It seems in today’s world we have never been more connected with one another, and yet never have we been more disconnected. These days, it is easy to sit alone at the coffee shop with your device and never have to look up at anyone except maybe the barista. It almost feels like there is an application for everything, from healthy eating to online dating.
According to this market research report by IBISWorld, 36 per cent of Canadians have used online dating, and 20 per cent of committed and current relationships began online. So while many of us aren’t looking at or talking to anyone at the coffee shop, we are most likely engaging with someone on a screen and are, in fact, very social.
…So what about friends? In this overly connected and disconnected world, how are people making new friends, especially if you’re new to a city or area of town? Well, as it turns out there is an app for that too!
There are many applications out there you can sign up for that will help connect you with other like-minded people and help you make new friends. Much like the dating websites, you can upload a profile picture, fill out an ‘About Me’ section, and keep swiping until you find someone that interests you. One particular app that stuck out to me is Meet My Dog, a social site that introduces dog owners to other owners in their area. The neat thing about this one is, you upload a profile for your dog and try to set up play dates–how cute!
One person I spoke with had this anecdote to share:
“I used one of those apps, called ‘Hey! Vina’. It was a really interesting experience. I met up with a couple of people, and we got along well. I only stopped using it because I don’t have a lot of free time lately, and it was taking too much effort to maintain. It is worth noting that I do already have a number of established friendships, so I was not pursuing it as actively as I could have – but I think if you were relying on it to make some connections when moving to a new city it would be really helpful. I didn’t have any negative experiences (nobody was mean or trolling) and there seemed to be a wide variety of types of people who used it. I will probably re-download it once I have some more free time to establish new friendships.”
Other apps include BVDDY, which connects people through sports, and Patook, a strictly platonic app for men and women with no tolerance for flirting. Even the dating site, Plenty of Fish has the option, ‘Looking for Friendship’.
The important thing to remember is that just like online dating, you need to be safe when initially meeting new friends, and that it can take time to get to know someone before you find your new BFF. Don’t get discouraged!
Do you have a favourite friend app or a story to share? Let us know! Email [email protected] and share your story with us.