I moved house a lot as a kid. By the time I was ten, we had lived in 6 town and I was starting my 4th school. This means I never put down deep roots and formed those childhood friendships that many people do. Don’t get me wrong – I come from a large family so there were always siblings and cousins for company and I was never lonely. And we moved to Luton when I was ten and stayed there for 9 years, so I formed a solid friendship group through high-school and college.
Then the Internet happened. We got our first dial up connection in 1999. I was 15 and really developing my own interest in music (Queen) and movies (Rocky Horror) so I joined first Usenet groups and later online message boards and began to talk with people who also loved these things. Friendships blossomed and suddenly I had far-flung group of mates, some of whom I still count as my closest friends today. And one of whom is now my husband!
As social media came to the fore of online interactions, I joined Twitter with gusto and began to follow new people who said interesting things, were retweeted by friends, or were part of local interest groups. I’ve met dozens of these people in the offline world and its been wonderful. Towards the end of my 20s I had a group of local friends who I could go on nights out with, or to galleries, theatres and films. All the things that are more fun with a friend by your side. Then I went and ruined it all by moving 400 miles away from most of these wonderful friends. Sure I had my sister and husband nearby, but I needed to start all over again in a new city. And making firm friendships anew in my 30s isn’t coming naturally to me.
Enter Huggle. This is a new social app to help you find people who hang out in the same places as you. As sociologist Dr Alex Huges praises:
“From the very first moment of meeting someone, how similar you are to that person plays a huge role in future interactions. Whether it’s romantic relationships or friendships, people are naturally attracted to similarity rather than appearance. Therefore sourcing a relationship based on appearance is not credible when looking for a long-term partnership. Individuals need to have shared interests, attitudes and values, for any relationship to work.”