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Quality Friendships in the Digital Age

    With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging across the globe, the way we think about social interaction has changed drastically. We’re beginning to see a mass migration towards digital interactions. The value of our social network has increased considerably and it’s important to figure out how to adapt to these changes. More importantly, it’s time to think about another crucial aspect: how do we create and maintain quality friendships in the digital age? What does it take to make new friends online and how can we ensure these friendships will last?

The Importance Of Staying In Touch

    It may not come as a surprise that quality friendships can mean a lot more than the number of friends you have. You’ll find that the people who have a tight-knit group of friends may seem more content with their social circle than the person who hangs out with different people every week. While the latter may be a much more extroverted person, the people with the tight-knit group of friends have bonds that are fulfilling and stand through the test of time. 

The key factor that distinguishes these people is their ability to keep in touch. Keeping in touch does not have to mean a glamorous-looking social life. It means listening with your heart during the quiet moments of social interaction. It means consistency in conversation. That’s the most important thing. What keeps a fire alive is constant nurturing, and the same is true for any friendship. It’s not about how much, but for how long you can maintain a connection, that makes it stronger. 

These connections permeate even the rockiest of times in our lives. Whether it’s a move out of the city or into a new job, a family tragedy or an occasion worth celebrating, the friends that you’ve met and stuck with, stick around.

But how do we keep in touch with people? Especially now, after the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate how we interact with others. And how do we extend that sentiment when it feels as though we’ve all been forced to isolate ourselves, both physically and emotionally? How do we make new friends online that will stand the test of time? 

This subject doesn’t seem like it has an easy answer. You might be looking for tips to meet friends online but quickly realize that it’s more complex than simply texting someone out of the blue. It’s a process, and for some reason, it feels so alien when compared to the way we meet people in person.

So how do we build friendships online? Knowing that keeping in touch is key, we can take this idea and move forward with our options.

Making New Friends in the Digital Age

    It’s one thing to keep in touch with pre-existing friends when online. You can text your cousin with a family photo, or you can ask your college friends what they thought of the football game last night. But you can’t exactly do that with someone you’ve never met. That’s the tricky part, and while it’s absolutely important to maintain the relationships you’re already part of, some of you might be looking to expand your circle. Thankfully, it’s not impossible to do that. It just takes a bit of knowing where to go.

While social media may seem like the obvious choice for making new friends online, it’s not the best idea. Unfortunately, social media’s structure as a concept doesn’t lend itself well to building online friendships or finding them. Social media apps are structured around consuming and creating content. Sometimes, you might get lucky and find someone who shares the same interests as you, but it’s rare.

    One of the best options for making new friends online would be friendship apps, such as Passionfruit. With friendship apps, the focus isn’t on content consumption or scrolling during your free time. It’s about developing connections every time you open the app. Instead of looking through funny cat pictures or influencer posts, you can go ahead and match with people based on common personality. Friendship apps like Passionfruit are designed to connect you with people who share your interests and are open to making new friends. This makes the process of finding friends much easier. 

    Now that you’ve found a like-minded person to connect with, what comes next? It’s important to understand that digital friendships take a different sort of effort and patience. Not everybody can respond at all times, and conversations can seem to move slowly. If you message someone, make sure to give them time to respond. Ask questions, but also make sure to read their answers and be receptive. It’s just as important to talk about yourself so that you’re both getting to know each other.

Simply by reframing the interaction, we can work towards transitioning online friendships towards their offline stage.

    The tone is very important in online friendships because so much of the interaction occurs strictly through texting. There aren’t any facial cues to better understand when someone is joking or being sarcastic. That’s why it’s important, especially during the early stages of friendships, to maintain clear, communicative conversation and to make it abundantly clear how you are feeling. Remember to be polite, consistent, and kind. When we speak in person, the words leave our mouth and that’s that. When texting, the words never really leave. This can cause potential misunderstandings if you’re not careful, so just be authentic and clear with everything you say. Just take it slow and let the energy develop, like nurturing a fire.

    You might find that something about these online friendships feels less personal than speaking in person, and that’s true, to a degree. You’re not communicating face-to-face, and that change in conversation medium affects how we perceive relationships. However, simply by reframing the interaction, we can work towards transitioning online friendships towards their offline stage. Online and offline friendships don’t have to be separate things: they simply need to be bridged. Make clear plans about when you can meet; set a date and time, and ensure that whoever is involved is comfortable with the time and place for the meeting. When you meet in person, let the conversation flow naturally. Afterward, be sure to reconnect with your new friend and let them know that it was a pleasure to meet up. Keep the conversation going online and discuss other future, potential plans you can make together. It doesn’t have to be something big. Remember, the point is to keep being consistent with your conversation and putting your energy towards opening up to the people you meet.

Final Thoughts

    Trying to understand how to make friends online can seem difficult, especially since there isn’t one clear-cut way to do it. But with the help of friendship apps such as Passionfruit, and a little bit of commitment and persistence, making friends online can be a fun and rewarding experience that does wonders for your mental health and wellbeing. 

Why is it important to stay in touch with friends?

Friendships are important for your mental health and can provide you with a support system during difficult times.

How do we meet friends online?

You can use friendship apps like Passionfruit and focus on keeping the conversation going through consistent conversation and asking to meet up in person.

What are the available apps for making friends?

The Passionfruit app can be used to meet friends online within your area or around the world. If you're struggling to make friends during the pandemic, Passionfruit can lower the hurdle for you.