60% Of You Are Meeting Friends Online, New Study Shows—Here’s Why That’s Awesome

Seeking a new BFF? Well, apps aren't just for dating anymore; use them to grow your friendship circle.

In a post-pandemic world, people are putting themselves out there again — and that doesn’t just apply to dating or romantic relationships. In fact, a new study by the dating and networking app Bumble shows that people are more interested than ever in growing their friendship circles.

But, they’re not growing them at PTA meetings or even at work, they’re meeting and making new friends… online. Bumble surveyed 1,000 people age 18 and over in a new “BFF” survey and found that 71 percent of participants have met more than one friend online — including via apps.

What’s more, 62 percent of the survey respondents believe that meeting friends online has become more normalized than ever, and 60 percent — especially those who fall in the millennial age range — are open to meeting new friends online this year.

In fact, people aren’t just open to the idea of making new friends online — they’re making it a priority. Bumble’s survey found that one out of every two people are making it a mission to make some new besties before year’s end.

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This could be due to, in part, the fact that people are craving the support of a friend —and real authentic connections, not just superficial social-media “friends.”

So, if you’re seeking a new BFF or looking for more friends in your area, how can you take advantage of this online trend to make these connections happen?

Seeking a new gym buddy

gym buddies
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When it comes to making new friends, finding common interests is often the quickest and easiest way to hit it off. So, consider what you’ve set out as personal resolutions this year, such as focusing on your physical or mental health, and then weave that into your “New Friend” search.

“Knowing you have people in your corner during every stage of life can provide invaluable support,” explains Danielle Bayard Jackson, Bumble BFF’s friendship expert.

And, in Bumble’s study, 57 percent of respondents said that they believe it’s easier to achieve New Year’s resolutions when doing them with a friend and/or having a friend as an accountability partner.

So, “Don’t be afraid to be resourceful and leverage the technology that’s available to you,” says Jackson. You can do this by hitting up Instagram or local Facebook groups to see if there are some like-minded people who would be down to try a workout class — whether virtual or in-person — with you. Then, let the relationship grow from there by booking more classes together.

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best friends holding each other

It’s easy to see why people are turning to apps and social media sites to make new friends since you can learn a lot about a person from their online profiles and posts.

“With more people working remotely, there are fewer opportunities to meet others organically,” admits Jackson. “Plus, so many of us are craving to return to the way it was with our friendship circles before the pandemic.”

Knowing this is half the battle: Other people want to make new friends too! You’re not the only one, and you’re not weird for wanting to make new platonic connections in your 30s and 40s. So put yourself out there on friendship-making apps and sites to get the process started.

“Savor the process of connecting with others. There are so many people who are looking for and open to new friendships that are just a conversation away,” Jackson says.

Similar to dating, no one will be able to find you unless you make the effort to show up, too.

Jené Luciani Sena
Jené Luciani Sena is an accredited journalist and internationally-renowned bestselling author, regularly seen on national TV outlets such as Access Daily, Today and Dr Oz. Touted as one of Woman’s World Magazine’s “Ultimate Experts,” she’s a TEDTalk speaker and a busy Mom of 4. Read more
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