Smartphone dating applications have become the new norm when it comes to meeting new people. While you can still walk up to strangers at a coffee shop or bar and get to know them in person, that particular form of spontaneity has gone by the wayside thanks to apps like Tinder and Grindr. I mean, why should you actually talk to someone when you can left- or right-swipe their profiles to see if they’re interested? Being rejected via social media applications is so much less traumatizing than in person, right? I’m not sold either way, but a new app wants you to get real about meeting new people.
GetReal is a recently launched iOS app that wants users to spend less time messaging through apps and more time in each others’ company. Similar to Tinder, it’s a location-based networking app that connects you to the people in your vicinity. However, there is no in-app interaction and pre-meeting conversation other than the request to meet.
Here’s how it works: When you open the app, it shows you everyone on GetReal in your surrounding area. After checking out the various user profiles consisting of one photo and a short status, you can send a meeting request through a pin-drop map feature to pinpoint the location and have the option of adding a short message. The requested person has half an hour to accept, decline, or defer your invite. Then you meet them in person and start a conversation that way. All communication on the app is limited to the meet up requests; there is no chat or messaging function.
If you’re a little iffy about meeting a stranger, GetReal allows users to link their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles to the app so you can see if you have any mutual connections. The app also keeps track of how many people you’ve invited to meet, how many people are available in your location, and any people you have muted, which we’re assuming is a way to block people.
GetReal isn’t limited to screening potential dates; the main goal is just to help people meet in person. Whether you’re networking, in a new city, want to meet people in your neighborhood or while traveling, want to expand your circle of friends, etc., GetReal wants to help users meet up in person. A group of 200 beta testers in San Francisco and New York tech industries found the app can be used for anything; they have been using the app for everything from recruiting to tech talks to growing their networks.
The app creator, Arnaud Meunier thinks the recent inflation of apps and social media sites like Tinder, Facebook, and Twitter, and our reliance on virtual conversations (messaging, texting, & emails) are destroying our ability to communicate. We don’t talk anymore. GetReal wants to bring a little more serendipity and spontaneity back in our lives instead of prescreening everyone we meet through profiles, statuses, and photos.
GetReal isn’t the first app of it’s kind to be making waves in the virtual connection pool. A U.K. dating app, rendeevoo (Ha. Rendezvous. We see what you did there, you clever Brits, you) has a similar platform, except it’s specifically for dating purposes. Neither app attempts to match users based on personalities, interests, or the like; they provide you with a list of people available in your area and it’s up to you to go from there.
We at Always Current appreciate apps like Tinder, for the sole purpose of accounts like Tinder Nightmares, and we see the potential for GetReal and rendeevoo parody accounts to share hilariously awkward meet-ups gone wrong. So whether you’re a fan of app-connections or not, the inevitable post-meet-up stories are bound to be entertaining. But please, GetReal responsibly.