Making Real Friendships on the Internet

How to make real friendships onlineFor quite some time I've been meaning to write this post. Online friendship is a really interesting topic to me. Many of my closest and deepest friendships are with people I met on the internet. 

Although it lessens each year, there is still some taboo with making friends online. It can seem somehow less real. It can also seem scary. What if it turns into a catfish situation? 

Today I want to open up about my experiences with online friendships and start a conversation with you! It's something I feel very passionate about, and I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the subject as well.  

Online friendships are real too. 

Let's just get this out of the way first!

I understand the initial instinct that online friendships are "less real" than real life. But I have to say that I think the reason they are often MORE successful is because what's bringing you together are common interests and passions, not proximity. 

Just because you can't hang out and grab coffee weekly doesn't mean you can't become close, real friends. Although, it doesn't hurt to have both! 

When I made my first online friends about ten years ago, it felt weird. I was really nervous to meet them in person. But after years of friendships, meeting up and just… life, I realize that online friendships are THE SAME as real life. 

They take a lot of work to grow. They take communication and respect. Some will grow over the years and some will phase out over time. It's exactly the same as any other friendship. 

I no longer segment my online vs. real life friends in my mind. I even have a close friend who I have talked about everything to for years who I have never even met in person (hey, Jill). 

How to make friends online. 

Just like any other friendship, it takes courage to connect with new friends online. You have to put yourself out there! And in my experience, sometimes when I reach out, it doesn't result in friendship. And that's OK! That doesn't mean I won't ever connect with that cool person I want to connect with – sometimes it takes time. So I try to never take that personally. :) 

If you want a friend, reach out, be kind, leave comments, send an email. It won't necessarily come to you; you have to initiate a friendship if you want it. But don't put a ton of pressure on yourself; just take it one step at a time and send a friendly email or leave a nice comment. 

When you do spark a connection with someone, don't be afraid to take it to the next level! Just like any other friendship, online friendships need effort to grow. That will mean different things to different people. But to me it means sending an occasional gift, sending flowers during a painful time, planning to meet up or visit each other, or even just taking the time to write long emails and catch up on real life stuff. 

What if it turns out badly? 

Sometimes it does. This is reality in any relationship for the rest of your life, though, not just with online friends. 

Over the years I've made a few online friendships that fizzled out or ended badly. But in the grand scheme of things, when I consider all of the amazing, genuine people I've met, it's more than worth that risk.

No biggie! 

What to look for in an online friend. 

At different seasons in your life, you will notice new and different needs that you have. There was a time in my life when I was very new and struggling with my small business, and I needed a lot of support in that area. It helped me to have friends who could commiserate with me over my tax bills, problems with hiring and firing, and marketing ideas. 

These days my biggest goal is to live my best life and create memories with my family. This means planning activities to do together and setting aside family time. So I notice myself gravitating toward other women who are in that zone. I'm also remodeling a house, so I've bonded with people over that. 

Each season has its own unique set of highs and lows. The best friendships will challenge you to be a better you while loving you the way you are! I think knowing what your goals and dreams are is a big part of finding friends who support and nurture those things. 

I hope my experiences and advice are helpful to you! I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! xx- Elsie  

  • I agree. 90% of the friends I have today, I made online. I have friends from all over the world and I’ve even met some in person when I’ve been able to travel. It’s awesome! Sure, some are just friends, but with others it’s really deep friendship, and I thank technology for allowing me to meet such varied and wonderful group of people.

    We’ve been there for each other when we’ve lost family members, when we’ve found jobs, when we’ve met other online friends, when we’ve been on vacation, when we’ve had mental breakdowns, and we’ve been just as important as “real” friends to each other in our time of need.

  • Elsie, thank you for opening up about personal experiences like this! This post could not have come at a more perfect time for me. I’m getting ready to move from a smaller city in Illinois to Kansas City, and I’m hoping to make some connections in the blogging community there. I’ve lived in the same place since college, where friends are essentially built in to your life, but for the first time, I’ll be making friends as an adult! This gives me courage to reach out and feel less weird about it, haha. πŸ™‚

    -Molly
    http://www.modcircus.com/

  • I’ve made tons of friends through online gaming communities specifically, and my sister has as well. A friend of mine met his wife through online gaming, and one of my boyfriend’s now best friends was also an online gamer we met in person. Like you said, it was seen as a taboo thing for so long, like people who spend time online making friends are weirdos. But it’s totally normal! We’re all just people after all!

