What’s your “social status” and what does it say about you?

Are you letting machines take over your life? Find out what to do about it

Many of you will seen (or perhaps heard) the famous Einstein quote on technology.

manchester events social circle einstein quote
As the genius’s prediction has proven to be fairly accurate thus far, it may appear all doom and gloom for the future of Manchester socialising. But is there hope? Hmmm…maybe!

The irony is that you probably saw that very quote it on your Facebook timeline, whilst browsing on your mobile phone, ignoring your friends in the same room, whilst they were sat next to you doing the exact same thing. 

Einstein’s “Idiots” comment may seem harsh but then who am I to tell Einstein who is or isn’t a idiot? Whilst I’ve never handed out IQ tests in that scenario, I have certainly observed its lack of social interaction.

manchester events social circle people mobile phones
David Wendler, authour of Improve Your Social Skills, said:

“I think social media has made us more connected, but made the connection more superficial. Facebook allows you to stay updated on the lives of your childhood friends or your neighbors from years past, but there’s a difference between being updated and being intimate. Instead of spending time making real-world connections, people spend their time on social media, and that leads to them feeling less connected overall.”

Of course, it isn’t just our social lives that have been dominated by technology. Many aspects of our daily routine have fallen foul to the machine.

Even exercise has been given an easy route thanks to the Wii. Now we can even play tennis without leaving home (15-love to technology). Video games is another example.

Think back to those occasions when we played board games with family and friends, and dare I say it, even visited outside once in a while.

But now video games rule, where we often spend time interacting with people whom we never see (except, of course, if we add them as a “friend” on Facebook, in which case, we at least get to see their face).

Does our social life in Manchester now consist of taking a selfie on the way home and posting it online so your other Manchester friends can comment on it? manchester events social-circle-leading social networks.png
Did you just embarrass yourself online?

It could be argued that social media makes life easier in that you can get by on minimal effort. And in some ways, that’s true: you don’t need to bother putting on your new dress for a night of socialising in Manchester. Instead, you can simply opt for pyjamas and ice-cream.

However, it isn’t as relaxing as all that. Studies have shown that we get anxious as to how we present ourselves through social media.

  • “Will they think I’m weird if I post this?”
  • “Oh no, I’d better delete that comment on Sarah’s photo, she may take it the wrong way”.
  • “I want to show off my bikini body to my friends but what will my boss think?”

And then, of course, there is the dreaded ‘seen’ tick, which indicates then your message has been read. It’s only dreaded, of course, when that person hasn’t replied immediately. And I do mean immediately. If they haven’t replied within seconds, is it that we have typed something utterly ridiculous? “Oh no, what if they don’t reply?”.

At least in the days of old-style mobile phones, when you were waiting for someone to reply to your text, you could convince yourself that your message had not yet been read.

And what about those who we have sent a friend request to ? Anxiety over who’s following you back leads to awkwardness when you meet them face-to-face again.

manchester events social circle crying
Of course, in some cases, it may be that we decide we don’t like someone else. We sometimes find ourselves shocked at our friend’s political, or even sporting, alliances, and are at that point, somewhat less inclined to want to socialise with them. Whereas, in an actual conversation, perhaps we would take the time to listen to them and better understand their view.

When exactly did our social lives get sucked into cyberspace?

Remember Friends United? How about MySpace? Well Facebook arrived in 2004, combined the strengths of those two platforms and has dominated as the no.1 social network ever since.

Twitter made its debut in 2006 for those with short-attention spans and Instagram took the concept of the “selfie” to a whole new level.

With FourSquare, Snapchat and countless other social media phenomenons seeming to be cropping up all of the time, the opportunity to socialise online is greater than it has ever been.

 manchester socialising social media timeline
Slaves to media

What is the difference between your Manchester social life and social media? It’s media, of course. Doh! And media has been ruling our attention long before Facebook.

We live in a media-driven world. Think about it? What do you talk about with your friends? Corrie? Eastenders? The latest revelation from the Daily Mail? And now, it seems, reality TV has taken over much of our media consumption.

Facebook meal for one

“Our society today is not moving around anymore.  We live in a box life – box breakfast, box car, box office, box lunch, box music, type and message in a box and then finally go home to your box house and watch the box TV.” Tony Robbins

Think back to the moments in your life that you treasure the most. Are those with friends and family or are they at home updating your Facebook status? Think of family holidays or weekends away with friends, all those Friday and Saturday nights.

