I was inspired to write this by IRL Friendships in Decline - How Often Do You See Friends? It seems like there's many people who struggle with not seeing friends enough. Translated, to me, it means that people are lonely. I hear this a lot from so many people. It seems like often when you have an in-depth, personal conversation with someone, the topic of feeling isolated or lonely comes up.
A key insight for me on this topic is this - you don't always need to be seeing intimate friends, that you go way back with. You can get a lot of mileage from just seeing casual acquaintances, potential friends, people that live in the same neighborhood, etc.
This is definitely an area in which the world has changed dramatically. I remember seeing an old monthly newsletter from 1965, for a neighborhood that I used to live in until recently. And in that newsletter, there were multiple regular social events (ladies coffee, bbq at the local pool, things like that) mentioned, along with all kinds of details like - Mrs. X provided the coffee cake, Mr Z organized the kids games at the pool - plus lots and lots of names, of who attended. That's changed a lot.
Anyway, I thought I'd jump-start a list similar to what I did with this post, which generated a lot of good ideas: What are some solid alternatives to college/university?
So here goes - feel free to add ideas!
  • Poker evenings - some friends of mine had a regular poker evening once a month. Worked out great.
  • For parents with kids - a REGULAR convenient scheduled playground meetup. Maybe even right after school. Kids play, parents talk. Put the phones away.
  • Gyms - your mileage may vary here. I've never experienced gyms as very social - actually often the opposite - but some people do better. Especially if you do classes, that may work for you. Also apparently rock climbing gyms are very friendly.
  • Co-working spaces - sometimes this can work out well. If you're working remotely, and are tired of being at home alone, maybe check if there's a co-working space nearby, where you can rent a desk regularly.
  • Church - depending on where you live, and your beliefs, this can be a big part of people's social lives.
  • Meetup groups - this is very dependent on where you live. But in some areas, there's very active groups filled with people that are itching to meet others for whatever purpose - hiking is often a big one. It can be great.
  • Pick-up sports - the pick-up sport that I know about, that could work for many people is pickleball. What an awesome, fun, sociable sport. In some regions in the US at least, there's a huge number of pickleball groups that meet up regularly. You have to put in legwork to find them, but it's worth it. Also potentially in some places, ultimate frisbee is a big thing.
  • Facebook. Okay, ugh, I know, this is a tricky one and I don't like it. But 95% of the hyper-local social events appear on facebook, and nowhere else. There's a couple similar sites (NextDoor, etc) that may also have value.
  • Volunteer. Tons of volunteer work that I've done has been very low-value, or even negative value. Lots of charities are very poorly run. But I did recently see a Catholic thrift store locally that had a vibrant volunteer community helping out with the store. It was obviously a big social thing for the older folks that volunteered there.
  • Get a low-maintenance dog. I'm honestly not enthusiastic about this because many dogs, especially the high maintenance ones, can be a barrier to getting together with people (you're bound to the dog). But for some people it works out great, they walk dogs regularly with other people, go to dog parks and meet people.
  • Avoid high wealth areas and people. This is an impression I have based on life experiences, when dealing with high wealth people. If they actually earned the wealth themselves, it's different, but inheritors and spouses often have hang-ups.
  • Bitcoin specific venues/meetups - this can be great, but will vary dramatically depending on where you live.
  • Is there a Makerspace close-by? If so, this can be a fun place to hang out, and try the equipment. The vibe is often good, people trying new things, making things.
  • Gun clubs - this is something I got into back when everything was shut down, in 2020. Guess what didn't shut down? Gun clubs. Thank goodness. Might be something to try out.
  • Be the person that sets up regular events. Something social that happens every week, so you don't need to be always picking a time, venue, etc. For instance - a guy I know has a regular, every single Saturday, breakfast at his garage, and all the other folks who are into his same hobby will meet up there. Everyone throws in some cash for the breakfast, everybody that knows about it is invited, word of mouth only. Lots of socializing takes place there. If the host isn't available, someone else takes over for him.
What are your ideas?
As a parent who goes home every day to take care of my two kids, I can attest to the fact that lunch dates work. I can no longer meet friends in the evenings, so when I have a day off, I travel to a friend’s workplace to meet him or her for lunch 🥗 . Not quite the same thing as drinking myself silly at pubs but there’s a solid 1.5 hours of connection
862 sats \ 0 replies \ @anon 22 Feb
Love it. If I may presumptuously assume here - I think the broad principle you're using is, ask and listen to what time/place works for the other person. If you try to force the time/place/event on someone who isn't interested it won't work. But if you meet someone for lunch when/where they want to meet up its awesome. Ask people what they're interested in doing and works for them. Within reason of course, don't be an absolute doormat - just congenial. I so often find people trying to force me into shit I hate and it sucks. I'm your coffee/gun/bitcoin friend, and please don't make me go to an EDM concert at midnight when I have kids.
Splitting attention between catching up with a friend and tending to the kids is a conversational juggling act. It's great when friends families can get together, but connection and presence in the conversation is delicate thing.
Long lunches are an elegant solution.
Annual trips with the boys sounds tempting. A Saturday of golf or a vacation day to go fishing feels pretty liberating.
Go to water. Rivers, lakes, ponds, and oceans. Go to nature. Parks, trails, landmarks. Go to music. Concerts, festivals. Check for events on local city calendars, facebook. Call old friends first, reach out.
Running. I have running buddies that I meet up with over lunch and we all work from home and in the same town. It is a stress reliever in the middle of the day, a great time to catch up since I have two young kids.
This isn't difficult in my country. We are still bound to (or give value) growing up in a combined family while caring and having affection with each other. As we grow up and remain together with our elders, we get to learn a lot of social values. With social values, there comes a sense of getting together. We are a very religious country with so much of our faith converting into social gatherings. Often another man or woman is seen knocking at the door asking for some kind of gathering. The gatherings may be depicted as socially religious. Above all, we have a mentality not to deny anyone on him inviting us. Why? Because when we invite them, they will also deny. We have such customs and rights which require social gatherings without a solid reason behind them. Just to mention, on the full moon night, all of the woman from our colony sing ballads or folk songs with a 'Dholak' in the praise of God. The same happens on the new moon day, when woman gather together in the morning and go to take bath in the pious river nearby.
So, rather depicting where to crowdsource, we must first implement 'why and how to crowdsource'.
10 sats \ 0 replies \ @kr 22 Feb
poker evenings are great ideas - need to set one up in my city
I have hobbies that I share with other people, some of them I've known for decades, and that i consider to be friends. We meet regularly, for practice... Or other parents at my little one's school, we'd organise events for/with our kids, and hang out together.
I read this on Stacker News a while ago: short trips to peoples home towns. I haven't done it yet but its such a great idea
Church on Sundays and attending funerals srestill and wi always be the best classical crowdsouring ideas.
Funerals 😳 seriously.... But yeah they are where people go for self realisation
Time boxing always works for me.
Calendar in, spontaneity out.
Just schedule it and meet with those who matter without waiting for a reason, just embrace the moment and then seize the moment.
This isn’t pragmatic for everyone: leave urban areas