In a world where we’d rather send links to interesting articles and random memes to our friends, pester them in our chatboxes, and click the “Like” button on their vacation photos, it’s hard to remember what the old times were like. Even though we still meet up every now and then with friends for coffee or cocktails and catching up on each other’s lives, one thing I do miss is experiencing spontaneous friendships.
I know part of adult friendships is really just exerting small efforts to maintain your high school or college peers, or perhaps revelling in your co-workers’ company for Friday nights. Meeting new friends is almost out of the question. (The only new people we let into our lives are mostly new business affiliates. At least that’s what happens with me.) But I can’t help but wax nostalgic about the times when you would randomly talk to someone, discover that they’re super interesting and that you jive so well, and then exchange contact details. Where are those circumstances now?
I mean, I’m aware that online friendships are not so bad. I see my teenage niece and nephew spend hours on Twitter and I wouldn’t berate them for it. They get the online social life that they need. But I can’t help but ask if they ever wonder about some kind of bonding other than their friends tweeting about their dog or Snapchatting their sandwiches. Do they even go to sneaky house parties nowadays? Kidding. But on a more serious note, I think technology brings people closer together, but it also maintains this distance between people somehow.
That’s why the BeepBeep Nation app is an amazing project to look forward to. Not only does it offer a platform for people to request for the specific kind of help they need — like perhaps sharing a ride or having a tour guide — and then for other people near the area to respond, it does so with an exciting motive in mind. Let’s see what the creators have to say:
[We’re returning] our users to the days when being social means actually meeting up in person and talking to each other face to face, instead of doing it mainly through the screen of a smartphone and hardly ever seeing each other.
[I]n what appears to be a paradox, we’re using cold technology itself to enhance warm human values and human interaction in ways that are far removed from the technology itself.
The people who beep when they need something are called requestors, while the people who provide help are called helpers. BeepBeep nation aims to foster dynamic and spontaneous friendships between requestors and helpers, as everytime a need arises, so does the opportunity to get to know someone new. At the end of the day, not only do you get the help you need or feel good for helping, you just might create new and exciting friendships.
So here’s to prospective requestors: don’t be afraid. Your hands might be full to do a particular thing, so look for an extra hand. It’s actually a sign of maturity to realize you can’t do everything alone. Seek help and if you want, you can give your helper a gratitude tip, you can simply say thanks, or maybe keep in touch. Not only can asking for help make you feel human, it will also show your interest in other humans who can be there for you.
And here’s to prospective helpers: it doesn’t have to be a big effort to help out. Sometimes, you may not even have to go out of your way. Shopping for a requestor’s item at a store you’re going to anyway doesn’t cost any extra time, right? Not only can doing a little kindness make you feel good, you can also inspire the person you’re helping to pay the kindness forward. And what’s a tiny favor in exchange for possibly great, spontaneous friendships?
And of course, while the guarantee of friendship still depends on the people involved, at the very least requestors and helpers could have a random, engaging conversation for the day. What’s not to love about that?
To get started on BeepBeep Nation, find out more about the EMINENT token a.k.a. fuel for the amazing app. Coming soon in selected cities worldwide!