Now think about that night you spent in with your mobile phone and a microwave meal for one. Sure, it was easy. But it’s probably a night you will forget in a hurry.

What do we have to talk about any more at work on Monday morning? You know what David had for dinner and you have seen all of Rachel’s holiday snaps. And it isn’t as if you can talk about them because you already did that when you commented on them on Facebook.

I guess you have nothing else to talk about until when you get home that evening and see their latest updates.

A 2013 study published by the Public Library of Science, conducted by Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan and Philippe Verduyn of Leuven University in Belgium, revealed that the more time someone spends on Facebook, the less satisfaction he has with life.

An article from The Economist discussed the findings:

“Those who used Facebook a lot were more likely to report a decline in satisfaction than those who visited the site infrequently. In contrast, there was a positive association between the amount of direct social contact a volunteer had and how positive he felt. In other words, the more volunteers socialised in the real world, the more positive they reported feeling the next time they filled in the questionnaire.” 

A separate study conducted by strategic insight agency Opinium revealed that one in fine people said that they felt depressed when seeing their friends’ lives on social media.

The alarming statistic equates to an 6.9mn people  constantly comparing themselves to their friends’ posts and presenting their own lives through frequent updates.


How does social media affect your social skills?

If, as the study showed proved, your mood is adversely affected by an overdose of social media, it’s hard to be at your best socially.

As a socially awkward generation, it may then be time to think about updating our social skills, rather than our social status.

Stephen Sutherland, founder of Manchester’s social and adventure network, Social Circle, has seen how the advent of social media has affected socialising in Manchester and has vowed to ensure that we don’t lose grip on a social reality altogether.

“It’s harder than it once was to reach out to people as more and more have opted for a lifestyle of TV and Facebook. I repeatedly push the message that we only have one life and we need to live it to the full and I will keep on pushing that message as long as Social Circle exists.”

It’s not all bad, however, as Social Circle has an increasing membership base, with more and more people looking to inject some zest into their social life; a possible sign of a backlash to an online world.

David Wendler, who also runs improveyoursocialskills.com

“I think we’re already seeing a movement of people wanting to experience more in-person connections and distance themselves from social media. I’ve read about “unplugging” camps where people pay money to live in a cabin for a few days without any access to digital devices, or social events where people are required to leave their phones behind. It’s still in the early stages, but as people become more and more aware of some of the downsides of the digital age, they’ll discover new ways of reconnecting with each other.”

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So, is social media all bad?

The next time you meet someone and they and say ‘Find me on Facebook’, why not ask for their number instead? Go on, I dare you!

It’s a useful tool. It’s a great way to reconnect with old friends. It’s an easy way to create events and arrange get-togethers. And it’s far easier to keep in touch with friends and family the other side of the world. Rewind about 20 years and the choice was either to send a message by the painfully slow snail mail or commit your life savings to British Telecom.

But like any technology, it makes us lazy. And when it comes to less socialising, that presents a real danger.

Wendler added:

“I think people need offline opportunities to connect with each other. There’s no substitute for face-to-face time with another human being. But we need to go beyond just bringing people together. In chemistry, there’s this idea of a catalyst, which is a substance that facilitates a chemical reaction. We need to find the catalysts that facilitate human connection — look for the experiences or activities that bring people together, and invite people into them. In other words, we need to ask “Can we discover (or rediscover) the activities that bring people together, or the experiences that connect people when they are shared?” The more we discover and spread connection catalysts, the more we will be able to combat the superficiality of social media and truly bring people closer together.”

If you like your socialising in Manchester to be more about meeting people than poking them (do people even do that any more?), Social Circle afford you that opportunity with its 150+ events per month.

Whether you are introverted and need some gentle encouragement, or you just can’t get enough of meeting new people, give Social Circle a try.

Some great ideas on how to make new Manchester friends

If you’re struggling to make new Manchester friends, the gentleman in the video shares some useful tips. Of course, he doesn’t facilitate a way for you to meet people but there are a few interesting points, nevertheless.

