Written by: Katie Curran and Carlyn Warren
Within online fandoms, finding a community can be so special! From the social interactions they provide to giving a sense of belonging to their members, online fandoms have the power to connect people across the world. Finding friends within those fandoms can be even more powerful, often life-changing. This week, we’re exploring the power of online friendships, and how your Internet friends are just as special as friends in real life. 🥰
The first step to making friends on the Internet is following people online. Following someone lets them know you are interested in them and what they have to say. Seeing your interests also shared by other people is a very comforting feeling, and following someone online reflects not only that two people have shared interests, but shared thoughts and beliefs. Twitter, or X, communities are a great example of this, and shared interests help people find each other. TikTok is another great place to find your people. Your for you page often reflects your interests and other people who share it. Don’t be afraid to send that DM or comment on a TikTok you love! Seeing common interests anywhere on the Internet is special to see, but being able to find them in one place is even more special! 📲
Another way fans connect online is by sharing stories with each other. Sometimes, people feel that they can’t share their stories in person for one reason or another, and that’s okay! In those situations, it may be easier to have a complete stranger give advice and help in whatever way they can. Helping each other through tough decisions and moments in life can enable friendships to form, and bonds to strengthen! Through sharing these stories, fans are able to form connections outside of where they live, and even come out of their shells. Becoming friends on the Internet prevents people from judging others based on looks, as well as creating a space for authentic conversation. 🤝
If you ever get the chance, meeting your online friends is an indescribable feeling. When you finally get to hug the person you’ve bonded with online, it is such a special and emotional moment. When you do get to see them, it also makes your time with them much more valuable and you don’t want to miss a moment. Although you might live far apart, meeting up for shows, pop-ups, or just hanging out makes those things all that more memorable and we hope you get to experience that. In our experience, online friends become besties quickly and stans are often passionate and loyal in every type of relationship. Just another reason we love fandom and the people it brings you! 👭
For a lot of people, it’s just easier to make friends online. Without having to see people face-to-face, people feel that all they have to do is be themselves, and not have to worry about how they look. Fandom often creates a safe and welcoming environment for those who feel like they don’t belong anywhere else and this is because of the friends we make within that fandom. Whether it’s hearing Harry Styles sing “Fine Line” or seeing Olivia Rodrigo together for the first time, these are the places where you can be 100% yourself without judgment.
The beauty of online friendships within fandoms lies in their unconditional nature. Your online friend won’t judge you for binge-watching youtube videos or obsessing over fan theories. Instead, they’d probably join you! This shared obsession, coupled with mutual respect and understanding, forms the foundation of many great friendships. Some of the best relationships are formed when people find common ground, especially when it's rooted in something they're passionate about. Many of these friendships evolve beyond fandom, as people begin to share personal stories, life goals, and dreams. They celebrate each other’s milestones and support one another through hardships! 🎉
Let's also talk about the power of collaboration within fandoms. With the rise of platforms like Tumblr, Wattpad, and even Instagram, fans have found creative outlets to showcase their love for their favorites. Fanart, fan fiction, and memes are just the tip of the iceberg. Collaborating on such projects or even just appreciating and promoting each other’s work creates a sense of camaraderie and belonging. Whether it’s teaming up to create a fan video or co-writing a story, these collaborations are a testament to the incredible talent within fandom communities and the strength of the bonds formed therein.
If you haven’t already, we hope you get to experience the magic of internet friends. These friendships will last a lifetime and you’ll make the most amazing memories. If you want to get more involved in fandoms, be sure to join a Fan Crew or follow us on social media to meet other like-minded fans! Hopefully, now you understand that internet friends really are just as special as real friends! ❤️🩹