  • I absolutely agree that online friendships ARE real friendships! And I like the perspective you have about being connected because of common interests and passions, not just proximity. I think having the option for making friends online is so helpful when you’re trying to meet people as an adult! It’s not like when you’re a kid and you’re forced to sit in a classroom with the same people for 8 hours a day. When you’re an adult, it can be really hard!

  • I completely agree, especially with the first point. The reason I started my blog was to be able to connect (and maybe make friends) with people who shared the same passions and interests as me. Although I liked spending time with my real-life friends, none of them were really into health, wellness, and living green, as I was (and still am) and I was really missing that sort of connection in my life.

    Naturally, blogging became another passion of mine, which makes it easier to connect online, since everyone who writes a blog is likely passionate about it.

    Have a great weekend!

  • Some of my closest friends were made through blogging and twitter, including someone who I was friends with on twitter and then happened to get a job in her same town! So now we can also hang out :).

  • Elsie, I’ve really enjoyed the last two posts you’ve written. Thank you for opening up so much. I guess I missed you!

    For some time now, I thought about not reading ABM anymore but still using your shop, because I love your quality products. It was more a matter of taste. I’m not into the DIY posts as much as I loved your lifestyle and more personal posts, as well as business tips.

    On the subject at hand, I have personally made really close relationships from online friendships, to the point of visiting. Just like you, a couple of them fizzled out on their own.

    I’m naturally shy and like my private life so this has been the perfect way for me to meet people without feeling overwhelmed.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this!

  • Online friendships are great! I made my first online friend 15 years ago and even though we live in different countries we’ve been lucky enough to meet up every few years and have a great time! So glad you’ve done this post! πŸ˜„

  • Whenever you’re in a new corner of the Internet (like starting a blog, or joining a different social media) it always feels so hard to meet people! There is a lot of advice to network with other bloggers, but what I really want is to connect with other people writing a newish blog – and they are so hard to find! Everyone is either huge and famous, and ends up leaving, it feels like. You can’t just bump into someone in a coffee shop and know they are in their first few years of blogging. I keep hoping that through Instagram, Bloglovin, etc. I’ll meet more people. Or just ask everyone I bump into in a coffee shop if they’ve ever considered blogging? πŸ˜‰

  • Exactly! I feel like it’s easier to get to know someone online, although in person you can know if you have that friend-chemistry quicker!

    xx- Elsie

  • Thanks so much Laurali. I appreciate the feedback.

    I love DIY so much, but it’s SO TIME CONSUMING. I can’t seem to do more than one a week at the most, so I am looking into writing more personal posts like this. Thanks for the encouragement!

    xx- Elsie

  • Hey, Dani! I can relate! You are so right, its difficult to make friends with famous bloggers, because they are searching for frindship in other famous bloggers or have no time, he he! ItΒ΄s weird. I am mexican, and sometimes I try making friends with people from spain, but I found out they are searching for friends in english spoken countries. Sometimes I try making friends with latinamerican people and they are searching making friends with latins but aonly famous bloggers, so, I donΒ΄t understand. I have found some cool people but they donΒ΄t always have time to say hi. So, my conclusion is, letΒ΄s try searching πŸ˜‰ You wanna be friends with a mexican girl? πŸ˜›

  • This was fantastic! In the past couple years I have made a lot of friends on the internet. You’re right some of them don’t end well. The positive side of that?? You don’t really have to see them πŸ˜‰
    There are amazing people out there though!

  • I totally agree. I have met few friends online and I have still kept in touch with them than my friends whom I met over college. Haha. I find online friends to be the best listener in times of you having problems and stuff like that. I tend to vent out on my internet friends than my real ones. :))

  • Elsie, Thank you so much for writing this! My husband and I just moved away from our families in Florida and SE Georgia to Colorado and it’s been forever since I made friends. This post definitely help quell my fears! If we somehow end up living in Nashville, let’s be buds! Haha!! πŸ™‚ I hope you meet awesome new friends in Tennessee!! xo Sarah πŸ™‚

  • I consider you my friend, and every time you reply to my comments, I flip out!!!!! I’m younger, so when I tell my friends, ” Elsie Larson replied!!!”, they flip out too!!! My two best friends have Instagram, but I don’t have any social media, so I make them follow you!!! We are in love with you and your ideas and your style!!! When ever we play like we own a business, I’m Elsie, Mary is Rachel, and Ellis is Emma!