To summarise, he advises:

1. Spend time around people – if you isolate yourself, you can’t make new friends. Be social like going to a sporting event, visiting a coffee shop, go to a bar.
2. Join a club, group, or organization – you’ll meet like-minded people
3. Volunteer – do something good for the community while building a bond and camaraderie with those around you
4. Start conversations – talk to everybody! Sometimes the conversations will stick, thus a friendship is started.
5. Small talk – Small Talk Skills
6. Reintroduce yourself at the end of a conversation – get that name to stick!
7. Accept every invitation
8. Ask other people to do things – push yourself outside of your comfort zone and ask others to do things like lunch, coffee, drink, see a concert
9. Keep your friend – be a good friend by listening, being loyal, being trustworthy, being reliable, being yourself

All good ideas. But starting a conversation and stepping outside of your comfort zone are great if you have opportunities around you that enable you to that. No. 2 is great because it enables you to meet numerous people. But specialist groups tend to be very small and not everyone is there to meet people but just to enjoy a certain activity. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re limited to the friends you can make because the activity you’re involved in involves only a few people.

At Social Circle, we feature over 150 opportunities each and every month for you to step out of your comfort zone and start conversations with people you have never met before. And every single person who attends an event with us is doing so with the intention of meeting new people. Click here to try an event with us for free and start meeting some new Manchester friends today.

free event in manchester

Adding a splash of gin to Manchester events

manchester-events-gin-tasting
The technical explanation of gin is a spirit flavoured with juniper. However, don’t let that simplicity fool you. Among the best-loved and more complex drinks, with a timeline that covers hundreds of years, gin goes right back to the birth of distillation. It also makes for a great addition to Manchester events. In fact, come to think of it, it’s just the kind of event we’re offering in August. You’ll have to read until the end of this blog post to find out more 😉

So while only true lovers will find the history of gin even remotely interesting, the important thing to take into consideration is that it is very definitely a great choice for a social occasion. There’s nothing like a get together with like-minded gin enthusiasts (or people who just like the taste of alcohol) enjoying gin in all it’s various guises.

Picture this: It’s 1920’s New York and prohibition has taken over the city. But WAIT….! Whispers can be heard down a dark alley. Hiding inside a long closed building is a joint that only a select few know about. You hear a dark, husky voice from the shadows: “Can you tell me the password?”.

Social Circle is offering limited FREE places to a £15 valued Gin Tasting event hosted by Portobello Road Gin at The Pen and Pencil. You will be greeted with a complimentary glass upon arrival and various tasters and cocktails will be available on the night. So if you feel like adding something stronger to your Manchester events, this may just be the perfect occasion 🙂

 

Manchester socialising just got Hot! Hot! Hot!

manchester-socialising-bbq
How have you been during the hottest few days of the year? As Brits, we may be used to complaining about how our heat is stickier and clammier than our European counterparts. But those hot summer nights can also make for some fantastic Manchester socialising.

This week, we’ve enjoyed weather hotter than Barcelona and Hawaii. Granted, we don’t have the sea and sand of Spain and Honolulu, especially in the North, but at least we’re enjoying some sun at long last.

So how do you take advantage of the sun? Visiting the pub on a weekend afternoon is certainly more enjoyable. As is walking in the Peak District or the Lakes. Certainly, pub nights tend to start earlier and have a different vibe, especially in an area like Castlefield, with bars that are made for sitting outside.

The sun also tends to puts us in a better mood, and more open to socialising. So if you want to get out there and meet new people, now is the time.

There are some great summer events coming up at Social Circle while the sun is still hopefully) beaming down on us. We’re really looking forward to the Summer Monster Party & BBQ. Last year, we saw 130 join us for some summer fun, and we’re hoping for at least that turn-out this year. We’ll be having all of the food you can eat, a free glass of Pimms, karaoke, DJ, a magician, and even an ice-cream van. So be sure to join us for some fantastic Manchester socialising at this year’s BBQ Party. The perfect summer event! 🙂

 

Ohhh Vienna…a truly cultural Manchester group holiday

manchester group holiday sviennaVienna is a city that is difficult to beat for culture. So if you’re looking for a Manchester group holiday that is as cultural as it is fun and social, you just may have landed on the perfect city.

Walking in Vienna makes you feel like you’re taking part in a fairy tale, as a you gaze upon the horse and carriage trotting past you. A background of Baroque architecture and imperial history, with Strauss and Mozart providing the soundtrack, is a truly amazing experience; and one that you can only have in Vienna.

However, Vienna isn’t all about history. There’s also much to appreciate in the present. Modernist art and Art Nouveau adds a more modern touch to the city, without losing the emphasis on culture.

