Ah, the internet! A wonderful place where we can talk about what we like and make new friends. Yeah, there can be nasty people and drama too. But if you’re awkward in real life, the internet can be your saviour.
The only problem is…how do you actually go about it?
It’s not like we generally go up to people and say let’s be friends anymore. That can be kinda weird. It takes time to make friends and with so many forms of social media, what actually counts? Following someone on Instagram or Twitter doesn’t make them your friend. Nor does commenting on their stuff regularly. You need to be talking to them a bit more than that.
Personally, I do struggle a little with making friends within the bookish community. Other places online? Fine. But when it comes to books, suddenly I get awkward, and it’s an ahhhh. But there are some things we can try and keep in mind. Let’s all just have fun talking about books and making some friends!
Social Media Chat
I said commenting regularly doesn’t necessarily make you friends with someone. It doesn’t. But it can be a good start. If you see someone with similar tastes to you, commenting regularly can give you things to talk about. Share books you both like or get recommendations. With those recommendations, you can then message them and ask about them. You have something to chat about, and that can help foster a friendship. Maybe it won’t, but it’s a friendly way to try it. Just make sure they’re okay with you messaging them or anything first!
Readalongs and Readathons
If you’re doing a readalong or a readathon, then there will be other people doing it with you. There may be tags or group chats that you can use to see who else is participating. Out of those people, at least one of those people could be a potential friend.
Try chatting with the others in your group. Again you can talk about what you’re reading and from there talk about any other things that pop up. You might have other things in common that you can see on their pages or profile pics, and that gives you a starting point. You can compare where you are in your books or give recs for what they can read next.
I know there are GoodReads groups, and I’m sure there’s some on other social media sites too. I don’t know about StoryGraph yet as I haven’t really used it. It can be easy to get lost in these groups, but it gives you a safe space. You know everyone in these groups like at least some of the same books as you, so you have a starting point.
There can also be discord servers. If you support a content creator on Patreon they often have a discord server and there are other groups too. I’m in one for UKYA, I don’t speak in it that often but I know I can talk in there if I want to. I can share my content, and it’ll hopefully get some support.
Wherever your groups are, if you’re in any, try saying hi and starting some sort of conversation. It could be the start of some beautiful friendships!