In today’s world, it is not only easy but also common to make friends online. The internet can provide supportive friends who we may never get the chance to meet in person. I have been able to form some great friends online, but it is important to do this in a safe and smart way. For beginners, you want to make sure that you have looked through this person’s profile. If there are ever posts that make you feel uncomfortable, this is someone that you should befriend with caution. In addition, it is important to not share too much personal information over the internet. Although it is great to believe that everyone has your best intentions, you never know who could get hold of this information. If this friendship progresses and you have the opportunity to meet up with them in person, I suggest that you bring someone and meet somewhere public. It can also be a good idea to zoom or facetime them to ensure that they are the same person that is on their profile. I have found that personally, it is best to make online friends through mutual friends. Try and find a common person between the two of you so that you can talk without worrying about them being a stranger. Friendship and support online can be great assets when done the safe way.
To shed light on this topic a little better, I have decided to share a personal experience I have had with online friendship. This past month, I was diagnosed with Alopecia. This ultimately means that I will lose most of my hair as a 22-year-old female. This can be scary to navigate alone so I deiced to go on Instagram. I found a few profiles of other women who were sharing my same struggle. I decided to reach out through direct messages on Instagram to one of the women. She became a really great support system as well as an inspiration to me. Before I messaged her, I looked at her posts. When I saw that they supported my own thoughts, I moved onto her followers. When I saw that she was both followed by and following active accounts, I decided to send my message. I have not told her any personal information, but we talk each week. She is someone who I enjoy talking to but, I will probably never meet her due to distance. This is OK!! It is great to have strictly online friends as long as you follow safety protocols.
Hope this helps!