Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Let's put the social back in social media

I write a guest blog, Hey Neighbor, for Dwell Denver Real Estate once a month. This is July's post.


Hey Neighbor,

So I like Facebook as much as the next person. And it's fun to check in on my "friends." But what I really seem to be missing out on right now is checking in with my FRIENDS. The real people. The ones who live across town that I still only see at a yearly barbecue and the occasional big event, like weddings and reunions. The ones I used to grab coffee with daily when we worked in the same office. The pals who can just share a look with you in a crowded room and you know exactly what they are talking about.

In the spirit of being truly social - with eye contact, and body language, and the sharing of food and drink - I am challenging myself (and you) to use Facebook to create a real life happening instead of relying on a virtual "like" or "share" to feel connected. I'll even offer up party ideas. Now all we have to do is create an event and invite our "friends" to become our real life FRIENDS once again. Super easy, no collecting of emails or addresses, just a few clicks of the mouse. 

(No shame if you don't know how to create a Facebook event. Follow the guide here.)

10 Ideas for Facebook Events with Friends
(How you doin'?)
  1. screen_shot_2013-07-18_at_8.12.54_am_400_01
    Alumni Happy Hour. Organize a Happy Hour with friends you know from a particular time or place. It's a great way to see a bunch of buddies in one swoop and everyone has something in common. (Jonesy'sVita, and Billy's Inn all have worthy happy hour specials.)
  2. Playdate. This is a no-brainer, and a great way to introduce friends who have kids. Dave and Buster's is a fun, easy option for dads hanging out with older kids on a too-hot summer day, while the Denver Zoo is always a hit with moms and kids of all ages. (FYI - the snack bar by the bears serves alcohol...!)
  3. Pinterest Party. Admit it, Facebook and Pinterest are the two biggest Internet time sucks of your day. Why not combine them and have a night with the ladies? Guests would bring a drink or dish they found on Pinterest (like this! or this! orthese!) and the host would pick a Pinterest DIY project and provide the supplies. 
  4. Denver Dive Bar Crawl. How about a once-a-month get together with friends that rotates between Denver's best neighborhood locals? With friends spread out across the city, you could take turns picking the date and place. Just make sure you assign the next host before parting ways! I'll even get you started: Berkeley has relied on Patrick Carroll's since before the neighborhood was trendy, Virginia Village / South Cherry Creek boasts a laid back brew-pub with The Bull and Bush, and Lodo is graced with the very un-Lodo-ish Herb's Hideout
  5. Old-timey Canning Party. Get your late summer canned goods on! Hit up great produce deals of the week at organic produce suppliers like Sprouts, your local Farmer's Market, or a Pick Your Own farm. Then head to the friend's house with the biggest kitchen, crank up some music, and follow the easy instructions on your box of pectin. Need a preview of the process? Check out my solo Strawberry Freezer Jam endeavor. Next time, I'm adding company!
  6. Brunch. There's a reason that it's so common it's cliche - who doesn't love brunch?! Head to an eatery with bottomless mimosas, bellinis, or bloody marys to get the conversation flowing - Breakfast on BroadwayPanzano, or Maddie'sperhaps?
  7. 14-ers Club. Start with the easy ones, and work your way up. Make a goal of once a month and you'll have a reason to get together with friends for years! And your Facebook photos will improve dramatically.
  8. Matchmaker, matchmaker. Ever think that certain friends would hit it off, either romantically or as friendlies, if only they knew each other? What's holding you back? Select a few like-minded friends and meet up at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Botanic Gardens, or Canvas and Cocktails. It will give you something to do, but still offer plenty of opportunities for finding out all that you have in common.
  9. Friends with Friends Lunch. Sometimes I am surprised by the "friends" that certain Facebook friends and I share. This is a great excuse for an intimate gathering with a few pals. Who knows what kind of fun things you'll learn about the people you thought you knew! Some easy and delicious lunch suggestions: Sushi SasaMarcos Coal-Fired Pizza, or Hi*Rise.   
  10. Six Degrees Get Together. This one has infinite possibilites! Using Facebook as a tool to make new friends in real life, start an event at an easy gathering place, like a picnic in Wash Park, and invite 6 friends...who then should invite six more friends...who each invite six more friends...and keep it going until you've reached six levels. Make sure there is plenty of food and booze to share, and try to find the common person that eventually links you to each new friend you meet! 
Who's with me? Or did you need to get back to FarmVille?

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