A New Way to Keep in Touch With Friends

Keeping in touch with friends when school isn’t in session is like drunkenly planning to make pancakes in the morning.  It sounds great in theory but then life happens–you wake up with a headache and the boss wants you to come in for the third Saturday in a row.  Suddenly pancakes, i.e. your friends, become lower on the priority list.  The next thing you know, your Bisquick’s gone bad and you missed a big event in your friend’s life.

If visiting your friends often isn’t feasible,  there are always the obvious ways to stay in touch, Gchat, Facebook, Skype, (dare we say it?) the phone.

I find these methods lacking since I stumbled onto turntable.fm.

Everyone in the office has been using turntable.fm to get a good mix of  music going rather than the tired 90’s Pandora playlist we’d had going forever, the only playlist we could all agree on.  One of the guys sent out an invite to our own DJ room.  All of us chose a little head bopping DJ avatar, played obscure tunes, old favorites or just plain irony/weirdness.  The ‘rock on’ or ‘skip song’ feature is by far the best thing about this room.  If enough people don’t want to hear your song and hit ‘skip it’, your meter goes down and the song is skipped.  If anyone likes it, they hit ‘rock on’ and you accumulate DJ points.  You won’t even believe how much pride you’ll take in your DJ points until you actually possess them.  Trust me on this.

Even better, even within the office we were communicating more frequently through the session, and then it dawned on me – this is what we’ve been doing with our college friends for 4 years.  Whether it’s making fun of that horrible Friday song, or realizing that everyone in the room knows the lyrics to ‘On a Boat,’ music was the stuff we bonded over.

It hits that sweet spot between a personal phone call and a G-chat message, it’s “hanging out”.  It doesn’t have the potential for awkwardness of a one-on-one phone call (also is it just me, or does everyone hate the phone these days?), or the impersonal feel of a tiny window in Gchat.  Turntable.fm is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to keep up with old friends–give it a try!



I’m reading Understanding Business