We’ve all heard the complaint that technology is making us less social. And while that might be true if you spend your Saturday scrolling through Facebook or binging on Netflix, there are many apps out there that encourage us to get off the couch and get socializing.
In fact, by taking the headache out of organizing and inspiring you to try new things, certain apps might even enhance your social life this summer. Planning your weekend getaway? Looking for something to do tonight? Organizing your friends for a night on the town? These 10 apps have you covered so that you can enjoy the season to the fullest.
Calling itself the “world’s largest network of local groups,” Meetup helps you find groups of people who are in your local community and have related interests. Simply enter a keyword or choose a category (such as fitness, movies and film, or even the paranormal), input your location and click search. Before you know it, you’ll be connected to teams, clubs, and activities across the city.
Not sure what to do tonight, tomorrow, this weekend? Quit scrolling through event calendars on multiple sites and download Gravy instead. Available on your phone and online, Gravy gives you a comprehensive list of everything happening in your city that day. You can even filter activities by mood, so there’s always something for you to do.
It’s important to stay in constant communication this summer so that you and your friends know exactly what’s going on. You might choose to do so using Kik, an instant messaging app that uses WiFi or your data plan to connect. Unlike WhatsApp, Kik is anonymous (no phone number attached). All you do is create a username and get chatting, which is a bonus in the summer when you’re constantly meeting new people.
If you have an iPhone, you already have Find My Friends on your phone. This app uses GPS technology to track where your friends are at any given moment, making it super useful when you’re trying to meet up. Invite your closest friends and family members (just remember that if you can see them, they can see you, too!).
StaySocial encourages you and your friends to put your phones away while spending time together. Simply create an Event and invite your friends to “play” by locking their phones. If someone unlocks their phone, the other players are notified and the player then faces a Consequence as punishment. This is perfect for when you’re out at dinner with friends and want to focus on good food and good conversation.
Your crew needs something new and exciting to do this summer, and what’s more exhilarating than cruising the coastline on a motorboat or catamaran? GetMyBoat is sort of like Airbnb, but for boats (duh). Search your local marketplace for kayaks, sailboats, yachts, and more, then go in with your friends to rent one for the day.
While we’d love to be spending the day on a boat with our friends, many people go away during the summer. If you still want to keep in touch, consider using Rabbit. Beyond a video chat app, Rabbit lets users watch Netflix and YouTube together, play games, and even sing karaoke. Just because you’re miles apart, doesn’t mean you can’t still be together.
You’re bound to meet new people at all the weddings, backyard BBQs, beach parties, and family reunions this summer. Remembering the names of everyone you meet is not as likely. That’s where Namerick comes into play. The app lets you quickly write down a person’s name and notes about them, as well as input reminders for how and when to follow up. Because who knows? That stranger you met at a last week’s pool party could end up being a lifelong friend.
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a daytime outing or a weekend getaway — getting everyone organized and on the same page can be a nightmare. Mesh simplifies social planning by letting you discuss travel plans, track flight and hotel reservations, and create itineraries all in one place. Attendees can use the app to send money to one another, too, so that you no longer have to chase each other down for gas money.
The brainchild of Foursquare, Swarm aims to turn every day into a game. Users earn points by checking into various locations and can unlock stickers by travelling to places they’ve never been before. You can also compete with your friends to establish yourself as the “Mayor” (aka the person who checks in most often) of your favourite coffee shop or restaurant. This is a fun way to encourage yourself to embark on new adventures and see what your friends have been up to.