Online friendships can provide equal love and support as real-life friendships. Building online friendships is not intimidating if we tread safely says Dalilah Anna
The internet has opened up countless possibilities to our society, including building friendships online. Social media and smartphone apps have made it easy to meet new people and stay in touch with our loved ones.
The pandemic is a rough time for everyone globally. Many people are suffering from loneliness issues, particularly the elderly, young people and those who are suffering from chronic conditions. Those who have been isolated are missing in emotional support and human interaction. Due to restricted social interactions, meeting new people and making friends have become more challenging during the pandemic.
During these stressful times, it is still possible to reach out and connect with others via virtual events and online communities. Making friends online can be rewarding as you can expand your social circle.
There are numerous benefits of building online friendships. Here is the list of benefits:
Meet People With Similar Interests.
Simple as it seems, having a mutual hobby is the best icebreaker towards starting a new friendship. The secret to striking an interesting conversation is to talk about the things you have in common with each other. That way, the discussion will never go boring, and you won’t run out of topics to say.
Moreover, it is crucial to have a robust support system that shares the same passion for motivating you to achieve your goals. For instance, your hobby includes preparing healthy meals and staying fit. Surrounding yourself with people who have the same interests will motivate you greatly to achieve your goals.
Online Friendships Are Great For Introverts.
Making friends online is a good start for those who feel uncomfortable or shy in approaching a group of people. Sending chat messages allows users to communicate passively without feeling the pressure of real-life daily conversations. Hence, they don’t have to worry about being tongue-tied and stuck in awkward conversations. This makes online friendships highly beneficial to introverts as it helps to boost their confidence in communicating with new people.
Share Feelings and Thoughts Without Judgements.
Striking up conversations is easier virtually compared to talking to strangers face-to-face. In virtual communities, people are more open to sharing their emotional and personal struggles. Psychologist Leanne Hall says this is because there is anonymity surrounding online presence, which enables people to feel more comfortable sharing their problems with others with similar issues. By opening up more to others, people will slowly build trust and feel less awkward with each other. Author of Unlonely Planet, Jillian Richardson discussed in her article the importance of allowing vulnerability to cultivate deeper friendships. Being vulnerable will enable people to connect on a deeper emotional level.
Make Friends Throughout the World.
Living in different parts of the world can be a huge disadvantage to some people. After all, it is impossible to meet and hang out physically. However, this issue is no longer a barrier with the evolving social media.
It is a good learning experience as you learn different cultures directly from the locals themselves. If you get a chance to travel to their countries, you will gain a rewarding experience by visiting the historical places and trying out the local cuisines. In addition, you will get to learn a new foreign language through virtual international friends. Having virtual international friends is the best chance to acquire a new language because it allows you to practice in a more relaxed environment compared to learning in schools.
Online friendships can provide equal love and support as real-life friendships. Building online friendships does not have to be intimidating if we practice staying safe online at all times. It is vital to stay away from the stigma surrounding online friendships so that we can build meaningful friendships with people from all around the world.
Dalilah Anna is a freelance writer who is actively involved in community work helping the disabled and underprivileged communities. She is also passionate about tackling climate change issues and spreading awareness in ecological sustainability.