  • LOVE reading this! And, so many yes’s. I have a couple of groups of friends that I met online and truthfully, they are more real than real life friends. Shoutout to my Mommy Group J15 BFFs.

  • Such a great post, Elsie! I’ve met some great people through blogging and other online forums and some people don’t get it, but I think it’s a great way to get to know people with similar interests. It can be a little scary to put yourself out there at first, but it’s usually worth it!

  • Hi thanks for posting this up, it’s really great to get your perspective on this, its something that I’ve been thinking and feeling a bit wary about so it’s nice to know that online friendships can just be as fruitful as offline. πŸ™‚

  • I always say its hard to make friends as we get older. Sometimes you connect and sometimes you don’t. It’s like dating online lol. You just have to put yourself out there and hope for the best.

  • I have a group of girlfriends that I met online about 8 years ago. We all had blogs with similar themes. We’ve been through kids, breakups/divorces, weddings, infertility struggles, job changes, evolving hobbies and passions–everythin–together. I met them for the first time last year and it felt like coming home. We now meet yearly for a long weekend at a cabin on a lake and we cool for each other and put on “workshops” where we share our skills with each other. It’s the best!!

  • When I started painting, I was thrilled to meet artists who were so supportive. I’ve met a lovely group of people. I’ve meet several ladies in person, and we had our own art retreat. I live in Vancouver, B.C. and this summer I’m so excited to be meeting an online friend from Australia!

  • When I started painting, I was thrilled to meet artists who were so supportive. I’ve met a lovely group of people. I’ve meet several ladies in person, and we had our own art retreat. I live in Vancouver, B.C. and this summer I’m so excited to be meeting an online friend from Australia!

  • Perfect timing! I was thinking about this today and saw your post on my Bloglovin feed. πŸ™‚ Great insight

  • Definitely agree! I met one of my best friends online and we live across the from each other country but when we hang out it’s just like I have another sister. Truthfully, it’s much easier to find people with similar interests as you online than in real life!

  • I definitely agree with each point here!! I will be honest.. I don’t have many friends in real life anymore.. most of them were at Uni, and since moving away we have not really stayed in touch… so since blogging I have met some of the nicest girls ever and I really do consider them my friends!! There really is nothing wrong with branching out and speaking to someone.. this is the best way sometimes!! FAB post lovely!!

    Saira
    http://www.throughtheglitterglass.wordpress.com
    xo

  • Thanks so much for writing this post! As soon as I saw the title, I knew that I’d be in for an interesting topic. For me, I haven’t just found a friend through the internet, but found a pen pal! I signed up for International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club and got matched up with an awesome person around my age from Vienna, Austria who has many of the same interests as me because IGGPPC matches people based on their “geeky” interests. I remember wanting a pen pal for a while but I was nervous about signing up through pen pal websites because I was afraid that it would be unsafe but I ended up finding IGGPPC and after looking into it decided that it was fine. They even encourage people to be safe and not to share addresses if uncomfortable. My pen pal and I chat on Facebook (especially so that we know whether or not we have received each other’s letter) and we send letters to each other (we even did a little Christmas parcel exchange this past Christmas). I have this amazing friendship with someone on the other side of the world all because of the internet so it’s pretty awesome!

  • I’ve made a couple of online friendships throughout the years but my favorite one is my now husband. 😊

  • Yeni, thanks so much for replying! Absolutely I do! πŸ™‚ I used Google Translate to check out your blog – I hope it translated correctly! I’ll send you a quick email. πŸ™‚

  • Brilliant post and well said! I too have made and broke up with many online friends over the past few years. Some have been great, some terrible lol! For me, the Internet has allowed me to interact with people that I have difficulties doing in the real world due to an illness that has left me with poor mobility. I think it has allowed me to say healthy mentally. I think I actually have a ‘fuller’ life on the net now, than I did in the real world when I was well, as life and the time constraints of working inhibited time available to spend with friends. I see this screen as my window to the world and there is pretty much nothing that I can’t do. I’m still politically active, I can be an armchair activist, I can learn, attend courses, I can even indulge in my fantasy (if I was physically able) of being a small holding farmer via games!

