2023: The year you take back control of your social interactions
Back in high school, I would print out a list of the people I knew in font size 6, and keep it in my wallet. When I got back home every day, I’d take a look at the list to remind myself who I’d want to talk to. Fast forward to working in NYC and the rise of social media, it seemed so easy to just post things and scroll through other people’s updates. I got married, moved to Miami, had kids, and life just seemed to fly by. Long gone were the days where I was as intentional with friends as I was when I was 17.
In our constantly connected world, many people spend over two hours a day on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. And the biggest problem I see with these platforms is that the people who appear most, are those that share more often. We have hundreds, if not thousands of people we know in our contacts, yet, how regularly are we thinking about many of them? I’m not against social media, but I think we need to find a balance, so that the people that we want to strengthen our relationships with, stay more top of mind.
Being single again during the Covid isolation was a wake up call. I struggled thinking of people I knew who I could reach out to locally and make plans with. Personally, I needed to make some adjustments.
Now I’m rediscovering my old habit of just looking at people’s names, with the help of FriendApp. I share things with them directly when something crosses my mind. I try to invite people out occasionally. And after 10+ years living in Miami, I’m beginning to feel a deeper sense of connection to people. When we move to a new city, we have the opportunity to meet lots of people, but do we do the work needed to grow casual acquaintances into relationships?
I don’t have it all figured out when it comes to relationships. And by relationships, I’m talking about the people in our daily life. Remote work has emphasized the problem where many of us don’t get to see the same people enough to nurture true connection. Networking events are a great way to meet new people, and occasionally run into some of the people that you already know. But I’d argue that only showing up to networking or large group events is like the physical equivalent of participating in social media.
Creating connection requires extended and more periodic one-on-one and small group interactions. As we enter the new year, I want to suggest that we take a moment to reflect on how much time we spend scrolling through people’s posts, reading through group chats, and if those are people we actually spend time with in real life.
Questions to ask yourself...
How frequently do you check in with friends and business acquaintances who live in your neighborhood?
How often do you schedule plans for the upcoming week with people you haven’t seen in a while?
Perhaps just having a tool that lets you shine a spotlight on certain people, will help make it easier, and more visible, to encourage these healthier interactions.
FriendApp helps people focus on relationships (personal and business) they want to nurture. The iPhone pilot is currently available in the app store and the company is actively seeking user feedback. In 2023, FriendApp looks to reduce the effort required for people to share and discover things that they can do with people they know.