Are we too ‘Connected’ to see just how ‘Disconnected’ we’ve become?

The age of electronic connection through email and other social media such as, Facebook and Twitter has made it so easy to stay in touch that it’s like having lots of penfriends all at once.

How easy it is to post a few words of greeting and short replies. No more letters, no more long landline telephone calls, no more calling round for a chat and now in some cases, why even send a birthday card whenever a Facebook message or Text or Tweet will do?

However, whilst social networking is a great tool, there’s a profound difference between an online social network and a real one.

The number of people we call ‘Friends’ on Facebook may be big on quantity but what about quality, and is time spent online diminishing our opportunity for true social contact?

Fundamentally technology and our use of it hasn’t brought the true social relationships and connections that we all crave and need, in fact in many cases it has done the opposite leaving us feeling more disconnected than ever.

Claire Hughes, Founder of Soiree Society NI
Claire Hughes, Founder, Soiree Society NI

Local woman Claire Hughes’ research has shown that this lack of opportunity for true social contact is a growing problem, particularly for those that are Unattached i.e. Single, Separated, Divorced or Widowed.

Her solution is her new company Soirée Society NI, an events company for unattached people, coined from the French word soirée meaning ‘an informal but elegant evening gathering’.

Claire Hughes, founder of Soirée Society NI states, “We are planning a fantastic range of events over the next 12 months. Our events offer members, across a range of ages, an opportunity to form real-life connections with like-minded people. It provides the solution for those who maybe don’t know where to go to meet people, or don’t have anyone single to go out with, or don’t like the idea of organised or online dating, or who maybe simply want a new social element to their lives. Our company mantra is to provide ‘Refreshingly Different’ experiences”

To launch the company a free introductory event is being held in Cookstown on Thursday 25th September at Tullylagan House Hotel Cookstown at 8.00pm. The night will feature special guest Billy Dixon, one of the leading authorities and commentators on communication and team dynamics, who will entertain and inspire the audience with his topic ‘Let’s Get Engaged!’ Afterwards there is the opportunity to meet and relax with new-found friends with music provided by singer-songwriter Paul Hughes.

Due to popular demand, this event will also be repeated in Belfast on Tuesday 7th October at 8.00pm at Holohan’s on The Barge, behind the Waterfront on the River Lagan. Holohan’s offers a quirky cosy atmosphere for people to meet, mix and mingle, with Paul Hughes again providing the music to help ‘rock the boat’.

Claire Hughes continues, “Our ‘Live, Laugh & Learn’ theme is unique. By going back to basics, we aim to help people to develop true connections through conversation, laughter and fun….without online devices!

So far, there has been good interest from both men and women, and we always welcome ideas for new events.”

Places are filling up quickly so remember to register now to secure your place:

Whether you are looking for friendship, fun and maybe even love and romance: – set phones to silent, your status to busy and get ready to reconnect with Soirée Society NI.