It used to be really hard for me to make friends online because I was a super silent reader and I never used the forums. Eventually I learned if I wanted to make friends, I’d have to talk to people. I began commenting on stories I liked and just kind of tossing comments into discussions that interested me (like this one!). I started running into some really cool people and eventually made friends with a few people who I’m now so close with I want to visit irl.
I guess the point is it’s scary at first and can be uncomfortable, but most people on this site are really great and can be wonderful friends if you get to know them!