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Virtual Hugs: The Ultimate Guide to Sending a Virtual Hug!

“I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.” Maya Angelou

Virtual Hugs: The Ultimate Guide to Sending a Virtual Hug!

The Virtual Hug

Hugs make you happier and are good for your health. Studies show they can boost your immune system, lower stress, increase self-esteem, and reduce depression. Lately, the world has been running short on hugs. Instead, people have been turning to virtual hugs to let others know how much they care. When you don’t have the opportunity to touch someone or give them a pat on the back, a virtual hug - sent digitally via text, email, social media, or video - can be an excellent alternative to brighten up their day.

Whether you’re celebrating, commiserating, or simply want to say ”hi,” here’s everything you need to know about virtual hugs, from what is a virtual hug to how to send one.

Virtual Hug Meaning

A virtual hug's meaning is just the same as an in person hug. Just like giving a hug in person, sending a virtual hug is a way of showing you care when you can’t see them in person. It can go a long way to put a smile on someone’s face or make them feel loved. A virtual hug could be as simple as sending an emoji via a text or as well thought out as a group video message.

As virtual hugs travel through cyberspace, there’s no need to go to the shop to buy a card (or try to remember to put it in the mail).

Sending a Virtual Hug

There are so many reasons why you might want to send a virtual hug to a friend, family member, colleague, or someone else. Here are some times when it might be handy to make your hug virtual:

Birthday Wishes

Whether it’s a milestone birthday or any other birthday for a friend, family member, colleague, or kid, sending a virtual hug is the perfect way to wish the birthday girl or boy a happy birthday. This is the ideal occasion to send a surprise group video.

young couple movng to new home

Moving or Relocating

One of the most stressful experiences you can go through is moving - especially a long distance move, so sending a virtual hug to congratulate someone you know who has just moved is a thoughtful gesture.

Job Change

A virtual hug is an easy way to commend a friend or colleague on a new job, or a retirement. It’s easier than mailing a card, plus you’ll get brownie points for thinking of them!

New Baby

New parents will appreciate getting a virtual hug after a birth announcement. It is a great way to acknowledge their tiny bundle of joy in an instant.


Sending a virtual hug to a friend is the perfect way to reinforce your friendship and is often all you need to let them know you're thinking of them and you appreciate them. 

Holiday Celebrations

When you can’t be there in person to celebrate holidays with friends or family, a virtual hug such as a group video can be the perfect gift. 

Music Performances & Recitals

A virtual hug is a great way to commend a child or loved one on a recital or music performance, with congratulations from friends, family, and instructors - or when you can't attend in-person. You can even send a music performance as a virtual hug, like some online piano students do.

graduates hugging


This is one of the most significant milestones in a young person's life. Recognize their achievement with a virtual group hug! 


Tell someone how much you love them by sending virtual hugs and kisses. It will make their day. XOXO!

young woman hugging ill older woman

When Someone is Having a Bad Day

If someone you know is having a rough time, a virtual hug can be a welcome mood-booster. What better way to cheer them up and show you’re there for them.


At times of grief, a virtual hug can go a long way to making things more bearable for the recipient. They’ll know you’re thinking of them during a difficult time and it can help them feel better about the loss of a loved one.

Types of Virtual Hugs

Virtual hugs come in all shapes and sizes. They can be as simple as an emoji sent by text or as well thought out as a group video

Virtual Hugs and Kisses

Once upon a time, the hug { } symbol on a keyboard was the only way to send a virtual hug. These days, it is more common to use XOXO (which means hugs and kisses) when sending a message using a keypad.


facebook hug emoji

Sending a hug emoji is an easy way to show a person you are thinking about them. Have some fun with your virtual hug by adding animated hug emojis to add to your texts, instant messages, or social media from your smartphone. You can download a keyboard pack or use an app such as Emoji>.


“A picture is worth a thousand words,” as the saying goes. A GIF is a type of animated image that is eye-catching and easily shareable. Virtual hug GIFs are ideal as they provide a quick and easy way to show your emotions and personality. There are hundreds of GIF virtual hug images available. You can simply copy and paste one of the many designs from your keypad into your texts or onto your social media. Giphy is one of the most popular places to find hundreds of animated virtual hug GIFs.


The definition of a meme is “a piece of media, often humorous, that spreads rapidly through the internet.” They can have a pop culture theme and often spread across social media like wildfire. They are usually static and include an image and words. You’ll find plenty of virtual hug memes on Know Your Meme.


Sometimes words can be a powerful way to express what you’re feeling and let someone know how much you care. Make up your own or use a quote. Add some hug emojis to jazz it up! 

"I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.”
― Shel Silverstein

Video Messages

Sending a video message can be the most meaningful virtual hug of all. Seeing your face can be enough to cheer someone up or make their day, especially when you can’t be there in person.  We can help you create your own personalized virtual hug group video quickly and easily, whatever the occasion. 

How to Send a Virtual Hug

There are multiple ways to send a virtual hug. Which one you choose depends on the situation.

Texts or Instant Messages

Sending a text or instant message is a quick and easy way to send a virtual hug. It instantly lets a person know you’re thinking about them. Mix it up and a ‘hug’ emoji, meme, or words to your message.


Another simple way to send a virtual hug is by downloading an app such as I Need Hugs. Send one to a friend or send one to yourself.


Punchbowl offers a huge variety of E-cards. You can send one for pretty much any occasion and a "just because" card works perfectly as a virtual hug!


Sometimes you might want to say more than you can convey with an emoji. Sending a virtual hug by email is ideal if you’re going to use words instead of images. Or, add both for maximum impact.

Video Hug or Group Hug

Group hugs can be the best hugs. Memento offers a best-in-class group video platform that'll help you send a memorable virtual group hug to friends and loved ones for any special occasion. 

Social Media

Even though you might live far apart, it’s easy to stay in touch with people on social media. Add an emoji or GIF to a Facebook post for an instant virtual hug.

What Do You Want Your Virtual Hug to Say?

Lastly, you need to decide what message you want to convey. Like a traditional paper card, virtual hugs can be cute, funny, romantic, inspiring, thoughtful, or serious. Perhaps you want to send a virtual hug that matches your personality or make the person you’re sending it to laugh. It’s important to choose what feels right for you and for the occasion.