Are you wondering where to go to talk to someone online? Maybe you are looking for therapy or just a listening ear, and you think the online space is your best bet because it’s anonymous and convenient. This can be especially true if you have social anxiety.
I thought I would compile a list of ideas of where you can go if you just feel the need to talk to someone online. Some of these are legitimate therapy options, while others are just ideas of where you can go to find someone to listen to you.
One caveat: If you are in crisis, these types of online chats are not appropriate. If this is the case, you should contact a crisis line.
Online forums like Social Anxiety Support can be a good place to talk to someone online who knows what you are going through and might be able to offer advice. You can also search these forums for the problem you are facing and probably find a solution that’s already posted.
The downside of support forums is that it’s a bit of a free for all in that you are not talking to one person but rather anyone who happens to read your post. You also run the risk of not getting a reply right away, as these forums are asynchronous, meaning they are not in real-time.
My best tip if you are going to use a forum is to find the subforum that looks the most heavily trafficked. This is usually the general discussion. Your post will probably get seen quicker there, and if you’re not in the right spot, someone will surely point you to where to go.
Facebook groups are another good option if you are looking to talk to someone online. Again, this is a group situation, so you’re opening yourself up to comments from any number of people rather than just chatting privately.
While friendships sometimes spring out of these groups, you also need to be careful not to overstep your bounds. It’s best to ask in the main group if you can friend someone rather than to just send them a request. Not everyone uses Facebook in the same way, and you should not take it personally if they turn down your request.
If you can figure out how the chatbot works, you can generally get help on the specific issue you are facing.
Having negative thoughts? The chatbot can help you work through and reframe those.
Can’t relax at bedime? The chatbot will have suggestions for you.
The other nice thing about the chatbot is that it’s available to you whenever you need it. You never have to worry that you are infringing on the time of the chatbot, because that’s all he is designed to do.
Free Listening Services
Next on the list is free listening services like 7 Cups of Tea. Be warned that on a site like this, unless you pay for a therapist, you are chatting with someone who has received minimal training on how to listen to you.
I’ve used 7 cups of Tea myself and the experience was inconsistent. Sometimes, you would find a person who has a good listener and helpful, but other times it was quite bad. I’d actually recommend the chatbot or paid services (coming next) over a free listener.
One exception: some areas have government-sponsored chat services. If you have one of these in your area, odds are you will receive the attention you need and it will be worthwhile.
Paid Therapy Services
Finally, we get to the top of the ladder: paid therapy services. If you have the means, I highly recommend considering a paid therapy service such as Betterhelp to talk to someone online. This is particularly important if you are experiencing social anxiety that is interfering with your day to day life.
I personally used their free trial to assess the service, and was pleased with the overall experience as well as the counselor whom I chatted with. For a monthly fee, Betterhelp gives you weekly phone, video, or chat sessions, as well as unlimited texts through the week. I have a full review here too.
The obvious benefit of a paid therapy service is that you are chatting with a trained professional who can help you work through issues. The downside is the cost involved.
Do you know of any other options as to where to talk to someone online about social anxiety or other issues you are facing? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.