Vienna’s culture, however, isn’t limited to art. The city has been know for its café culture, namely coffee and cakes, for centuries. To live like the locals, finding one of the local favourite cafes and tasting Viennese coffee and cake is a must. While those that reside her may grab a coffee on the way to work, it is far more pleasant to enjoy it socially. Coffee Pirates, Demel, and Cafe Museum are among the local favourites.

MuseumsQuarter is a Viennese institution and one that any visitor should not miss. It is among the world’s largest cultural sites and is home to century old art, modern pieces, and everything in between. Highlights include the Leopold Museum, which houses numerous famous pieces of Austrian art, and MUMOK, one of the city’s more well-known contemporary and mdoern art museums.

If you would like to explore Europe’s true capital of culture, and meet some like-minded people at the same time, join us this October for a 4-day trip to Vienna. Click here for more details.

Do you have a strategy for your Manchester social life?

manchester social life‘Strategy’, like sales, marketing etc. is one of those buzzwords that we associate with business. But when you think about it, businesses are a lot like people. We need to grow and learn from our mistakes, promote ourselves by how we look and through our interactions, and sell our ideas to people. Even if you’ve convincing your best friend to go to a specific bar at the weekend, you’re selling them on the idea of going to that specific bar. But what we sometimes forget is our overall strategy to be successful in life. The fact is that every area of our life needs a strategy. And our social life is no exception. So what is your strategy for your Manchester social life?

Firstly, look at your circle of friends and ask yourself how many you see on a regular basis? Do you see, and enjoy social nights and activities, with them frequently? Or do you see them less often because they have moved on, either literally moved to a new city, or have entered a relationship and just don’t have the free time that they used to? So your social circle is very much at the heart of your social strategy. And if you don’t have friends to socialise with regularly, you need to fix that.

The other key part of your social strategy is your social calendar. Are you really spending your evenings and weekends enjoying the activities that you would really like to do? If not, it may just be that your current circle of friends don’t enjoy those activities. But socialising isn’t fun unless you’re doing what you enjoy with friends you love. So what’s the solution?

Social Circle is for those who wish to meet new people on activities they enjoy. For the past 8 years, we have mastered the art of social introductions and have seen countless friendships develop. Try a free event on us to see how Social Circle can enhance your social strategy.

free event socialising manchester

Manchester weekends away peak with stunning Snowdonia

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Valleys, woodlands, lakes, and mountains…these are the images that Snowdonia brings to mind. However, this North Wales gem has far more to entice its many visitors, which is why it remains one of the most popular Manchester weekends away with Mancunians. The stunning surroundings show off the area’s rich history in its slate quarries, castles, churches, Roman forts, and Stone Age burial chambers.

Among Wale’s most beautiful and dramatic valleys is Nant Gwynant. The slopes in the North rise right to the top of the highest mountain, Snowdon. The undisturbed Moel y Dyniewyd hills lie to the south.

The Afon Glaslyn river runs through two majestic lakes, Llyn Gwynant and Llyn Dinas, and below the picturesque village of Beddgelert, it tumbles down to sea-level through the positively . The 200 acre Craflwyn estate is set in the heart of beautiful Snowdonia.

Two lakes, Llyn Dinas and Llyn Gwynan feature two majestic lakes running right through then. Below the scenic Beddgelert village, it reaches sea level through the Alpine Aberglaslyn Pass. The Craflwyn estate, covering 200 acres, is situated right in the heart of Snowdonia.

One of Snowdonia’s most favoured areas is Betws-y-Coed.  Situated in, Conwy Valley, the village is ideal for seeing the sights around central Snowdonia National Park. The town was poularised in the 19th Century when the railway was introduced and a number of English artists began to visit here regularly.

If you would like to explore some of these sights personally on one of the more popular Manchester weekends away, and Betws-y-Coed in particular, we have one place left for the upcoming Snowdonia sightseeing weekend. Click here for full details and to secure that one remaining place.

Brexit on Ice- So What Now, Manchester Friends?

Well, it’s been quite a week, Manchester friends. Britain headed for the exit door with a 51.9% Leave vote. And manchester friends british flagEngland were knocked out cold by a team called Iceland (personally, I don’t think they would have even stood a chance against Kwik Save with that performance).

But what about us up here in Manchester?

Well, right now we’re living in the aftermath of two very different but very national events. One we’re used to (at least this time we didn’t have to sit through yet another penalty shoot-out). But the other is more of an unknown quantity. And it is likely to be years before we are really able to assess the full impact of Brexit.

