New friends?

imgresI have been fascinated with the online dating apps since they first appeared on the radar which were originally through a laptop.  Once you get out of college and into the next part of your life it seems more difficult to spread your wings and meet others outside of your circle.  It wasn’t surprising to me when I worked at Macy’s right out of college that many people dated their colleagues.  We were working 60 to sometimes 85 hours a week so work became social.

At one point some people find themselves getting married and having children and through that a whole new slew of friends come on the scene through your kids.  The common boundary is your kids, the school you chose and perhaps the place you chose to live.

I was talking to someone about Meetup.  Their tag line says it all:  Find Your People.  A young woman talked to me about how she had signed up for a Meetup around writers.  She finally went after lurking in the shadows knowing that the events were taking place but never going until she eventually decided to make an appearance.  She ended up meeting a bunch of people who had similar interests, who did not judge each other on what they were writing or anything else because they all wanted to be there based on that common connection of writing. They talked about the books they were reading and not surprising other things of interest around that topic.  It was a connection she was looking for in a large urban city where it is easy to get lost.

Earlier in the week I had talked to the Founder of Olioex.  A company that connects neighbors with each other to share surplus food.  It could be sharing food from the local store where the food is nearing its sell date, it could be from local bakeries that have goods left over at the end of the day, it could be an excess of home grown vegetables to share.  What is amazing is how many people have signed up and through that connected with many others who share the same passion around food and waste.

We are also seeing shared adult living spaces start to pop-up.  As housing gets more expensive, people are overwhelmed with two jobs and children, and people are looking for community.

If we step back in time, way back, we knew our neighbors, we shared each others left over food, we shared books, we watched each others children, we introduced new people to the community to each other and embraced them as the towns grew.  The new new might all be taking place on our phones but the reality is what worked then works now just through a different platform.

What’s old becomes new again or perhaps it never left.