Which Social Media Platform Forged Your Strongest Friendships?
Top image: Stephanie Lee / RICE file photo

Making friends on social media is just par for the course these days. A new friend could just be a DM or viral post away. However, it’s a different story when the friendship has since transcended any platform—a tale of platonic connection nurtured by online and offline adventures, no matter thrilling or mundane.

We asked readers to tell us how they made their strongest friendships online—whether it was finding common interests on a Facebook group or forum, receiving a DM in their Instagram inboxes, sharing fanfics on Tumblr, or exchanging music recommendations on Last.fm.

“Nine years ago, I met my longtime Turkish friend, Gülnaz, via a Facebook group for Taylor Swift fans. I was initially hesitant to talk to Gülnaz via personal DMs at first—back then, I did not have a good experience with other members of the group as they would often send me nasty remarks about my appearance.

What made me open up to Gülnaz was that she was a very kind person and defended me from malicious commenters. Many assume that online friendships don’t last, as everyone will eventually move on in life. Despite our life changes, though, Gülnaz and I remain very close. We still communicate with each other on Whatsapp or Instagram.

This year will be a special year as I will be visiting Gülnaz and her family in her hometown of Istanbul, Turkey. Though my online friendship has turned out for the best, and it’s still ongoing, I am glad to have met Gülnaz in my life.

She not only opened me up to learning a new culture and language, but her small act of kindness in defending me from nasty online bullies has taught me that, no matter how bad the world’s harsh realities may be, there will always be kindness out there. You just need to be brave enough to be one. One act of kindness can change a person’s perception towards life.”

— Caterina, 21

“I first chatted online with one of my friends about music on Last.fm in 2009. We realised we were both attending a gig for a band that we loved and met up there. Being fellow music nerds, our circle soon expanded to include fellow last.fm users and record collectors.

As we got closer, we learnt more about each other, and our conversations evolved from being purely about music to including other topics too, such as family, work and relationships. The friendship endures because of a mutual love for each other, and we still meet up regularly to attend shows and catch up.”

— Brandon, 33

Image: Stephanie Lee / RICE file photo

“I met my best friend on Twitter a good 12 years ago when we bonded over our shared love of certain boybands and artists. I was 14, and she was 18. In hindsight, we were in such different phases of life that it’s now a wonder we could even connect at all. It took a while for us to meet; funnily enough, we were once in a trio of best friends. Unfortunately, the third person in our group eventually drifted away—just as you’d expect of an online friendship, I suppose.

My best friend and I, however, sustained a very close friendship. We’d text almost every waking hour of our lives, sharing everything from the mundane to the most important milestones of our lives. We’d always called each other ‘the loml’ (i.e. love of my life).

Fast forward to when I was 20 and she was 24, we fell out due to some clashes in values. It wasn’t dramatic in that there was always a gaping hole in my heart, but I definitely felt the absence eventually (after the rage and disappointment over our fallout subsided); simply, no one understood me the way that she did.

As fate would have it, she reached out to me just two years ago—a good four years after we fell out—because of a dream she had involving me. Apologies were made, and it was like we never parted; we were both always in disbelief that we could still connect so well and so genuinely. A year ago, when she had her wedding, I even had the privilege of being her maid of honour. It’s still wild that this had all started from a few exchanges on Twitter, hahaha.”

— Cardinia, 25

“Before Facebook, there was Friendster. With social media being new, I think we went on a spree of adding anyone who seemed cool. Of course, being teenagers, we just added cute people. I was one of them.

That was how I met Shaz. I admit, I wanted to connect with her because she was pretty, liked listening to Green Day, and lived in Ang Mo Kio, too. She was definitely weirded out when the first message she got from me, a total stranger, was, “Nice to meet you, new best friend!”

Thankfully, she thought it was just me being awkward, and we eventually met at the Wendy’s outlet at Orchard (RIP). I think it was there that I realised we’d make better friends than anything else. We bonded over our O Level stress and annoyances with our parents. We were both starting to learn how to play the guitar, so there were a lot of jamming sessions, too.

We eventually lost touch after she went to study abroad in Australia. I’m happy to say that we reconnected a few years back when we bumped into each other while queuing up to watch Avengers: Endgame—she with her boyfriend and me with my fiancée. We’ve been catching up ever since, and I’m happy to know someone who knows me from back in my cringy teenage years.”

— Shafiq, 34

Image: Stephanie Lee / RICE file photo

“My friend’s name is Michelle Cecilia Joo, and she is from South Korea. She’s 28 years old this year. Her Korean name is Soyeon Joo. She can communicate in English as she studied and grew up in Canada for many years. However, she had to fly back to Korea with the onset of her physical condition.

She recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in translation and interpretation in 2024 from the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Currently, she works two part-time jobs, one for monitoring support and another as a translator. She is also applying for a Master’s. In her free time, she draws and paints, and she shares her artwork on her Instagram account.

How did we both meet? We both met via direct/private messaging on Catholic Answers Forum sometime in 2019/2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. This forum is for Catholics to discuss and debate on topics related to their religion. The forum has been shut down.

We are both Catholics, and we have similar health conditions to each other. I have cerebral palsy, while she has hereditary spastic paraplegia. The symptoms of our conditions are similar in terms of how our mobility is affected.

Initially, we bonded over our similar faith, physical condition, and interests in music. She was playing the lyre back then while I played the piano.

We then talk about almost anything under the sun in our lives, from our pets to our creative pursuits. Most of the time, we would converse with each other via text, but occasionally, we would e-meet over Zoom.

We would send cards and gifts to each other. Initially, my family and I were concerned whether she was a scammer, so I sent her a Christmas card. I knew she was a real person when she told me that she received it. But I was truly overjoyed when I received a huge gift box from her that consisted of Korean food, tea, and pens. I had earlier sent her a gift box of my artwork of her pet dog, food, and clothes.

I got to know more about the Korean culture and food in our conversations. For instance, the food eaten in Korea is way more diverse than the standard variety of Korean food in Singapore (think bibimbap and kimchi fried rice). She also got to know a bit more about the culture in Singapore, though her family members had been to Singapore before. I also tried to learn Korean and speak a bit of Korean to her. In addition, she would also tell me about accessibility in Korea for physically disabled folks like us.

We also confide in each other a fair bit about our families, mental health, and ongoing updates in life. It’s truly comforting to know that there is someone out there in the world who cares for me and who has a similar health condition to mine. We also chat about how our physical conditions affect our mental health in a judgment-free space through listening ears and discussion of coping strategies. Due to our similar conditions, we have been able to empathise, support, and understand each other well.

Well, it’s my lifelong dream to meet Michelle as soon as possible, as her physical condition is deteriorating quickly. I hope to travel to South Korea for the 2027 World Youth Day and meet her there!”

— Brenda, 26

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