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Social Networking Promotes “Go Outside and Play”

Remember when your mother told you to “go outside and play,” and when you went outside there was a neighborhood full of kids waiting. There used to be a time when you felt like playing a pick-up game of football or flashlight tag that it was actually quite easy to find others to play with.

Sadly I grew up in the generation after this way of life was available to kids. I can imagine the fun of heading outdoors to suddenly find 10 of my peers ready to play kickball in the yard. By no means did I live a deprived childhood, but the days seem to be a gone where you can just go outside and play are growing less popular.  Now in today’s world “play” typically means sitting in front of the television or playing Call of Duty on Xbox 360.

It is sad to think that the days of going outside to play are gone. Is that time period really over?

Social media can be used for socializing with friends online, but can it also get people out of their office chairs and outside to play? With new websites such a www.sportmeets.com and www.juump.com, the idea doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

Sportmeets was designed to provide highly relevant, sport-specific tools to make meeting up for a particular sport that much easier. Sportmeets claims themselves as the best solution to recreational sports as it allows you to find the right people and groups to sports wherever you live, easily organizes your sporting groups, and it allows one to compete and share sporting events with friends. Sportmeets has just launched in the UK and it is a planning tool that one can use offline to connect with friends to engage in sports. One of the biggest struggles with trying to play a sport is getting people to participate. Anyone who plays pickup basketball can understand the hassle involved with trying to get a 5-on-5 game together. First you have to call everyone and see if they are interested, then you have to tell them the time and location, often times you have people backing out so you have to find last minute replacements. Sportmeets and other similar social networking websites eliminate this issue, as all of the hassle into organizing a recreational activity can be done easily and effectively on the web.

Another similar social platform growing in popularity is Juump. An online tennis community that helps you find people in your area to play against. It is a great site to get information when searching for tennis competitors with a similar skill level or someone who wants to play at the same location. Just type in the specifics as to what you are looking for in a tennis competitor, add a location and any other details you deem necessary, and results are instantly displayed.

Social media is evolving like rapid fire. While these specific resources might seemed limited by location and belonging to a specific sport, more sites are appearing every day. As this trend evolves it may be common to see a site used for each specific sport and sites focusing in on smaller and smaller demographics.

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Image by  kelsey e

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7 Responses to Social Networking Promotes “Go Outside and Play”

  1. Ohdoctah May 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Well I don't know where you live but here kids are outside everyday playing. It was raining yesterday and there were kids riding bikes and playing football in my neighborhood. I mean this post is just off.. because kids that would normally be told to go out and play are to young and don't care about social networks.

    Now if you said kids playing video games I might have gotten on board with that. Even with video games by the looks of you Matt your generation and my generation are close enough. When I grew up video games in the home were just starting and every kid was glued to a tv screen playing mario bros.. even with that we still found time to go out and play.

    Social networks have pretty much nothing to do with kids not playing outside.

  2. Matt Clark May 24, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    I totally agree with you that kids are still outside playing but what I am trying to say is that it is not the same as it used to be. Kids now have so many other options that when they have a choice of going outside, compared to sitting inside and playing video games, they may choose to play video games.

    I totally understand your point though!

  3. Lewis Howes May 24, 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    my brotha… I remember a time when I dominated super mario and got to the point where I could beat the entire game (without cheating) and without dying once… I got small a number of times, but remember the day I beat it without dying…

    I think it was after then I realized how much time I wasted playing all the time, and I started playing sports from 3pm-9pm every night (mostly basketball from middle school to high school years).

    To be honest, I'm sure there are kids who are not playing outside as much due to video games and the Internet, but you are right, there are kids all over as well who are going out a lot also.

    Thanks for your feedback Dr!

  4. Scott Dunlop June 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    When I was young it was automatic that you would call around and find kids to play with…in every sport…and arrange to meet somewhere to play. It was a lot of fun. My children did not do that very much or at all.

    Parents were afraid to let kids go out alone or too much and they started organizing all sports and activities for children at the earliest levels, and attending with their children, so kids never developed the need or skills to connect to play.

    It is hard for people nowadays to find other people in large metros to “play” with.

    These social sports networks can provide a valuable service to help people gather, meet and arrange games.

  5. cwrki June 4, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Hi Matt,

    I like your article. I also think that sports social apps and tools can be most appreciated by working people that like to play sports but dont want to spend the whole day just to arrange a 60-minute game of soccer. The thing is that when you are a kid you usually do have the time to chase your friends around to set up the game.
    And then, I'd say it is quite reasonable for sports social networks to arise as sport is an important part of life of most people. Perhaps if social networks will make sporting easier to share, ie. 'cooler', we'll see more kids willing to take up sports, too.

  6. Mirko Trasciatti June 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    I Matt!

    I'm the Ceo and co-founder of http://www.fubles.com a site that we made with the same purpose.

    Now…imagine 15.000 players in the same area (milan/italy) playing more than 700 matches per month. After each match participants rates the others (secretely) so that we have rankings charts and awards… Our network is experiencing an exponential growth by the only word of mouth (ZERO marketing expenses so far).

    We have recently released the english version and people has started playing in Dublin, Wien etc. I would be glad if you could give a look at it!

    Best regards

    Mirko Trasciatti

  7. Nick Stein July 20, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    It is not just the kids that are having the problem finding other kids to play sports with, it is also adults. Time is a big commodity, so we at http://www.oneplayerdown.com have the philosophy that sweat should only be expended playing and not in organizing. We have been creating what we like to call a Sports Socializing Network. The main point is to get people new to a city, integrated as quickly as possible.

    You can find us in Vienna, Austria but request us to open wherever you want and we can accomodate.

    Our motto is Get in the Game.

    Nick Stein (Founder One Player Down)

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