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A viral TikTok exposed her friends for talking behind her back. Now she’s on a mission to help people make new pals in real life.

Marissa Meizz and new friends who attended a July 11 “No More Lonely Friends” meetup in New York City. Deena ElGenaidi

  • A viral TikTok video exposed Marissa Meizz’s friends for talking about her behind her back.

  • Now, Meizz is on a mission to find new friends and help others do the same.

  • She’s hosting friend meet-up events around the country called “No More Lonely Friends.”

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Marissa Meizz wasn’t sure what was happening when multiple people started sending her the same TikTok. In the video, posted on May 17, the user @drewbdoobdoo said he overheard a group discussing how they purposely planned a party for a weekend that “Marissa” was out of town because they didn’t want her to attend. He ended the video with a plea for TikTok to help him find the real Marissa.

For Meizz, who is 23 and lives in New York City, the details of the video were too specific, with the party occurring during a week when she was on a road trip and her friends were having a party. She said she soon put the pieces together.

“I knew exactly in my head who it was, already,” Meizz told me.

That video now has almost 3 million views. Once TikTok found the real Marissa – the same day the original video went up – she began posting TikToks about the incident.

Meizz said she has never confronted those friends directly but that, according to one person in the group, the host thought Meizz was too “funny and pretty” and “didn’t want the guys to go for [Meizz] and not [the host],” Meizz told me.

Since then, Meizz has been on a mission to find better friends and help others do the same. She hosted her first meetup in New York City’s Central Park on June 5 and nearly 200 people showed up, she said.

Because of the overwhelming interest in the meet-up events, she’s now taking the project, documented on the Instagram page “No More Lonely Friends,” across the nation. So far, they’ve had meet-ups in New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. Meizz is flying to the West Coast soon for a California meetup. She also said that she hopes to eventually host meetups abroad.

The response has been incredible, Meizz said, with people now recognizing her and stopping to chat as she walks around her neighborhood. She’s also helped people find their own new friends.

“People send me photos, and they’ll be like, ‘Hey, we met at your meetup, and we’re hanging out,’ or, ‘We met on your Instagram, and we’re hanging out,’ and I’m just like, that’s so cool.”

Meizz turned lemons into lemonade with ‘No More Lonely Friends’

Ever since No More Lonely Friends began, Meizz’s social-media following has grown from that of a regular New York 20-something into an influencer. Her TikTok now has over 200,000 followers and the “No More Lonely Friends” Instagram page is at over 27,000, with people around the world, from Egypt to Australia, asking her to host events in their cities.

“I’m letting it be decided by the people,” Meizz said. “Right now, I’m just focusing on doing these meet-ups in as many cities as I can for as long as I can.”

At the most recent “No More Lonely Friends” event in Central Park last Sunday, Meizz arrived early, having just gotten back to the city from Philly, where she had a meet-up the day before.

“I always get there early,” Meizz, who had just gotten back from her last meet-up in Philadelphia, told me. “I bring drinks, I bring snacks, and some blankets.”

Sunday was overcast and humid with the threat of rain, but Meizz still managed to draw a massive crowd. She said that by the end of the day, over 250 people came to the event.

Meizz funds most of the costs involved herself, so she plans to keep going for as long as it’s feasible, but she told me that down the line, she might look into turning “No More Lonely Friends” into a non-profit or a public speaking tour. And though she said she’s been contacted by a few brands, she isn’t taking on any sponsorships just yet.

“It’s not a money grab for me,” she said. “For right now, I just want to keep it pretty simple.”

Dozens of people sit on the grass chatting in Central Park, with New York City skyscrapers behind them.Dozens of people sit on the grass chatting in Central Park, with New York City skyscrapers behind them.

New friends chat at Marissa Meizz’s meetup in New York City’s Central Park on July 11. Deena ElGenaidi

Despite being exhausted from the Philly meetup, which she said lasted into the night, Meizz was full of energy on Sunday, playing host and making sure everyone was having a good time.

“It’s kind of a cool environment where everybody’s there for a specific reason-to make friends,” Meizz said. “Everybody just hangs out with each other and gets up and meets each other. It’s a safe space with openness.”

If anyone seemed to be standing alone, it wouldn’t be for long, as someone would quickly come by to introduce themselves and strike up a conversation.

“I want to do these meetups for as long as I can,” Meizz said.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.

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