Wander/Gather provides Austin with a better way to connect
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer an easy way to connect with others. Check in on friends and see what friends of friends are up to all from the comfort of your couch. The promise of staying in touch and making more “friends” seems great, but it’s taking a toll on our IRL relationships.
Science Says Put Down the Screen
More than two-thirds of US adults are on social media platforms and use it to connect, but many studies have found that it has a negative impact on our ability to develop meaningful relationships and engage in genuine conversation. Sherry Turkle, Founding Director of MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, aptly points out that social media “give[s] us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.”
And that’s just it. The illusion of companionship. Social media doesn’t actually give you real companionship. Companionship requires real-life companions; however, simply being surrounded by others doesn’t necessarily cultivate genuine connections. Rather than keeping our eyes glued to our screens and constantly taking share-worthy photographs to share with the world, we should be engaging with those around us. No screens. Nowhere other than in the moment, enjoying the present and our present company.
Regular face-to-face communication cuts the risk of depression in adults by half. Humans’ need for connection with others is as strong as our needs for food, water and shelter. It’s no wonder that being around other people makes us healthier and happier. Whether it’s bonding over an awkward moment or getting to see non-verbal cues, in-person communication is far better than any digital substitute.
Austin-born Wander/Gather, a company that creates members-only experiences that lead to meaningful connections, was built with the goal of encouraging more face-to-face interaction. Imagine attending an event created by someone who knows that being able to look someone in the eye helps you absorb emotional information and respond. The magic of being in the right place at the right time goes a long way when you’re trying to build new relationships.
Members can choose to attend events where they are encouraged to be tech-free and engage with the people around them. Only after members have met at an event are they able to engage with one another digitally through the W/G platform. Prioritizing face-to-face meetings and real interactions help people forge authentic connections.
Wander/Gather caters to a crowd that values meeting people through shared experiences. For only $14.99 per month, members get the opportunity to attend these events and actually meet people with similar goals and interests, instead of making a snap judgment through a dating app or site. All the events are designed to be fun, so even if you don’t make a new best friend, you’re guaranteed to have a great time. Undoubtedly, it beats spending a few hours double tapping images you like on Insta.
Get To Know People IRL
Cultivating friendship, dating and networking opportunities on your phone isn’t as beneficial as the ones you build in real life. While social media and other digital means of connecting can add ease and convenience in your life, don’t underestimate the importance of meeting people the old fashioned way.