Two Idaho Falls residents are preparing to launch a new social app to help others make new friends and go on new adventures. The “Get Along” app’s motto is “connect to disconnect.” Co-creators Mandi Hamilton and R.D. Sortor wanted to give people an easy way to find others with whom they can spend time offline.
Sortor emphasized Get Along is not a dating app; its focus is on friends and new experiences.
Get Along will be available to download sometime in mid-January.
The app allows users to input filters such as location, age, gender, language or interests. It then shows those on the app who meet that criteria. If a person wanted to meet others in their 30s who enjoy rock climbing, those parameters can be set. Users can message one another to express interest in meeting up.
“People work long hours. Not everyone wants to go through the vulnerable position of spending time alone in bars to try to meet people. This is a way to meet potential friends who match your demographic,” Sortor said.
A second function is the ability to set up an “adventure” and invite others to join. Sortor gave the example of wanting to snowboard at Kelly Canyon on Tuesday. He can post on the app that he has room to take four others. Four people can then join in the “adventure” to Kelly Canyon. This function is also helpful for planning a vacation. Users visiting Florida can ask others to join them on a deep-sea fishing trip on a specific date. Inviting others means users get the fun of meeting new people and the affordability of splitting the cost of an activity.
“It’s also about trying new things. There have been numerous times where I want to try new activities, but I don’t know how to get into them because I don’t know anybody who does them,” Hamilton said.
Sortor and Hamilton, who met while working at the Idaho National Laboratory, love to travel. That love was part of the inspiration behind the Get Along app. Sortor recalled a recent solo trip to Columbia. He had hoped to meet others with whom he could explore Bogota, but struggled to find people who spoke English. Sortor, who served in the military for eight years, has spent significant time in new places throughout his life.
Both creators were born in eastern Idaho. They are hopeful their own community will find it especially useful. The pair hopes locals will use it to explore the many places right in their own backyard.
“Thinking about the number of people who are moving into Idaho Falls, many of them need a healthy outlet to meet new people,” Sortor said.
Hamilton believes the app is coming out at the perfect time. After a year in which many spent most of their time alone during the coronavirus, she hopes people will come out of the pandemic with a new desire to connect with one another. Sortor noted that many are experiencing loneliness and Get Along can be a way to alleviate that.