Staying Connected: So What?

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This week we decided we wanted to tackle the question, “Why is it important to stay connected with your friends via the app?” I asked Cori if I could help write, and we also asked our former head of the campus ambassador program, Kennedy, to write something as well. In my opinion, we live in a world that is run by technology and inter-connectedness, but we also are constantly being told to be independent and self-sufficient. I am constantly told to be strong and confident, and in many ways I initially thought that meant it was weak to ask for help being safe. Grooop has allowed me to increase my confidence, emphasize my independence, but it also has shed a light on the power of friends and family even if they are not there with me. I was able to check in on friends around the world as I studied abroad in London, and my family could take a break from worrying as I traveled. Grooop has also, in a way, strengthened my bond with my friends. Anytime I have set of an alert or I’m not in a safe zone at a weird hour I have received at least one text or call checking in on me. I went through my freshman year of college thinking it was lame or strange to want to be safe, but now it’s fun and keeps me and my friends at peace. 

Nina Barnett
Founder & CEO

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I just heard a story today actually from one of my coworkers—her sister (who graduated from UNC Chapel Hill only a year or two ago) had been out one night when a van approached her. The man in the driver’s seat held a gun to her head and forced her into the car. Luckily, her two friends close by were able to flag down another car and the kidnapper, scared of getting caught, released her. The police fortunately found the man anyways and he was charged with kidnapping, a second offense. What if the two friends hadn’t been around? What if there wasn’t another car driving by to help? It’s scary to think about—especially frightening that it occurred at my own university, which I often regard as safe. 

It is so easy to underestimate the dangers of walking around after a night of going out. I’m walking less than a mile—no way anything bad can happen, right? This is this mindset that makes young adults—especially high school and college aged girls—so vulnerable. It is the reason that staying connected is so important. And it’s the problem that Grooop aims to solve. Grooop makes it simple to stay connected with your friends with location requesting and status updates. In an emergency like the story above, a Grooop user could send out an emergency signal with her location attached within seconds. Even though dangers like this one may be rare in your area, being prepared is always the best strategy.  Like I’m sure your parents always said—you’re better off safe than sorry. There might not always be a bystander around to lend you a helping hand. So—for me—Grooop is that helping hand.

Kennedy McGuinness
Former Head of Campus Ambassador Program, Grooop User

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We all like to know what our friends are up to on a night out, but no one wants someone following their every move. I love that Grooop allows me to stay connected with my friends, showing who is out or staying in and who wants to leave the place they are at, and it lets me share my status without telling exactly what I am doing or where I am. This lets me maintain some form of independence and privacy, while knowing that I am still accounted for. While I could send a text to a group message, using the app lets me keep my head out of my phone and enjoy the time I have with the people I am with. At the same time, I am not disconnected from my friends in other places. I think it is especially interesting to keep up with my friends studying abroad or living in a different city for the summer. Not only do I know they are safe, but it's a fun and different way to be social.

I also empathize with the feeling of being vulnerable. This happens in new cities and at home, regardless of how comfortable one is with their surroundings. The knowledge that anyone in my grooops knows if I am safe or if I am in an uncomfortable situation makes me feel far safer and far more in control of my situation than I would otherwise. And it goes both ways. Knowing that all of my friends are okay just by looking at the app is a great feeling. Even seeing if someone is Out & About or Ready to Go helps me to be a support system and check in on anyone who might need a safety net. Staying connected sounds simple at first, but it really makes a world of difference.

Cori Patrick
VP Marketing