Are you finding yourself spending too much time talking to your cat? Or, when you see old photos of yourself out gathered with friends, do you feel like crying? Or screaming? I get that. It’s sooo hard not being able to socialize the way we used to. But, maybe we can find a reprieve in exploring some online options for meeting new friends!
As a side note, it’s actually not that bad. Actually, long before Covid hit, when I was living in Newton, Ma, I joined Meetup groups and met some really nice people. I enjoyed meeting new friends from all around the Boston area, who lived in places I’d never been. I still keep in touch with some of those women today.
Like most things these days, there are apps to get you started. Therefore, if you are open to connecting digitally, help is on the way. Interesting fact: psychologists have found that the emotional and psychological benefits of friendships built online are equal to face-to-face relationships. So, we’ve put together a list of nine apps for making new connections, along with some tips to get you started.
So, take a look at this list of nine apps here:
FriendMatch is an online service to help you meet new people all around the world. For example, you may find a friend to share a coffee with and talk about life. You can also join a fun book club, discover new exercise partners, or connect with a couple of friends. Your options are endless!
2. Bumble BFF:
This is Bumble’s under-appreciated platonic function. If you’re looking to expand your girl squad, it’s an excellent place to explore— no matter where or who you are.
3. Friender :
Likewise, Friender is exactly what it sounds like: networking based on activities you enjoy. By rating your interest in different hobbies, you’ll be able to weed out the people whose social preferences aren’t super aligned to yours.
This app bills itself as “Tinder for (girl) friends.” Tell them what you are looking for, and boom, instant book club. If you’re looking for a new BFF or simply someone to have an occasional coffee with, be sure to check out Hey! VINA.
To clarify, this is a great networking app based on motherhood. This app supports mothers across all stages of motherhood and is a great way to build a strong support network with other moms.
While Plenty of Fish is best known as a romantic dating platform, it also caters to platonic connections. As its website specifies, Plenty of Fish is friendship-friendly.
This is a platform for finding and building local communities based on your interests (and real-life activities). For instance, people use Meetup to expand their connections, learn new things, find support, get out of their comfort zones and pursue shared passions together.
8. Nextdoor :
Nextdoor instantly connects you with your neighborhood. Use this app to stay up to date on community events or foster relationships with your neighbors without having to knock on their door.
9. Meet My Dog and Bark Happy:
These networking apps are for you and your dog; they can introduce you to other dog owners in your area. These apps are perfect for meeting a dog-walking buddy to go on socially distanced walks with – the perfect excuse for both you and your pup to meet new friends and get some fresh air!
Tips for Making Friends Online
1. Try To Remain Open.
When choosing friends online and using applications, you may jump to creating a very narrow and specific search, where you swipe left on people with qualities you aren’t looking for. However, this approach may cause you to miss out on someone who could potentially have become your next best friend. Sometimes, it pays to keep an open mind when online friendship matching – this is because creating online friendships can mirror your real-life experiences.
Think of this: when you go out in public places, you never know who you will meet. The randomness of new connections is sometimes what makes them all the more worthwhile. As such, you should practice the same open-minded attitude when meeting people online. That way, you can expand your opportunities to meet new people. Only once you get to know them better can you honestly assess whether or not it is a relationship worth pursuing or not.
2. Use Common Sense.
This goes without saying, but I’m sure there are some people online who aren’t exactly who they claim to be. Avoid anyone who has even the tiniest red flag.
3. Enjoy the Process.
Even if all you get out of an online book club through Meetup is that you actually read a new book – it’s still worth it! See how you feel after meeting and chatting with new friends online. In short, do you agree with the psychologist referenced above, who has found that online connection provides equal emotional and psychological benefits to being in person? So, find out and let us know!
For ways to connect with friends remotely, look here.