How about instead of all-out panic by those who were hoping for a different outcome, or “I told you so’s” but those who got their wish, we stand together in the face of it all.

The solution to any kind of despair is almost always looking to the support of the person next to you. Those who we know have a powerful influence on how we think and feel and it is important that we have the right people in our lives: those who know us well and are compatible with our tastes and personalities.

When we are limited to spending time with a dwindling social circle, opportunities to enjoy life begin to close and we suddenly being to act and sound like someone we never really wanted to be.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn

At Social Circle, we make it our business to introduce our members to like-minded people: those with whom they can enjoy life, share experiences, and create some wonderful memories.

We would like to extend to you the chance to try out Social Circle at no cost so you can find out for yourself, the benefits of being part of something bigger. Click here to try a free event today.

manchester friends free event

Manchester Day- A Manchester Event To Remember!

There’s a lot to love about Manchester.  And now we have an annual Manchester event that seems to manchester event- manchester dayimprove each year, getting more raucous, more entertaining, and simply put: more Mancunian.

The 2016 Manchester Day came to a close last Sunday night with firing rockets (from the town hall roof, nonetheless) and thundering percussion in Albert Square’s grand finale.

Not to be deterred by the rain, the show gave an appropriate send off to the day-long, celebrations. The theme this year was Eureka, which was a nice tie-in with the city’s 2016 European City of Science status.

Earlier in the day, Mancunians and otherwise celebrated in the thousands as they witnessed the larger than life parade that twisted and turned between Liverpool Street and Exchange Street under grey, albeit dry, skies.

Albot, the official mascot for the event, led the way as over 2,000 performers, as well as dozens of dazzling floats, entertained the masses. The journey came to an end by a replica of Manchester Museum’s own T-Tex, Stab.

Although the day was a rip-roaring success, that doesn’t mean that our celebration of Manchester should stop there. Ours is a city worth celebrating all year round. With new venues opening up all the time, giving us increasing opportunities to socialise and meet new people, there is always a reason to be thankful for being a Mancunian (original or adopted).

If you like meeting new people, why not try a free Manchester event with Social Circle. Whether you enjoy going out on a weekend to visit one of the many bars and restaurants in the city centre, fancy a night at the movies, or prefer to do something outdoors, such as a countryside walk on a Sunday afternoon, there is always an opportunity to get out there and enjoy Manchester and its surrounding areas.manchester event- manchester day

 

 

A New Manc’s Guide to Manchester- Events, Venues, and More

manchester events guide
Manchester maybe known for being a sporting hub, thanks to the global popularity of Manchester United and the rising prominence of its blue counterpart. However, it is also one of the largest cities in the UK; second in terms of population, in fact. So when you are new to such a thriving city, how do you navigate without getting lost and what can you expect from your new home? Here are a few handy notes on Manchester events, venues, and more.

  1. You will soon consider it homeIt’s hard to live in Manchester without it’s very core sinking deep into your bones. One day, sooner than you think, you will leave town for a day and find that you long to go back home to good ol’ Manchester. The music, the nightlife, the people…all of those things you may have initially found daunting, will pull you right on in.
  2. Meeting people is easy. And they’re some of the friendliest people you will want to meet.While Manchester is a large city and a cultural hotbed, it isn’t so full of itself that you will get lost in the hype. The people here are warm and friendly and will make you feel right at home.
  3. You can learn to make your way around central Manchester in no time at allMaking your way from one area in the city centre to the next is a breeze and there is always something to see. From the trendy and eclectic Norther Quarter to the shopping beacon of the Arndale Centre and the upmarket King Street to the commercial and restaurant hub Spinningfields, you will know where you are going in no time. Along the way, you will see quirky shops, as well as the more common chains for the commercially minded, independent and chain bars and restaurants, and maybe even a celebrity or two.
  4. You will be proud of being a Manc As an adopted citizen of Manchester, you will begin to feel  a healthy hatred of anyone who dares to say a bad word against your new, beloved city. That is especially the case if they’re from Down South. Not to confuse you, there is also a thriving cosmopolitan scene. Such as is the brilliance of the city, they too tend to become proper Mancs, sooner or later.

  5. It rivals London as the UK’s media hub. Since the BBC moved here properly and we now not only have the likes of Coronation Street and Jeremy Kyle being filmed here regularly, shows such as The Voice often make their way down from the capital to allow fans to be studio guests for the day.

For those of you have recently moved to the city, click here to download our free guide on making the most out of this fab city.