Finding your tribe: The rise of niche social & new social houses

From online to off, we’re crafting new ways to find “our” people. Last year, the Verge proclaimed, “the old promise of the internet — niche communities, human connection…never really lost its appeal, but [in 2017] [the desire for us to realize that promise] came back with a miniature vengeance.” They couldn’t have read the tea leaves better. With the current controversy surrounding Facebook’s failed privacy protections, many are beginning to rethink their relationship with traditional social media.

As usual, the kids seem to be ahead of the curve with the invention of Finstagrams — As in the offshoot accounts that allow you to more privately send off “ugly selfies, inside jokes, personal rants…that sort of thing, to a relatively sympathetic audience,” reports the Guardian to those over the age of fifteen. #smartsocialhacks

But adults want new private outlets where they can confide and connect with smaller communities too! Hence the rise of Tinyletter: Limited circulation newsletters that offer “an easy a way to build that tiny, private audience away from the ugliness of the internet at large.” And given all the anonymous haters, it’s little wonder Tinyletter become the popular alternative to personal essays.

But the truly beautiful pivot to new community-based trends is happening offline. From lushly designed co-working spaces to workout studios with wine bars, the hottest new places to socialize are doubling as hubs of productivity / wellness.

High Court promises “urban elites” a reclusive place to “realign, expand their thinking and connect with like-minded others.

Modeled after SoHo House and NeueHouse, High Court involves a rigorous application process. Beyond proving your stature and income, you’ll also have to convince the board you’re a tasteful aesthete. Instagram accounts are a large part of the consideration process.

Another European-based social club, Spring Place, will be installing its latest club house in Beverly Hills come 2019. The highly anticipated membership “will offer LA visionaries a business hub to work and reboot throughout the week.” Cassandra Daily confides, “the club’s TriBeCa location is already known for attracting a bevy of beautiful people despite outward attempts to seem under the radar.”

For a more hippie take on the wellness club trend, one might turn to The Aerie Collective. Their philosophy focuses on sharing collective wisdom, nutrition and zenful practices. And the site makes it obvious the club caters to a Silverlake shaman with a green thumb, sunsoaked blond hair, and a healthy love of sound baths.

Coming up on the network side of things, Canopy describes itself as “a sophisticated new workspace for the ‘mature’ professional” and, as the design implies, was developed for young techies and startups founders able to manage the “monthly rent.”

The Assembly is yet another San Fran, co-working and community stand out. It’s claim to fame? To create this entrepreneurial sanctuary, the founders “transformed a 7,000 square foot, aging church into a dreamy, modern space—where every corner is Instagram-worthy—that reflects their warm, eclectic style and intense attention to detail.”

And while the origins of its location might not be as special, The Wing is easily one of the most famous examples of a female-driven social houses. One of the many reasons to love?  It was designed to be a well-decorated haven for “lonely workaholics searching for identity and meaning.”

Co-founder of The Wing, Audrey Gelman, elaborates, “technology has made us globally more connected, but locally more isolated.” Joining allows members a place to find workout buddies, interviewees for your next podcast, and straight up new friends.

We’re all thinking about identity and who we are, how what we do, and how who we engage with defines us,” founder of The Ruby, so aptly articulates. “Maybe that’s why these integrated spaces are popping up. When everything  is entangled, it’s hard to separate work from play and social media. We’re in this place of real growth and change.”

What an empowering time to find your tribe.

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