By Matt Kearney Moving to a new city can be tough, especially when you have few friends or family in the area. How do you meet like-minded people your age, where do you go, what do you do? This is just the challenge I faced a few short months ago when I made the jump from Atlanta to Boston. Sure I had a few college friends in the area, but how could expand my friendship network and experience a more fulfilling social life? One answer is to turn to social media. Here are a few ways social media can help you out in your new city.
Facebook – Perhaps the most obvious social media resource to use to identify ways to make new friends is Facebook. By searching your interests and hobbies, you may be able to find events or groups based in your area that will help you connect, and get involved. With just a little digging, you can discover a wide range of groups and events that may interest you. For example, I am a huge Liverpool fan, so when I arrived in Boston, I quickly identified a LFC supporters group. I found an active community, right up the street from where I live. The group notifies members of fan gatherings and where and when live games are being shown. One huge advantage to using Facebook to identify groups and meetups, is the ability to scope out the group members or event attendees before taking any action.
Twitter – One of the best resources Twitter provides as a way of meeting new people is the Twitter chat feature. My cousin recently told me a great story of how he met a new friend on Twitter chat. He is a huge biking fan, and was in a Twitter chat on the Tour de France when he asked the participants if anyone wanted to join him on a bike ride. He received a few responses and after exchanging information, a group met and went for a ride a week or so later. Since then he has met frequently with a particular member of this group, not just to go on bike rides, but also in a variety of social settings.
Meetup – Meetup is another site that allows you to search for people with similar interests and passions. There are literally thousands of ‘meetups’ to choose from in most major cities. Whether you want to talk politics with like-minded people or simply get together and play tennis with a group of locals with a similar skill set, there is likely a group for you! When researching meetups to join, you are able to scope out who is already attending, and what other meetups they have attended before, and in turn, what other groups you might be interested in joining in the future.
These are just a few of the best tools social media has to offer those relocating to a new city; the possibilities are (almost) endless!
Have you ever used social media to expand your friendship circle? Do you have other suggestions for people looking to establish themselves in a new city? Let me know in the comments.