Do we need a scheduling app to make time for our closest friends?

Whether you’re the friend who answers their messages embarrassingly fast or the one who takes a minimum of three working days, it might come as a surprise to think people are considering a scheduling app to make time for their closest pals. Young or old, our schedules can get pretty hectic and fast – our lives are becoming planned further in advance without us even realising and the fact of the matter is, life seems to become busier by the day. Sometimes a spontaneous meetup is sadly just a bit out of reach, so how can we combat over-planning our lives before we step back and realise, wait where do my friends fit into this?

The struggle of a WhatsApp group chat trying to find a date in which every single member is free is borderline impossible and honestly more tiring that its worth. So, is the concept of using a poll to pick a date in which to meet actually on to something revolutionary? I honestly laughed when I read about the new initiative to use ‘Doodle Poll’ to make plans with friends, my first thought being ‘this is what my personal tutor uses to find time to see me, and now, my friends want to use it too?’ If you don’t know about Doodle Poll’s, they essentially allow everyone to post their availability and the app calculates the best date for you and your friends to meet. This way, there’s less room for the flakier of friends to say, “oh I didn’t realise but I’m actually busy that day!”.

I guess the question here is: is an app really necessary? Short answer: well probably, to a certain extent, yes. In reality, we’re all victim to not dedicating enough time to catching up with our pals. Our friends tend to become a late addition in our to-do lists and so the time we do pencil in to see them is normally so brief that there’s only enough time for a short synopsis of our lives over the last ‘however-long’ it may have been since you last saw them. An article on the Huffington Post put it perfectly in saying, “when you can get beyond the round robin life updates to actually connect and be, y’know, friends”, that’s when all the good stuff really happens. Using a Doodle Poll may seem a bit stiff if you’re the friend who loves an impromptu meet up, but it helps to dedicate time to meeting up with friends and actually spending quality, worthwhile time together.

On the other hand, does this sense of professionalism ruin the intimacy and informality of friendships? How have we got to the stage where we’re incapable of consciously making time for our closest, most valued friends? Most of us probably feel that no matter how busy we are, we’ll always make time for our friends. Yes, it can be a mission to organise but eventually we’ll get there. In today’s culture, we don’t really seem to see our friends as much because a) we really are just busy people and b) we spend SO much time talking over social media or facetiming once a week, that when you think about meeting up in person you’re initial thought might be, “but I have nothing to update them on”. As great as social media is in helping us stay in contact with our friends, it’s important to make time for face-to-face catch ups as this helps us to connect with our friends on a far deeper level than a few texts

Scheduling app or not, making time for our friends is not something we should overlook. Research conducted by psychologists highlighted a number of things about the importance of friendship, including how our friends motivate us, help lower our stress and teach us more about ourselves. With today’s culture demanding more from us, both young and old, it’s crucial we take time out to see our friends and de-stress. If you really have to use a Doodle Poll to get all your friends in the same place at the same time, so be it!

Image: Мария Ткачук via Pixabay

 

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