Being from elsewhere to attend grad school means having to find new friends if you don't want to spend all of your time with your fellow classmates. So far, I have achieved that goal by one new friend and I met her in the laundry room (she lives in my building). Between school. my job, and working on personal and professional projects, I hardly have time to make a new friend that's outside of Columbia. I am also a bit shy, so making new friends is not a piece of cake even if I had time. I downloaded the Hey VINA app, but unfortunately, it's only available in California with a waiting list for other cities.
I didn't think much of it until I ran across another app, this time, it was the Tinder of Business Networking called Shapr. Using a LinkedIn profile as a start for your Shapr profile, Shapr allows you to find other professionals who are nearby. It’s simple enough to swipe left or right, but I was soon worried when I realized I should look at how my LinkedIn profile imported into Shapr. After quickly making a few adjustments and praying that no one checked me out during this brief time, I swiped through a couple of more profiles. I’m still waiting for some matches and hope for the best.
Now that I feel the anticipation that my friends on Tinder must feel, I ponder on whether or not this is still an idea that society should let grow. While I am nervous around people, I want to be able to go up to someone and introduce myself. I want someone to come introduce themselves to me. I don’t want to lose the bit of confidence I have at times for these interactions. Maybe for an extrovert, this may be a good tool because they are always talking and finding others anyway. But maybe it’s good for an introvert like me who can charm someone with my words first. Being a writer, I would like to think that my words are interesting or at least, witty. If I can’t get someone with my written word, how am I suppose to babble in front of them?
WHO HAS THE TIME TO NETWORK?! Whether it’s personal or professional, you have to set aside a time to network and connect with people. Maybe this is a solution. Something that fits more into your time as you are on the go with your day-to-day. I kind of like the anxiety of a face-to-face meeting, though. Most of the time, these don’t seem to go well for me, but maybe someone will remember me. Maybe we will connect. Maybe I will tell them to add me on Facebook, where I am definitely 10 times more interesting (trust me, I’ve developed “fans” this way, oddly enough).
In the meantime, I will keep swiping right and hope someone swipes right to me.
TED Talk: Connected, But Alone?
Inspiration Article: There's Now A Tinder For Friendships
Hey VINA: http://heyvina.com