Over the last year, what memories cause an impromptu chuckle or headshaking smile? You know the one; your head bobs, you close your eyes, and smile, simply recalling the moment. Now, did this moment involve you and a computer? An iPhone? An iPad?
No? It didn’t? Shocking. But, not really.
Most likely, you envisioned accomplishing an individual goal or possibly, an everyday shared experience like baking apple pies and drinking wine or rebuilding a car engine from scratch or ringing in the New Year with family and friends.
The bottom line is that personal contact and camaraderie are an essential part of what moves people as individuals and it’s those moments that help shape who people are.
Most would agree that the older people get, the busier they get and the harder it is to keep in touch with friends, let alone make new friends. Even in Manhattan, a city of millions, it’s still difficult to meet people.
Difficult, you might ask? But, what about social media?
Well, let’s breakdown some social media options:
- Facebook: Helps reconnect with old friends.
- LinkedIn: Helps grow a professional network.
- Twitter: Helps keep people apprised of the latest news and trends.
- Then there is Flickr, forums, live chats etc.
But, what about meeting new friends, in NYC…in person?
Welcome to Meetup.com
Founded in 2001, Meetup.com is a social networking gateway that promotes offline gatherings in local communities around the world. It lets people with similar interests, no matter how obscure, form groups and get together regularly. The Internet is a resource for people to find each other, but not the primary channel of communication. Instead, the platform is to get people off the Internet and into the real-world where they can gather together and improve themselves and the community. Meetup’s mission is to “revitalize the local community and help people around the world self-organize.”
With 9.5 million members across 45,000 cities, the site is quickly becoming the place for people of all ages and backgrounds to find or form groups, host gatherings and make friends.
NYC is home to six of the ten largest Meetup groups including “#2 NYC Social/Professional Networking” (7,774 members) and “Manhattan Social Wine Tasting” (5,827 members), as well as smaller more intimate groups like “Downtown NYC Mom to Be” (136 members) and “Barefoot Runners NYC” (670 members). There are no rules, per se, but all the groups share one common quality, a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
As technology advances, people can get caught up in the virtual world. Platforms like Meetup.com provide the perfect balance of both virtual and physical interaction.