    I honestly believe that my life was saved by a woman I met online. I was having a hard time coming to terms with my illness and felt like my life was over at 32! I was angry, confused and hurting badly. Less than 6 months earlier I had finally got where I wanted in my career, we were buying a house and then BANG I would never work again. Anyway we got talking and she made me see life was over as I knew it but my life was no way finished. It was a really long chat and I felt amazing after. She was so peaceful and comforting. That one interaction set me on the right tract again and I will be forever be grateful to her.

  • This was a much needed topic of discussion. I’m a new blogger and I’ve been trying to get used to the idea of connecting with people and making friendships online. I feel a little bolder and brave now. Thank You.

  • I had an online friend from South Korea a few years ago. We event sent letters to each other, but we are not in touch anymore πŸ™ I wonder how she’s doing. It’d be nice to talk to her again<3

  • Thanks so much for sharing this post Elsie. I have made some friends online too and I felt so funny about it initially but now have some lovely new friends. And some I have never met too. Great to hear someone else’s perspective on this. Xx L

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    thank you Elsie, I am very shy and due to my silliness I make big mistakes. I am not confident to meet people and never good in engaging with big crowds on any conversation.
    I have been a fan of ABM since 2011. I will give it a go and see if I can make some new online friends who share my thoughts.
    Thank you again Elsie.

  • Loved hearing about your experiences, Elsie! I have been a part of some local PR companies where all the social media influencers hangout together. It felt a bit awkward to BE with all the people I had only seen on the social media. But it became a lot more fun to see the real person who were running all those successful accounts while being really cool in IRL too (not a psychopath killers or catfish, you know!).

  • I have a really great friend I met online through our career interests about 14 years ago. Now that we are both retired from our jobs we have still maintained that bond. Of course our friendship progressed way beyond the scope of our careers and we consider ourselves best buddies, although we have only met face-to-face twice, as we live in different countries. I feel my friendship with Jayne has been one of the highlights of my life.
    Someday the opportunity will present itself where we can get together on a regular basis and I hope our connection remains and continues to grow as we grow older.

  • Great post, Elsie. I agree with everything you’ve shared, especially the part about the “season’s” we find ourselves in. Although I am more “mature” than many of your followers, I feel we have mutually beneficial experiences to share with one another. I have years of life experience and all the knocks that brings with it. Many younger women have a vitality, a kick in their step, that many peers my age have lost. So, thank you for providing a forum for us to connect. Much love, Lisa

  • Agree. All relationships take work. I have been emailing a friend (who I have never met face-to-face) for years now. We met through a mutual friend to read and discuss a book together. The mutual friend wasn’t into it but we were and since then have read dozens of book together sharing, encouraging, supporting and moving forward in weekly emails. We keep each other accountable and can rant and rave in a safe environment. So yes to meeting people through whatever means and connecting on any levels. Thanks for the post.

  • This is so true!

    In the past I was very active in a writing community and art community. I found a lot of new friends from there. I also made a friend through tumblr that started a bit awkward because I was a fan of that person. I did not become an instant friend but I build it up, now we are friends and it’s fun! It’s kinda funny if I look back but yes, online friendship is real.

    gabbythegabby.blogspot.kr

  • I really went back and forth with my comment on this post. It truly is a taboo subject and with all the criticism towards women – especially mothers, in the area of not having “real” friends or being “out there” enough – it is easy to get pinned the “crazy” board. The truth is, I was a loner in a small town when I was growing up. I spent half of my twenties in a bad marriage and my only friendships were with other mothers on Flickr. No one really knew my situation and I glossed over my life for fear of judgement (which is so stupid to think of doing now) but they all provided insight and companionship that eventually liberated me from abuse and depression. After my divorce I was pretty social. It was important, but so much of that was surface. I made lots of good friends and even live with my bestie from school now. I met my boyfriend during that time and have so many great memories. At the end of it, and as I turned thirty and started to decide the kind of life I wanted to build I found myself in need of like minded and honest individuals that could “get” what others weren’t interested in “getting”… I started blogging again in 2014 as a way of being authentic and open and to reflect on my own journey and I have made amazing friends because of it. There is even a girl named Natalie that helped me through the roughest year in my son’s life. I haven’t been able to connect with her in REAL life but she’s priceless to me. No matter how deep my online friendships go, I am touched to have them and enjoy sending letters or exchanging art with all of them. Girl communities are central and how lucky are we to have an “online” to expand our friendship making base.

