Like all progress, whether in internet technology or in any other field, new developments in social networking via the web can both offer great benefits and pose substantial, though often unrecognized, dangers. Human beings are the most sociable of creatures, and almost everyone except for the pathologically anti-social crave interaction with other people with whom they have – or hope to acquire – something in common.
Back in the day, you had to make the physical effort to go out into the world – to school, to the market, to the office – to meet and socialize with others. But the world-wide web has both expanded everyone’s potential range of action and also made it feasible for people to restrict their “socializing” to a solitary experience executed at home, with only an electronic device as a companion.
Are Facebook friends a substitute for the real thing?
Consider the gigantic, dominant construct of the Facebook network. With more than a staggering 800 million active users worldwide, Facebook is the clear world leader in Internet-based social networking. Facebook advertises itself as the ideal tool to “stay connected to friends and family.” And who are we to argue that it isn’t one of the easiest and quickest ways to find out anything and everything that’s happening with any relative, friend or nearly complete stranger you’ve ever encountered and taken 15 seconds to “friend” on Facebook?
But there’s a downside, too. Do you really want to be bothered with what your second-cousin-twice-removed thought about the oatmeal she had for breakfast or some retailer’s daily promotion? And is reading Charley’s Twitter on the TD Eli just scored really just as much fun as cheering together in triumph at the local pub? When it comes to socializing in-person, we think it’s healthy — and we see what Andy Warhol meant when he famously said, “I have a Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumors to my dogs.”
Combining the best of both worlds
For people physically located in the New York-New Jersey area, web developers at Dotcomweavers recently completed www.planadrink.com, an innovative social networking website that uses the power of an online community to organize and facilitate group meet-ups for socializing at local bars and restaurants.
Meeting new people and making friends has always been easier for some people than for others. But one of the best ways to get acquainted with others and develop real friendships is to be introduced and get to know them in the company of people with whom you are comfortable. That’s what Plan A Drink aims to accomplish. Their mottos is, “Have Your People Meet My People.” The idea is to gather six of your close friends and meet another group of friends by connecting online through the website. Facilities built into Plan A Date by our NJ web designers include Facebook connections, messaging, interactive calendars and drag-and-drop invitations — all designed to encourage, arrange and manage these meetings in a convenient, relaxed and congenial setting. Seems like the best of both worlds to us.
Got your own innovative idea for social networking?
Contact the savvy social networking pros at our leading NJ web design firm. We’d love to meet you — online or in-person.