Have you been spending some time connecting with people on the Nell app and have made some friends? If you’ve found other women who live nearby and it turns out you have mutual interests–congratulations! Maybe now you’re considering taking the next steps and meeting up in person.
That first face-to-face meeting can be a little intimidating. And of course, you also have to keep safety in mind. At Nell, we care about your safety and want you to have a safe and fun experience using our app. Our team has put together a few tips on staying safe in the event you decide to meet up in person with someone you met through the Nell app.
1. Do Not Share Personal or Financial Information.
Friendships that start online are just as real as the friendships you make at work, at the gym, or in any other social setting. Making friends is also a process. You meet someone, find common interests, and over time develop (or not) a deeper bond.
Just like friendships that start offline, take your time and get to know each other through the Nell friendship app. Don’t give out personal information that you wouldn’t give out to any other acquaintance. Things like where you work, where you live, and any financial information should not be important in the early stages of the friendship. Do not share your address, place of employment, financial information (e.g., credit card or bank account information), Social Security Number, or other private information about you.
If your new friend from Nell is pressing you for information like this, that might be a red flag. Please stop communicating with another user who pressures you for this information and report the user through the Nell app.
2. Stick with the Nell friendship app for a while.
Sometimes, people who have ulterior motives like to push to take conversations
to other “private” messaging systems or even to text. It’s possible that your friendship will grow to the point where you want to share these more personal connections with your Nell friend, but probably not right from the start.
Just remember, that if both you and the other person are using the Nell friendship app for the right reasons, there won’t be any need to rush things. You can safely grow your friendship until you are ready to meet in person.
3. Pick someplace public.
If you and your friend from Nell have decided it’s time to meet somewhere, one really simple safety tip is to pick a place that is very public.
Restaurants, cafes, museums and shopping centers provide a dynamic environment with lots of things to talk about where you can continue to get to know each other.
These types of settings provide opportunities to bring an end to the get-together if it isn’t right or if something feels off. There are also plenty of other people around should you feel the need to ask for assistance.
4. Tell others where you are going and what your plan is.
Even if you have friends or family that don’t live nearby, keep them in the loop about your new Nell friends. Just like how you would tell them about your cool new co-worker, fill them in on this new connection, too.
If you decide to meet your new Nell friend, just let those same people know when and where you are going to meet, what you plan to do, and for how long. Make a commitment to check back in with them to let them know how it all went.
This keeps others aware of your plans. They will notice if you don’t check-in and will get hold of you to make sure everything is ok. It also helps keep you connected with the other important people in your life who may live far away.
5. Schedule a check-in.
Nell isn’t a dating site, but this is a nice little strategy that has been used in online dating! Set up a time for someone you trust to call you while you are meeting with your new friend from the Nell friendship app. It’s a chance for them to ask if everything is going well and if you are feeling good about things. This is also an opportunity for you to find an escape route should you feel the need to cut the get-together short but are having a hard time doing that.
Don’t worry about feeling rude about taking the phone call. A very simple, “Oh, this is a call I have been waiting for, I need to take it. I’ll just be a couple of minutes.” is all it takes. This is also a great opportunity for that “family emergency” to come up if you need an easy out.
6. Tell your server.
If you have set your first meeting up at a place where there will be staff tending to you, like in a restaurant, you can share your happiness that the Nell friendship app has connected you with someone by explaining why you are there.
This will alert the person attending you that you do not really know the other person, and while the intent is not to have them watch over you, they will be more likely to recognize any signs of discomfort. This can lead them to subtly investigate how things are going and if any assistance is needed.
7. Use Google.
“Creeping” people has gotten a bad rap that it doesn’t deserve! When we meet people in traditional settings, like at work, a book club, or a sports league, there are a lot of other clues that help us form our first impressions of someone. Online friends don’t have that rich context right from the start.
We encourage you to do your own research before meeting another user in person. Most professionals will have a LinkedIn account. Almost everyone pops up on Social Media. There is nothing wrong with doing a little online searching to verify if an online persona matches up with easy-to-find information that they have chosen to put in the public realm.
Based on what you discover, as you get to know each other through the Nell app, you can begin to ask questions that are not intrusive, but serve to let you see if your connection is on the up and up.
8. Trust your instincts.
Always trust your feelings. People have a built-in ability, a sixth sense that kicks in when something feels off, even when they can’t exactly explain it. A connection through the Nell friendship app should feel easy and good. If something is off, take a step back. Find a way to end your first meeting and take things back to just the Nell app for awhile.
The Nell friendship app is a way for women to find friends. Just like in the offline world, not every acquaintance turns into a friend, so don’t force it. Finding people we connect with is just the first part. Turning those connections with mutual interests into friends takes time. So don’t rush it, you can take a pause before moving forward. Friends will always respect each other. It will be worth the wait to move at a pace you are both comfortable with.
THE INFORMATION PRESENTED ON THE NELL FRIENDSHIP APP, INCLUDING THESE “8 TIPS FOR A SAFE MEETUP,” IS MADE AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES. ANY RELIANCE YOU PLACE ON SUCH INFORMATION IS STRICTLY AT YOUR OWN RISK. ADDITIONALLY, THOUGH NELL STRIVES TO ENCOURAGE A RESPECTFUL USER EXPERIENCE, IT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONDUCT OF ANY USER ON OR OFF THE NELL FRIENDSHIP APP. YOU UNDERSTAND THAT NELL DOES NOT CONDUCT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND OR IDENTITY VERIFICATION CHECKS ON ITS USERS OR OTHERWISE INQUIRE INTO THE BACKGROUND OR VERIFY THE IDENTITY OF ITS USERS. NELL MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE IDENTITY OR CONDUCT OF ITS USERS.
BY USING THE NELL FRIENDSHIP APP, YOU AGREE TO USE CAUTION IN ALL INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER USERS, PARTICULARLY IF YOU DECIDE TO ENGAGE IN COMMUNICATIONS OUTSIDE OF THE NELL FRIENDSHIP APP OR MEET IN PERSON. NELL DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY ARISING FROM ANY USE OF THE NELL FRIENDSHIP APP AND SERVICES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY HARM OR DAMAGES ARISING FROM YOUR DECISION TO COMMUNICATE WITH ANOTHER USER OUTSIDE OF THE NELL FRIENDSHIP APP OR MEET ANOTHER USER IN PERSON. YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER USERS.
IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER DURING A MEET-UP WITH ANOTHER NELL APP USER, PLEASE CALL 911