    Great post. Thanks for it.

  • This is a very inspiring post. I am looking to start a blog in the near future for one reason only-to meet other women who inspire me to be a better me in all areas of my life. After reading your post it made me realize I am headed in the right direction. Thank you for sharing!

  • What a great read! When I first started blogging, I made friends with someone from a different continent than I am. I accidentally found her comment from someone else’s site saying that she loves reading my blog and it’s one of her favorites. I emailed her and since then we’ve been really great online chummies for 2 years. Although we haven’t met yet due to our ocean-wide distance, we’re looking forward to that day when we could meet up and travel together. I’ve also bonded with quite a number of bloggers in my city after several comment exchanges and it really has been amazing so far. I never thought I’d click with people I’ve met online. The internet is a great medium to make friends and it is really full of surprises. You just have to keep an open mind and a positive attitude.

    http://annescribblesanddoodles.blogspot.com

  • I SO AGREE. I love meeting new friends online (sometimes I feel closer to online friends than in person ones…whoooops). I’d definitely love to make more online friends! The more the merrier!

    xo, Brittany

  • Being a mom to 2 littles, online connections are the only ones I make with other adults some days! And a lot of my “real life” friends don’t have kids and can’t relate to some of the struggles I’ve gone through as a mom. One of my most sincerest friends is another mom of 2 who lives clear across the country from me (me Cali, her Jersey) and we’ve never met, but we both had our 2nd babies around the same time (coincidentally) and both had some extreme challenges with colic and other baby issues for months! We were each other’s rock when we wanted to commit ourselves to insane asylums (not really, but close) and that kind of emotional support is strong and lasting. We’ll forever be friends because of that and who knows, maybe one day we’ll meet πŸ™‚

  • Ahhhh what a great post! I have a BIFF (best internet friend forever as we like to call it) and we’ve been talking for at least 8 years. We’ve been there for each other through some pretty rough times and we’ve shared a lot. Sometimes I wish we did live closer to each other so we could be there for each other in real life. Online friendships can be just as valuable.

  • Some of my best friends are online friends that I’ve never met IRL.
    I joined a private, Feminist Facebook group and have met even more women that hold such a close space in my heart. We talk about things that I’ve never even considered discussing with some of my IRL friends simply because of the nature of our friendship. I treasure my online friends.

  • I’ve made some great friends online, mainly other bloggers whom I’ve been lucky to meet up with and I hope that you get to meet your friend Jill one day. They tend to have a natural curiosity for exploring the world that matches mine!

  • I definitely relate! I used to feel weird about online friends, but now there’s no difference in my mind. And I feel like I talk to them more, and see them almost as often.

  • This is so inspirational! I love these more personal posts.

    I’m always a little cautious when introducing myself to people online, but this made me feel better about opening up and making new friends! Thanks for all the advice!

    Laura
    http://laurelandfern.com/

  • This is a great post, I totally agree. I’ve met so many lovely people online I wouldn’t want to miss in my life. With a lot of them I talk about books, as reading is one of my biggest hobbies. Something I can’t really do with my real life friends because they simply have other interests. That’s the best thing about the internet, you can find other people who share the same interests as you and have great conversations with them. I consider myself very lucky to have met so many great people online who I would definitely call real friends.

  • This is such a great post! Over the years my “real life” friends circle has dramatically decreased and all for good reasons, I realised that I myself am a lot more mature than people my own age, and some people a little older than me who I used to be “friends” with.
    I can safely say one of my closest friends is online and maybe one day I won’t even get to meet her (she’s just had her first baby) so things for her are a little manic. But I talk to her as often as I can and try to still have laughs like we did pre-baby arrival! She’s still the same amazing lady I met all that time ago (coming up on 2 years.. If not over?!) and I feel comfortable talking to her about pretty much anything and everything.
    Online friendships are easy if you both have a common ground and are on the same wavelength. I hope this doesn’t fizzle out and I get to meet her one day!

