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Next Generation Of Social Networking Has People Meeting Offline

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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Award-winning journalist Paula Ebben co-anchors WBZ-TV News at 6PM...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Forget Facebook. How about meeting up face-to-face? This could be the next generation of on-line social networking.

And for good reason. “What I have seen is less and less ability to engage proficiently in ordinary social skills, such as introducing yourself, shaking hands,” says Professor Janet Sternberg of Fordham University.

A growing number of online services want to help you connect offline, arranging group experiences based on common interests like food, exercise, and beauty. Amanda Hofman, founder of “Urban Girl Squad,” says these modern day social clubs are a great way to experience new places with new faces. “You need to go to a place where people are open to having conversation and not just on their phones,” says Hofman.

Some sites like Meetup.com and Group0Matic.com allow you to create your own local circles for free. Other sites like Lifecrowd.com, Grubwithus.com, and UrbanGirlSquad.com partner with restaurants and retailers to organize unique activities like a chocolate and strawberry facials night, a bollywood dance class, sushi rolling, yoga, or even rock climbing.

Not all of these websites offer up fun events in the Boston-area just yet. Lifecrowd.com needs about 400 more people to sign up before getting groups together here.

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