The world has become virtually smaller and now an increasing number of us are choosing to move city, country and even continent. Whether it is in search of an easier life, a warmer climate, or a better job, the fact still remains the same, change is exciting, and well, the grass is always greener. Sometimes it is true, however, that the ideal vision that we have in our heads is not always the same as the reality we encounter when we arrive in our new home. Certain things will be better, sure, they have to be, but soon we may begin to miss aspects of our old lives, and recreating a secure and comfortable circle of friends can be one of the biggest challenges. This is where social discovery can come in.
With new challenges comes new technology, and in the modern internet age new apps, tools and websites are constantly being developed to help assist all of us globe trotters in connecting with other like-minded individuals, in every corner of the globe. Whether it’s a football fan in the Falklands, or a yoga buddy in Yokohama, there is always a tool to locate the perfect buddy, and this can be one of the most important steps in settling into a new home.
Using Social Discovery Tools to Find a New Circle of Friends
Even navigating your way through the plethora of social networking and social discovery apps can be daunting. If you are not experienced in utilising such tools then it can seem complicated, but really it isn’t. You don’t, however, like with any new community, want to break any house rules or end up in the wrong crowd, so below we detail a list of tips and hints in how to utilise social discovery tools to help build a new circle of friends.
Tips and Hints
Social Discovery versus Social Networking
First of all, let’s clarify some terms. Although all of you most probably will have heard about social networking, such is its growth and dominance, the term ‘social discovery’ may well be a new one.
Social Networking fundamentally is used to connect existing friends or family members, and when relocating across the world it too can be a crucial tool to maintain communication with such groups. The most famous social networking site, in the western world, is of course Facebook and although this now includes aspects of Social Discovery, it is predominantly a networking tool.
The name says it all really. Social Discovery is about discovering new friends and contacts based on shared interests, proximity or even randomly. To explain it in layman’s terms: you would use social discovery to meet new people and then social networking to maintain the communication. Having said all of that, Facebook can be used as a Social Discovery tool and that is where I will begin my list of hints and tips.
Use Aspects of Social Discovery in Facebook
So the clearest use of social discovery within Facebook, is the ‘find people in my area’ tool. If you don’t want to appear to be some kind of weird stalker, however, I wouldn’t recommend using this to meet new people. There’s a time and a place for that.
Groups and Events, however offer you a great chance to connect to new people in your area and to hear about good restaurants, bars, clubs and a variety of upcoming events. Most cities have a page or two, and especially when in remote areas or far off cities they can be used as a great social discovery tool.
Simply join up and join in. Discuss anything from restaurant toilets to items for sale, and make new friends in your area. You may be surprised by just how many like-minded people are in exactly the same situation as you.
Get to Grips with Social Discovery Websites and Apps
Okay, so once you have tested the water on a platform you are used to, now it is time to go one step further. Although Facebook works well as a ‘beginners class’ to social discovery, there is so much more out there.
Not all Social Discovery sites are location specific and many are designed to draw people’s attention to all manner of media; music, videos, websites etc. If you are hoping to meet friends in your new area then really you need to look past Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr etc and focus on local tools.
Having said that any of the above-mentioned sites can be successfully used to make new friends in your local area, it’s just that there are new Geo-social Discovery tools that can probably do the job better. Also mobile phone apps are increasingly leading the way with regards to Geo-social discovery.
Full Circle has recently secured $3 million worth of funding to assist them in further developing their social discovery app. Initially developed to help locate local businesses and connect individuals with similar interests, it will now also develop a number of additional tools.
Banjo has been one of the most successful Geo-social apps of the year, with over 1.5 million downloads. It allows you to link with friends already existing within various social networks, as well as locating new friends in your area.
PinkyToe.com is a new social discovery website inviting users to break the ice, chat, flirt and meet with new people. You can meet people based on interests, looks and of course location.
Badoo is a dating driven social discovery app. It is available both online via Badoo.com and as a phone app. It has a presence in 180 countries and attracts an incredible 150,000 new registrations each day.
Use Dating Websites (They don’t have to be sleazy)
Many people stray away from dating websites and usually that is wise. It is, however, possible to use them to meet new friends and not just weird, sex starved strangers. There are even sites specifically aimed at helping to create purely platonic relationships. Many of these sites have social discovery elements and there are several apps that allow you to find users based on their proximity.
Join Blogs and Forums
There are a number of blogs and forums designed to help connect people who have relocated to a specific area. Internations, Expat Blog and even a woman’s only site Expat Women can all help you to learn new things about your new country and meet new people. There are of course also a range of interest-specific sites that can help you connect to similarly minded people in your area.
There are a number of methods you can use to connect to individuals in your new area, and to help you to establish a new circle of friends. Increasingly though specific Social Discovery apps and websites provide the most effective approach.
As Social Discovery begins to become increasingly popular, it is likely that there will be a specific app and website for a variety of interests and locations, enabling you to immediately get in touch with like-minded people.
Of course, like many aspects of the internet, its first use has been to connect people looking to do business and date, but soon too there will be apps for people looking to play football, go mountain climbing, meet for coffee or any other such activity.
The best advice is to keep searching the web for new tools and, simply, try them out. Once you get on the bandwagon you will struggle to get off and perhaps your new circle of friends will constantly be growing.