If you asked my husband, he would say that I’m a bit of a social butterfly. I relish being in the company of others and love nothing more than that warm, glowy feeling you get after a right good catch up with a close friend. My problem is that, for the majority of my life, I have never lived in the same area for more than four(ish) years. It can be really hard to start from scratch, friend wise, and you often find yourself wondering where to find likeminded people.
When you are younger it’s a case of ‘do you like such and such’, ‘yes?’, ‘ok, let’s be friends!’, but as you get older you can put up guards, based on negative experiences, and start to build defences which include who you choose to let into your life.
I was approached by the lovely people at Huggle, who have developed a new platonic social app that aims to connect parents (and non parents) through the places that they visit. It could be your gym, your child’s playgroup, a favourite restaurant, a local park or anywhere of interest really!
It could even be a case of meeting someone who dog walks around the same area as you!
Huggle felt that places in common, rather than what people look like, were a great ice breaker, which I would completely agree with. I find it easy to chat away about favourite places I have in common with a new person I’ve met – it’s a good, neutral, common ground for a conversation.
Huggle is free to download and you can log in through your Facebook account – nice and simple! The app then checks you in, through a clever hyper-local technology, which prevents fake check ins.
But what about safety and security? On Huggle you can only connect with people who have places in common with you and no random people can view a list of places you’ve been, so you are in full control of who you choose to connect with.
This app is great for parents for many reasons but the main one that sticks out for me is that it is a modern, easy way to combat the loneliness which sometimes comes hand in hand with becoming a new parent. Old friends might not have children, which obviously doesn’t mean you can’t be friends anymore, but it can mean that it’s harder to stay in touch or keep up with each other. Using Huggle can lead you to new friends who are at the same stage of life as you and can help you navigate the minefield that is parenting!
Huggle say they have had lots of contact from new parents who have had experiences like the one below:
“I know friends and family were trying to give me space to adjust to motherhood, but what I really needed was someone to talk to or hang out with so I could feel like myself again. I felt forgotten and left out.”
I’m sure this is a really common experience for a lot of new mums, especially when there is a choice to give up work thrown into the mix. The adjustment from socialising in a work environment to being at home with your little ones can be hard. I struggled when I was first on maternity leave with my first child, because I’d just moved to the area. I would have loved to have had an app like Huggle back then.
I do now work full time in an office, and I do get a lot of social interaction there, but I’m always on the lookout for new friends. After all, strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet!
You can download the Huggle app from the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store and you can find out more about Huggle here.