Do you have a spot you and your friends and/or partner meet up to hangout? You know, a spot on the way home from work or close to home when you occasionally feel like venturing off the comfy couch in the evening? Today we’re partnering with Uber and some of their new features like Express POOL to talk about hangout spots. It’s interesting how much things have changed in our new smartphone world…
I recently read an article about how people today (especially teenagers) have more social contact compared to past generations, but far less of those interactions are in person, relying mostly on social media. This is no surprise of course, but interesting to think about how it has permeated every part of our lives. One result is that the idea of a casual hangout spot has virtually disappeared. You know, a spot you’ll almost always see a friend when you can’t reach them at home. You just wait around until someone shows up! No group texts or checking in on social media to find what people are up to.
Interestingly enough, in that article it talks about how the culture of hangout spots was created from pure boredom. Teenagers needing to escape the house where they could connect with others when they were getting stir crazy. This challenge of social disconnection feels so far removed from our world now that it’s almost bizarre! I do miss the simplicity of it all and the independence to do something without sharing it with the world. Our smartphone world is a completely different reality.
The idea of a hangout spot seems very nostalgic to me. When I was a teenager the spot was a 7-11 in the middle of town. We’d always stop there after school to see what people were up to, or on the way to a party on the weekend (or to find out where the party was at). I always knew I’d see someone there I knew and get practically the only social interaction outside of school. Back at home there were no cell phones or instant messaging (AIM didn’t become a thing until college). The home lines were almost always tied up by another family member. Peers and the social culture of school was not intertwined at all in my home experience, which looking back I’m relived about. I think I needed that break. Today, there’s no avoiding it though, for better or worse.
Doesn’t have a hangout spot sound so nice though? I work from home and spend so much time with the kids and Jared that a mid-week regular hangout spot with a girlfriend is such a nice break. And the less decisions the better in making that happen. Sometimes finding a new bar or restaurant is just waaaay too much mental work.
Uber makes it that much easier with a couple of its new rider features. Have you tried Express POOL yet? It’s an even more cost-saving option than UberPOOL (up to 40% less) by asking riders to walk to a more convenient and directly routed location for pick up. So it’s quicker and less expensive to get from A to B. Here, it’s about the same cost as public transportation across town. Yay!
I’ve been impressed with all the new features Uber’s been coming out with and happy to see them re-committing to safety and new ride options.
My friend Gaby and I have found a pretty regular evening hangout spot. It used to be a Mexican restaurant with great margaritas in downtown Berkeley but the parking and wait times ended up getting to be too frustrating. Lately, we’ve been hitting up Westbrae Biergarten on the Albany/Berkeley border. It’s an outdoor order-at-the-counter type of spot that you can stay 20 minutes or 3 hours. There are great sangrias and loads of choices of delicious food from salads and tri tip sandwiches to fries and rice bowls. It’s comfy and easy and there’s even a spot for kids to play and chill out as well (if we haaaaad to tote them along).