Why Social Tinkering?
At Social Tinkering we think a lot about how our culture and technology are both changing and how those changes effect individuals, communities and our world. We care about the social issues in our community and want to help where we can. We believe that a lot of social issues could be improved upon if more people felt less alone and more supported. In fact, many social scientists have found that as humans, our need to connect is as fundamental as our need for food and water. The ways people interact with each other now is different from in the past, but our human connections remain critical to our health and well-being. Social Tinkering is a new kind of social club, a new way to gather and socialize, for a new kind of world and here is why:
REASON 1: You don't need an invitation - just show up! If you're new, revitalizing your social life, or entering a new phase of your life, or just want to freshen up your social life, you don't have to know someone to be invited along. We are creating a circle that anyone can come and join at any time - where you don't need to know someone to come hang out, where the whole point in going to the event is to meet other people and grow friendships.
REASON 2: Socializing can get expensive at times. What if you can't afford to go out but still would like to meet people and socialize? We are making getting together low-cost, because sometimes you need a friend the most when you're broke! Removing financial barriers to help you find your people is part of our purpose.
REASON 3: Traditionally, people have sought out churches as gathering places. But in today's changing culture, not everyone practices a religious belief. In Vermont, almost 40% of our population is religiously unaffiliated and that number is only growing. So if you're not part of a church community, where do you find community? There are lots of activities around town to participate in, but where can you go to simply hang out and meet people and have great conversation, especially when you don't know anyone already? Can you imagine how awkward it would be to interrupt random people at a coffee shop to introduce yourself?
REASON 4: Over the years our country has become more and more divided. The more we isolate ourselves, the less we understand each other and the less open-minded we are to working together to solve problems in our families, communities, and nationally. We think it would be great if we could try to learn about each other more instead of hiding away. The more you understand where another person is coming from, the more you can support them and they can support you, the more people feel less alone.
And that brings us to our final and possibly most important reason why we are doing this, the reason that ties it all together...
REASON 5: Chronic loneliness. According to a lot of researchers, scientists, the American Psychological Association, and even the World Health Organization, chronic loneliness is a huge issue these days. There is a ton of research being done showing that it leads to lots of physical and mental health issues and even community and nationwide social issues. Chronic loneliness can possibly lead to a range of health issues including depression and anxiety, addiction, stroke, heart problems, and even premature death. All of those mental and physical health issues affect our communities and the world. While social connection cannot fix all of our world's problems, it is known to be one of several solutions for combating chronic loneliness and isolation. Why not help each other out and simply come together to support each other more? For more information on chronic loneliness and the current research check out our LEARN MORE page.
What do we do?
Through social innovation, we break barriers, and we create new ways for people to meaningfully connect.
We offer a wide range of meetups and events that focus purely on creating meaningful social connections that will help you take things to the next level to build lasting friendships and strong support systems for you and your family. We create facilitated social events that make it easy for you to simply show up and have fun and engaging interactions with other people. We facilitate these meetups and events so that you don't show up and feel lost and overwhelmed among a bunch of strangers. We won't lead you around by the hand to meet everyone, but we will direct and run activities designed for each meetup group that encourage positive interactions, discussion and growth.
We create space where you can hang out and socialize, and opportunities where you can solely focus on face-to-face human interactions for the purpose of growing friendship and belonging. Think business networking, but for meeting friends and growing support instead of just networking.
We use our super powers for creating social connections to help remove and manage the barriers that prevent people from coming together. There are many reasons why adults do not or are not able to prioritize their social life, from financial barriers to lack of time and energy and beyond. Don't have $50 to go out? How about $5? Do you have kids but no babysitter? We want to help with that! Need someone to organize your social time because you're tired from work? We're on it!
We organize and collaborate to grow trust, belonging and happiness in our communities. We create and participate in collaboratives to work on community projects that ultimately make our communities thrive.
And this next thing is VERY IMPORTANT TO US:
*Social Tinkering is about more than simply finding friends. We have some expectations and guidelines for respecting diversity so we can offer safe spaces and successful events for everyone.
We believe diversity and equality makes the world a better place, so we make these events as inclusive as possible. To do so, we strive to do the following:
We keep our event and meetup ticket prices as low as we can to reduce financial barriers.
We create unique partnerships with other businesses and organizations who have similar goals.
We invite everyone to participate – all genders, races, creeds are welcome.
AND we have a FEW RULES and EXPECTATIONS to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable:
Be Respectful. Of Everyone. No matter how different they are from you. Every human deserves to be treated as a human being with equal rights. We expect everyone to work hard to keep an open mind and remember that everyone sees the world in their own unique way. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Search for things you have in common - there is always something. If our leaders think you are being disrespectful and our guests don't feel safe, we will ask you to leave.
No weapons or drugs allowed at our events or in our establishment.
No selling stuff at our events. This isn't business networking. If you need that, we'll gladly connect you to those awesome events in our community.