    Really great read. πŸ™‚

  • I’m in my first private Facebook group for women who own their own businesses (we’re all taking a class together), and the others in the group are from all over the world. I don’t know ANY of them in person. But of the 200 or so women who joined the group, three or four I find myself talking with animatedly and feeling a real connection to. Two of us are even psuedo-planning a sabbatical to Italy next year! I never would have thought I’d be someone who made real connections to strangers online. But it’s kind-of exciting. It opens a whole new set of horizons for me. I kind-of love it.

  • Honestly, I have never considered reaching out to people via the internet. It all seemed kind of taboo to me. Moreover, I was always taught that you never know who is truly on the other side of the screen. That can be scary! I have always utilized social media to strengthen relationships and to stay in touch with people I already know or have recently met. This has become even important to me now since I live 650 miles away from home. However, I am now in this weird transition period of my life. I recently graduated from college. Now, I no longer have an endless supply of avenues to connect with new people due to classes and clubs. It is hard work now! Meeting new people and making meaningful relationships is most definitely harder in post-graduation life. After reading this, however, I am encouraged/intrigued to try making friends online. Thank you!

  • Elsie,
    I’m was delighted to read this post. I get really excited about your wins in life and on your blog. And when thinks are tough like the weeks following the move to TN, I feel for you and pray things go better soon.
    Even though I have never met you I appreciate your openness and I am always inspired by your creativity.

    Your insta-friend,
    xx

  • I’m currently maintaining a deep online friendship with a future visit coming up. I’ve met some that I still keep in contact with. So I agree there are more pluses than minuses for online. I could admit at one point I wanted to give up online altogether.

  • I agree with you on this one. Sometimes your real friends could turn out to be your online friends and vice versa. As long as there’s still communication and as long as there’s effort to keep in touch, it does nit matter where you meet them.

  • I totally agree with everything you wrote. Personally, some of my best friends I’ve met online, and our friendship is still going strong. It’s difficult that they live far away, in my case a flight away, but we still speak regularly and I feel like I could tell them anything! Last year, I went on a trip and we had a lovely week full of (tourist) fun together. Honestly, it can sometimes annoy me a bit when people say online friendships aren’t real. But I guess I’ll just have to show those people: yes, they are! Have a good day!

  • any tips about how to search for blogs/instagram of people with similar interests: knitting, sewing, fabric printing primarily but also DIY and writing poetry with kids? I am following the famous ones i’ve found and will echo earlier comments it would seem hard to make a connection with someone getting 143 comments on every blog post. I “missed the boat” on craft blogs when the community was small/new, this year am trying to get over my ambivalence regarding social media and just embrace the technology, see where it goes, as none of my local friends do what i do!

  • It’s really cool seeing a post about this- bravo, Elsie! 😊 I’ve found a lot of folks with my same passion via Twitter recently & it’s nice to have somewhere to go & discuss the news of the day in our niche area, especially not living near one (Disney Parks).

  • Great topic. As an American living abroad in Saudi Arabia, this is key for me. I can meet plenty of other expats here, but making friends online allows me to connect with more people who share my specific interests. I’m still mastering this. Love your advice!

  • I really loved reading this! I’ve pretty much grown up with the internet and I’ve made a few very close friends through blogging/tumblr/instagram but I’m always afraid to reach out to people in case they think it’s weird. Thank you for the encouragement and advice!
    xx
    Ella
    http://www.thirteenoctobers.com

  • What an absolutely BRILLIANT idea for a post! It’s great to hear (read!) you guys talking about this. I think that so many of us have a lot of friendships online, but we hesitate to jumble them all up with all of our other categorized “friendships”. I’ve recently made even more through a great online group, but even I balked a bit when some of them tried to friend me on Facebook. People who aren’t used to hanging out online with new people sometimes hide behind the “anonymity” of the Internet and say mean and terrible things thinking that the online space doesn’t even count. It’s so great to have you guys talking about it like it is, especially for those of us with blogs and online businesses. xx

  • I have a lot of online friendships that I adore. One of them was with a mother of a sick boy that was born a few weeks before my daughter. I really bonded with this struggle as a new mom and couldn’t imagine what she was going through. I ended up putting on 2 different instagram auctions for her and raising her over $11,000. This friendship started out small but honestly she inspired me to be a better person and to live life to the fullest because you truly never know when your last day with your loved are, sick or healthy. I am still good friends with her, we send each other christmas cards, birthday cards, ect.

