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.

Comments (Archived):

  1. kirklove

    I have fond memories of my mom saying “Run over to the Hill’s house and ask for a cup of sugar” 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      Now they would make you take your phone, put on your helmut and watch you from afar.

      1. Pranay Srinivasan

        I have fond memories of just wandering over to a neighbor’s house during Christmas (We had different festivals because we were Hindu and they were Catholic) and just sit there as one of the kids – free marzipan and snowballs for everyone!

      2. pointsnfigures

        hahahaha. Wait until they master drones. Drone parents anyone?

  2. Pranay Srinivasan

    “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.”Just like Fashion 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      Just like Sourceeasy.

      1. Pranay Srinivasan

        Haha yes!

    1. Gotham Gal


    2. Erin

      So funny and brilliant. I thought I was the only one with a sword under my couch.

  3. Kirsten Lambertsen

    This is why I’m always perplexed by people who say technology is isolating us. In my experience, it’s the exact opposite and more!

    1. Drew Meyers

      My gut is that more people use it to isolate themselves than use it to do things in the real physical world.

  4. pointsnfigures

    This was one of the reasons I invested in Meet new people around a common interest. Go to a town, get with the locals. Not virtually, but by pressing flesh.

    1. Drew Meyers

      How long has that been around? Has the context of “why connect/meet” changed during the journey?

  5. Dannie HD

    The one thing that’s never left is human need of a real, offline, social interaction.For example, the magical, yet technical, ability to travel and move around the world easily has brought with it a set of new needs that were never there. My parents lived at the same location their whole lives, I live in 2 cities in 2 different continents for the past year, and this choice brought with it a need that doesn’t feel as much of a choice: the need of figuring out how to feel at home in 2 cities. Technology helps to solve this need initially (Meetup is indeed amazing for that!), however tech only supports the real experience and can’t (IMO) replace it. The “feel” part is the key and what keeps us connected as human beings. No matter how “online” we are, nothing can replace a hug.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Hugs work

  6. Drew Meyers

    Finding your people/friends. This is a topic I think about constantly. Virtually everything — friends, dating, jobs, events, meals, etc – comes via community. I think the best way to decrease income/opportunity inequality, is to give people access to a broader network of people. That’s in addition to the fact that I don’t believe the industry rhetoric that time and money are the reasons people don’t travel. I believe it really boils down to fear, and the only way to counteract fear of the unknown is with community.Would love your thoughts on the product we’ve been building, It’s a blend of AirBnB and Couchsurfing, but within trust networks (friends, friends of friends, and communities such as Peace Corps, Stanford, Kiva Fellows, Zillowites, etc). Latest product shift has been to support sublet/roommate opportunities, a scenario with clear financial incentives on both sides.