How Technology Can Help Make Us More Social

How Technology Can Help Make Us More Social
Editors Pick

Matchmaking applications are helping expand our social and business circles by pairing us with like-minded individuals

  • 1 june 2015

Whether for private or professional life, meeting new people, let alone the right people, can sometimes be a trying experience. This can be particularly tricky in the digital space, and though social outlets such as Facebook aim to bring us together, they can sometimes have the opposite effect. What is needed is services that understand user’s individual needs and work to consciously pair them with like-minded people.

In line with this, matchmaking applications are helping expand our social and business circles by pairing us with like-minded individuals who share common interests and needs. These services analyze our personal and work profiles, locations and existing networks to suggest new connections, getting people to meet in the real world. As Jonathan Soto, US Lead of Vingle describes:

Individual’s needs always vary, but until recently, there have been technical limitations to meet those needs.  Recent technology, however, has made this possible.  These innovations will help better contextually meet individuals’ diverse needs.

This idea is part of a larger trend in our Future of Connected Life report, which we are calling Purposeful Pairing. Here are some of our favorite examples of how this trend is manifesting, and how these services are helping people to mindfully connect with people around their shared goals:

2 glassbreakers
A prime example of this is a service that aims to help women in the workplace. Glassbreakers is an online platform that matches women in tech with peer mentors. Potential mentors and mentees sign in with LinkedIn, and Glassbreakers uses an algorithm to match them based on factors like education background, skills and past employers. Once the women receive their matches, they will have the opportunity to accept or reject their potential mentors or mentees. If two people accept each other, they are invited to connect offline.

The goal is to connect professional women with a strong network of mentors who can assist each other in career goals and obstacles.

As Lauren Mosenthal, Founder and CEO of Glassbreakers explains:

Data allows us to match users experiencing similar triumphs and challenges, so users have a support system. By creating a more efficient, connected and supported women’s workforce, we’re creating a stronger workforce for everyone and numerous businesses.

3 roompik

Another example of this trend is helping renters find better roommates. Roompik is a pairing platform for people looking to find long term and short term shared housing. The platform connects possible renters to peers they are most likely to get along with thusly aiming to eliminate bad roommate experiences. Roompik creates the opportunity for apartment hunters to search listings based on number of mutual friends, shared interests, and profession.

By asking the renter to connect their social media platforms to Roompik, the service can tap into what interests, professions, and friends the possible tenant and the advertiser have in common, and suggest roommates that they would get along with. The end goal is to match roommates over shared interests and hopefully make better matches than the usual luck of the draw.

4 doggybnb
Finally, DoggyBnb is a service that helps find trustworthy pet-sitters through users’ social networks. The service has recently expanded to add the “Sniffer” feature which matches dog owners nearby for potential play dates. Users can filter nearby pooch owners by their dog’s weight as well as the owner’s gender and age. The interface invites users to swipe right or left to indicate interest or not. Owners receive a notification if there is mutual interest and can set up a play date from there.

These new services are helping people get ahead by connecting them with relevant friends or mentors, both in their private and professional lives. The result is a new type of ‘social’ network that spans both the physical and digital space. As Nathan Jurgenson, Researcher at Snapchat describes:

We’re coming to terms with there being just one reality and digital is part of it, not any less real or true. What you do online and what you do face-to-face are completely interwoven.

By leveraging a little more insight into who we connect with on a day-to-day basis, we can strive to better challenge ourselves and interact with new and interesting people. This kind of Purposeful Pairing can expand our knowledge and improve our everyday lives.

Future of Connected Life

PSFK Labs is proud to release The Future of Connected Life: Live, Work, Play Better. Download the full report here, view our trend summary on Slideshare and be sure to check back daily for new articles about the latest trends affecting individuals as they strive to live, work, and play better in their connected lives. 

+connected life
+jonathan soto
+lauren mosenthal
+nathan jurgenson
+purposeful pairing

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