revolutionized how we meet people, and they aren’t just for finding romantic partners anymore. Many of these apps now offer features that allow users to make new friends online. Bumble BFF and Tinder Social are perfect examples of this trend.

Bumble BFF is a feature within the Bumble app that allows users to match with potential friends. It works similarly to the dating side of the app, but matches are made based on shared interests, mutual activities, and life goals. It's a great way to connect with people in your area who want to expand their social circles.

Similarly, Tinder has launched Tinder Social, a feature that allows you to form groups, meet new friends, and plan social activities together. This offers an exciting way to meet people you wouldn't ordinarily cross paths with.

The concept of "friend dating" can be a refreshing change. Just like dating, you get to meet different people, get to know them, and see if you click. Having an easy avenue to meaningful connections and building a network of support and camaraderie is comforting. It’s also essential for our well-being.

4. Participate in Meetups

Meetup is an online platform designed to help people meet others in their local area with similar interests. Whether you’re into hiking, coding, photography, or cooking, there’s likely a meetup group for you. By participating in these groups, you can engage in activities you love while meeting new people.

Meetups offer the unique advantage of letting online friendships transition smoothly into real life. Once you join a group, you can participate in planned activities, fostering face-to-face interactions and shared experiences. These events often lead to deeper connections and can drastically expand your social circle.

Furthermore, Meetup isn't limited to hobby-specific groups. There are also groups designed for people new to a city, singles groups, and even groups for people looking to make new friends. It’s a diverse platform that can be useful for a number of needs.

Participating in meetups can also strengthen your connection to your local community. It's a way to explore your interests and hobbies more profoundly while creating meaningful relationships along the way.

5. Use Geo-Social Networking Platforms

If you've recently moved to a new city or neighborhood, geo-social networking platforms like Nextdoor can be super valuable. These platforms connect you with people in your immediate vicinity, helping you to establish local connections and feel more at home in your new surroundings.

Nextdoor is designed for neighbors to exchange local news, recommendations, items for sale, and more. It's a platform built around fostering a sense of community and can be a great way to meet people in your neighborhood. Whether you're looking for a local book club, trying to find a new jogging partner, or simply want to know who lives next door, this app can help you make those connections.

However, these geo-social networking platforms aren't just for those living in new places. Even if you've been in the same place for years, they can help you discover new friends online right in your neighborhood.

6. Leverage Gaming Platforms

For gamers, meeting new people online can be as easy as joining a multiplayer game. Platforms like Twitch offer a unique way to connect with others who share your passion for gaming.

Twitch is a live-streaming platform predominantly used by video gamers. It serves as a community where you can engage in chats, join specific game communities, and even make friends with fellow gamers. Twitch's chat feature allows for real-time interaction with streamers and other viewers, facilitating lively discussions and camaraderie.

Many games have their own communities on platforms like Discord, where players can talk about game strategies, share their experiences, or just have a chat about their daily lives. These gaming communities often create strong bonds between players who spend hours together in virtual land.

7. Explore Friend-Making Apps

There really is an app for everything — including making friends. Apps like Vina and Friender are specifically designed to help individuals find friends with common interests.

Vina operates much like a dating app but is exclusively for women looking to make new female friends. The app matches users based on various factors, including interests, lifestyle, and more. Friender is another app that serves a similar purpose. It matches people based on mutual hobbies and interests, providing a starting point for conversation and potential friendship.

These friend-making apps use algorithms to connect you with potential friends, taking the legwork out of finding people with similar interests. They provide a structured way to meet new friends online and can be especially useful if you're not sure where to start.

8. Be Active on Dating Sites

Traditionally meant for romantic connections, dating sites can also be an avenue for platonic relationships. Platforms like OkCupid and Plenty of Fish allow you to specify what you're looking for, including friends.

Being active on these sites means engaging in conversations, responding to messages, and not being afraid to reach out to people whose interests align with yours. You can find meaningful connections and new friendships among many people using these platforms.

The key is to be transparent about your intentions. If you're on a dating site for friendship, make sure that's clear in your profile. This way, you can connect with others looking for the same type of relationship.

9. Engage in Reading and Book Clubs

For book lovers, online reading groups and book clubs can be a fantastic way to meet new friends online. These groups bring together individuals who share a love for literature and provide a platform for discussing various books.

Platforms like Goodreads allow you to track your reading, join book clubs, participate in discussions, and even create your own groups. Facebook also hosts numerous book clubs, some based on specific genres and others that revolve around a shared desire to read and discuss books.

Participate actively in discussions, share your thoughts on books, ask questions, and show interest in others' opinions. Shared interests are often the foundation of lasting friendships. By joining these online book clubs, you open a window to meet individuals who share your passion for reading.

How Can You Transition Online Friends to IRL?

Meeting new friends online can be exciting, but transitioning those friendships to in-person relationships (also known as IRL, or "in real life") is another hurdle entirely. 

Start slow, perhaps by moving from text chats to phone calls or video chats. This helps establish a more personal connection without the immediate commitment of meeting in person. When you're ready to meet face-to-face, always choose a public place and let someone know where you're going.

It's also important to manage expectations. Not every online friendship will transition smoothly into real life, and that's okay! The goal is to create meaningful connections that enhance your well-being, whether they remain online or move into the physical world.

Meeting new friends online and transitioning them to IRL can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to prioritize safety and trust your instincts every step of the way. If you’re looking to meet up with an online friend and have concerns about your safety and privacy, use Burner. 

Burner allows you to create a secondary phone number to keep your personal number… personal. Stay safe, stay anonymous (for as long as you’d like, of course), and even organize your calls and texts with us. Learn more about Burner today to get started.


How to Reddit | Reddit

What Exactly is Bumble BFF? | Bumble

Book Clubs | Goodreads

How To Turn Online Friends Real | Yahoo

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