    I don’t have a lot of my close friends that have children so when I had a baby I really reached out to the instagram community to find support. I have met a few of these girls in person and love them and a few we just connect over instagram but I still consider them friends. Loved this topic and this post
    xo, Michelle
    http://rosetolife.com

  • I met my best friend about 12 years ago in the most embarrassing of places – a Dashboard Confessional message board, ha! His friendship seriously changed my life. I was lucky that we lived in the same state and were able to make a face to face connection, shared our dreams and struggles, and had one another to talk to in seriously rough times. The way he loved people was unique and special. He taught me so much and helped me out of my extreme introvert shell. I am forever grateful to the Internet for that guy. He died in 2008 and I miss him like crazy. Since connecting with him in that way, I honestly meet most of my friends through the Internet. It used to be through blogging, but now mostly through Instagram. It’s a great tool for introverts like me to get to know people without the added stress of social situations.

  • I’ve made some of my best friends in London online – in a big city, especially, it can be so difficult to find time to make real connections. The internet def helps!

  • I totally vote for making friends over the interwebs. When I was first starting crossfit, I found a girlblogger who wrote about it (Eat.Pray.WOD.) and I commented on her posts and followed her on Instagram and when she started running, I encouraged her because I was a veteran runner. So we started chatting, then texting, and one day she said “HEY I’m coming to visit you!” and I was like UHHHH but it turned out awesome. I think my husband still thinks she is going to murder us one day or make off with the silver. HAHA. She is fabulous though and we try to make a point to see each other once a year even though she lives in Texas!

  • I met one of my greatest friends online! We were friends over the internet for awhile (thanks to blogging), then met at a conference for our day jobs, and have since visited each other a bunch and even gone on vacation together! I just wish Minneapolis were closerrrrr

  • I agree! Some of my long-term friends have started out as people I’d met in a Facebook group, or people who either liked my work, or I liked theirs, which led to liking each other’s profiles on social media, which led to friend requests, many years later we’re still friends, and yet we’ve never met in person. Occasionally people drift away, but you’re right – it does take just as much work to maintain online friendships as it does offline ones! I especially loved your ideas around sending a gift, or flowers during a difficult time, I think that’s a really beautiful gesture and would no doubt mean a lot to whomever received them <3

  • Online friendships were very crucial to me years ago, when I was living in isolated conditions (long story). The friends I made are still my friends all these years later, and my best friend since 2002 is now my husband πŸ™‚ As someone with severe anxiety, I feel I can approach people better online and make friends far more easily πŸ™‚

  • Elsie! I’m so glad you wrote about this, because sometimes I feel like such an awkward duckling when trying to be friends with people online!

    I hope that they think it’s flattering that I like their art, shop or photos, and I’m not being a creep! Ha!

    Snapchat has been such a game changer for me tho. I feel like I can chat more with people about genuine things. I just don’t want to come across as a “fan girl.” I genuinely want to be a friend to these folks online. I’ll be taking your advice to reach out and try to not take things personally. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Elsie!! <3 I'll send a friendly snap your way!

  • Friendships can come into our lives in so many ways and the Internet is a great way to connect so it makes sense that we’d find friends online. If people can find their soul mates online, why can’t we find friends?

    Katy
    http://www.coveredstyle.com

  • I made a whole bunch of online friends in early 2000s. We all liked the same music and met on bands fan forums. Many of us are still in touch even though we might be at different stages in life and listen to different music today. πŸ™‚ Because we live in different countries and usually can’t meet up in real life too often, I believe we put an extra effort in staying in touch compared to some people who live in same town etc. I have totally met some of the best people in my life online. πŸ™‚

  • Definitely! I used to be very afraid of making online friends, because I remember all the times my parents used to lecture me about stranger danger – but I’ve found that most of the people online are really friendly and cool πŸ™‚
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books