Friends Forever: The adult’s guide to making new connections

What Mobile
May 28, 2020

  • Over half (54%) of UK adults say they haven’t made a new friend for a long time
  • UK’s leading Life Coach highlights the importance of making new friends as an adult

According to research over half of UK adults (54%) say it has been a long time since they made valued friendships, with nearly two thirds (63%) citing work as the primary reason they feel too busy to make new connections.

Technology now means it needn’t be difficult to connect with new people and form meaningful relationships, even as we all do our best to “adult”. With UK adults spending an average of two hours a day on a smartphone, we could be spending this screen time making connections online.

Using the research and working with a range of experts, online smartphone retailer,, has shared a helpful guide of the top ways we can use technology to build new connections as an adult.

Find like-minded online communities

Using your hobbies and interests is a great way to connect with like-minded people online and no matter what your interest is, you’re sure to meet people with the same hobbies.

There are numerous independent chatrooms for sports teams linking people across the world, and you can always find forums discussing video games. Websites like Reddit have countless chatrooms for a huge variety of hobbies and interests. With these platforms, it’s easier than ever to make connections with like-minded people.

Callum Palin from St David’s found that his love of the NFL helped him find like-minded people from across the globe:

“I joined an online NFL fantasy league a few years ago with strangers from across the country. It was a bit awkward at first, but now we meet up twice a year to pick our teams and award the trophy.”

There’s an app for that

Friend finding apps are becoming increasingly common, with several alternatives to choose from. Bumble BFF, Friender and Hey! VINA are just some examples of apps that are built like dating profiles, allowing you to match with people who you would like to be friends with.

Bumble BFF, for example, works like a dating site. You build your profile and can then swipe through other people’s profiles to find someone you want to connect with, although currently, the app is only for women.

The user specifies a distance and Bumble finds people within this area, prioritising people who have liked you first. The app’s algorithm doesn’t take your past matches into account, allowing you to branch out from your comfort zone and meet new people from all walks of life.

Rachel Pountney from Leeds was concerned about how she would make friends in a new city before she discovered Bumble BFF:

“I moved to Leeds four years ago to live with my boyfriend, but I was conscious that I didn’t know anyone else in the area and started looking for ways to meet new people.

“I heard about Bumble BFF and gave it a go. It was a bit strange at first, but eventually, I got chatting to an American girl called Kat Fish (no, seriously!)

“We met up and instantly got on like a house on fire! She’s moved back to the US, but we’ve met up in America and back in Leeds since then, and we still chat regularly.”

It isn’t just specialist apps that can provide the opportunity to establish new connections online. Spotify, for example, has a feature that allows users to find and connect with those who have similar playlists, while Strava gives cyclists the ability to share their favourite routes and connect with other users nearby.

Get social

Humble social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, which for many have become a part of their everyday lives, can easily be used to help find and join new online communities. Consider searching keywords related to topics and hobbies you’re interested in, to find groups and conversations to join that are related to that topic.

What’s more, new platforms like In Your Area are a great way to find new events and announcements near your home – perfect if you’ve just moved to a new location.

Carole Ann Rice, one of the UK’s leading life coaches, says that friendships are an essential part of living a healthy life:

“Friendships are essential for our wellbeing as they can make us feel understood, appreciated, heard and less lonely.  A good friend makes us feel supported and brings happiness and connectivity, and someone who really has our backs, shares our interests and we choose to share our lives with.”

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