In late August of 2014, a friend and world traveler, Christina Canters, spent a week with me while she visited Texas for a couple of conferences.
As an introvert (INTJ), I was fascinated by some of the resources Christina leverages while she travels. Needless to say. I learned a lot from Christina while she was here. One gem in particular was the social site Meetup.com.
Meetup.com is a free website that truly puts the “social” back into ‘social networking’. You simply access the site and create a free profile. While creating your profile, you can list a number of personal and professional interests and the site will attempt to list meetup groups in your area that line up with your interests.
You can choose to join as many groups as you like. Most groups I joined are free, though there are several groups that have optional or required member fees which can vary in cost and recurrence.
The member fees make sense since the person(s) who created and maintain a group generally have to pay up to $20/mo to keep the group active on the site.
Some groups are very active and schedule in-person meetups fairly regularly, while some groups schedule events less often. The great thing about it is that you are not required to go to every meetup. You can RSVP to the events that work best for you and your schedule.
I found 5 groups that piqued my interest immediately after joining the site, including a group for introverts!
So far, I’ve been to about 5 meetups and have enjoyed all of them. I’ve met some great people and really appreciate the fact that I’ve been able to take my nonexistent social life from zero to hero in no time! This gives me a great opportunity to work on overcoming some of my social anxieties and awkwardness as an introvert in a safe and relaxed setting.
If you’re finding that your social life is in need of a boost, I strongly encourage you to give Meetup.com a try!
Let me know what your experience is like or if you have alternate suggestions for REAL social networking sites. Post your comments below!