Moving to a new city for work purposes can mean that you are leaving good friends behind in your old town. In our culture today, and especially in the bigger cities, most people avoid eye contact and shy away from talking to strangers. We’ve been told as children, and we tell our children never to talk to strangers. You may not be open to talking to random people on your new commute to work. So you need to find a way to connect with other like-minded individuals in order to develop new friendships. This is where technology can come into play. There are several mobile apps available to help make the transition easier for you to connect with new people and develop friendships as you move to a new city.
See also: Is Relocating for your Job Worth it?
The MeetUp app is available for free on all iOS and Android devices. MeetUp.com is one of the most well-known online community forums for organizing “real-life” meeting groups. If you’re seeking to meet new friends this is a great site for you to check out. Some of the actual meet up groups that have formed and are seeking members through this community are “Los Angeles Trail Running Meetup”, “20-Something Ladies of LA” and “Philadelphia Suburbs Salsa Dancing Meetup” to name a few. You can even start your own group and center it around one of your hobbies or professional interests. Basically, you need to RSVP to meetings that you’d like to attend and then the app will send a notification to remind you of the meeting. You’ll also receive information on other groups you may be interested in that are meeting in your area. Another feature is that users can use the app to either join or leave groups and check your meet up calendar. Members can also send and receive messages through the app to other members.
Nearify is another free app that is available on iOS and Android devices. Nearify.com is a social networking group that is similar to MeetUp.com, but the focus is more on individuals connecting rather than groups meeting up. Basically, the app lists a wide variety of local events that are happening such as music festivals, scavenger hunts, farmer’s markets and outdoor movie screenings. The app points you in the right direction of the events that interest you and then you need to attend and mingle in order to meet new friends. Users log in through Facebook and you can either choose a location to search for events or opt to utilize your mobile phone’s GPS. This tool is an excellent way to find out about exciting local events that you can attend as a way to connect with new people and develop lasting friendships while acclimating to your new city.
FourSquare is a free app available on all iOS and Android devices and it is a great way to find out where the local hangouts are. The basic premise of this app is that users can connect with other members of similar interests in their local area. Most people began using this app to “check-in” and share on Facebook where they were eating at or hanging out. However, the app has been recently revised to allow users to find the local hotspots (based on specific likes and interests) through the new review feature. The more you participate in using the app, the more of a following you can develop. Just get out there and frequent the local hangouts and you’ll soon find people of similar interests to develop friendships with.
PeopleHunt is a free app available on iOS devices only. The basic premise behind this app is to connect people on a mutual give-and-take basis. Users don’t search for members of similar interests to connect with. Rather, they use this app to connect with other individuals for a reciprocal need. For example, if you need help with learning a new skill, you can find someone through this app who is local to your city to help you learn it. The app does not focus solely on meet up groups, but more on an individual person-to-person basis. Individuals can also communicate solely online through the app platform. Users log on through Facebook and create a profile where they list various interests and hobbies they want to do or skills they want to learn. You can list something like “become an entrepreneur” or “write a novel”. You can pick your city of residence or even another city like, Rome, if you want to travel to learn Italian. Since this is a reciprocal connection, you need to list areas where you can help others. For example, you can list “tutor in English” or “give singing lessons.” Don’t forget to select your level of expertise for each talent you list. The basic premise is that the app will then connect you with those who want to learn from you and those whom you can learn from.
If you’ve recently moved to a new city for work purposes, we’d love to hear your experience with how you found new friends. If you’ve used any of these apps to make local connections, please share your experiences as well.