Want to deepen your connection with the Facebook friends you actually know in real life? Writer Lynn Reynolds tells us how she manages this, despite hectic and unpredictable working hours.
Do you remember the moment you realised Facebook was really worth using? I do.
It was 2008, and I was at a party to mark the end of a summer course at London’s Courtauld Institute.
It wasn’t an especially happy occasion. For two glorious weeks I’d had the company of interesting people from every corner of the world, and now my rejuvenated social life was about to end.
But then we remembered Facebook, and we were consoled; even if we couldn’t continue to hang out in person, at least we could check in with one another online.
An everyday technological miracle
This poignant little tale might not mean much to those of you who’ve grown up with Facebook, but to tech-heads of a certain age it’s an everyday miracle.
For me, Facebook isn’t about collecting ‘friends’ who don’t know me from Eve, but about building better connections with my real-world confidantes.
It allows me to keep up with valued people in a sustainable, easy-to-manage way.
Facebook also keeps my social life ticking over when I’m especially busy. Not only do I use the site to play transatlantic Scrabble, sparing my husband the agony of a game he doesn’t care for, I can enjoy the wit and wisdom of others in bite—sized chunks.
It even allows me to see who’s doing what with whom, and where they’re doing it, and when.
This means that even when I’m stuck indoors for days on end, cowering under a looming deadline, Facebook helps me feel a part of things.
Loose Ends – giving your social life a boost
Loose Ends is a new kid on the block in terms of social networking. You’ll love it if, like me, you use Facebook to give your real-world social life a boost. Here’s a high-speed overview.
- Loose Ends is a free, quickly downloadable smartphone app which uses your Facebook friends list to create what’s essentially a virtual noticeboard.
- There, you can post notices announcing your intention to go out and have some fun (these notices are called Loose Ends), and ask your friends to join you.
- Of course you can also see what everyone else is up to, and invite yourself along to any of their Loose Ends as well.
Where Loose Ends promises to be invaluable
But that’s really just the start. The app is quite powerful, allowing you to choose from pre-populated lists of event types, venues and locations. Here are three occasions where it promises to be invaluable:
- To make last-minute arrangements – my unpredictable schedule means I often miss out on planned events, and so miss out on seeing my friends. Loose Ends will help me make good use of any free time which does come up at short notice.
- Meeting up with friends in other countries – I travel a lot for work, and many of my friends live on other continents. Loose Ends looks like an easy way to let them know when I’ll be free to meet up.
- When I’m in the mood for more than a takeaway and an early night – sometimes, even on a Wednesday, a girl just wants an haut-er class of cuisine. Think the likes of Yauatcha vs dumplings from Imperial Garden. That’s when more people equals a better time. If the mood to go out comes upon me while I’m working, I can set up a Loose End in just a few taps, turning my boring hump-day evening into something special.
Your turn to try Loose Ends
If you want to use Facebook to turbo-charge your social life, Loose Ends promises to be an essential smartphone app for you. Get it here if you’re on Android, or here if you have an iPhone. Then sit back and watch your precious free time become much more rewarding.
You’re very welcome.