Ever gone into a new roommate situation blind? In this day and age, the only time you should ever have to live with a virtual unknown is your first year in college. Once those dues are paid, thanks to social media it is entirely possible to search through thousands of potential roommates from the comfort of your own couch. No longer are you confined to living with a friend-of-a-friend or a stranger from a newspaper ad – in the Internet age, it’s possible to locate, learn about and connect with a future roommate whether you’re moving across town or across the nation. By getting to know roommates before you make the decision to move in together you can find someone who will be a good match. Curious to know which site to choose to begin your screening process? Each social site offers a variety of ways to locate and get to know your new roommate.
Craigslist is a great way to find other people in your area who are looking for roommates – and also a great preliminary way to weed out the crazies. There is a section on craigslist devoted to roommate searches and posting is free. Once you’ve located a few possibilities, using other social media tools can help you select which roommate you’d like to live with.
Facebook can be used to search for new roommates and also to learn more about people. Posting an update that lets your current friends know you’re looking for a new place can help them connect you with others who may also be looking for a new apartment. Friending a potential roommate and checking out his or her page can give you information about your new roommate’s friends, interests and favorite pastimes. This social media site is a good way to quickly determine whether you have enough in common with a potential roommate to get to know them better and rent a place together.
Twitter can be used to find a new roommate in a couple of ways as well. As with Facebook, Twitter can be used to post a roommate wanted ad that can be reposted by your followers so that it makes its way out of your social circle. You can also use hash tags such as #roommate #rental and #thenameofyourcity to join a roommate finding conversation in your area. Following potential roommates can also help you learn a little more about them.
YouTube and Flickr may not be particularly useful for locating for new roommates but they can be used to learn more about a potential new roommate. Watching videos and viewing photos posted by roommates you are considering can give you some information about their interests. Finding someone with compatible interests can go a long way towards creating a harmonious atmosphere in the house.
LinkedIn is a social site that helps people connect professionally. Learning about a prospective roommate’s professional life can give you an idea about his or her financially stability. A roommate who can’t pay bills on time can cause you a lot of stress and knowing about a roommate’s job security and professionalism can give you a good idea of how the financial aspects of living with him or her will go.
Blogs and websites can also let you know what kind of person you might be soon living with. If your new roommate has a blog or a website, it’s a good idea to check this out. Websites can reveal both personal and professional information about a new roommate, while blogs can give you some insight in a roommate’s emotional, social or personal life. Long story short: anybody running a blog detailing their project to create ‘the world’s filthiest apartment’ probably isn’t a good match unless you are also content to live in filth!
Want to see which kind of roommate YOU are? Take the MyNewPlace Roommate Quiz!