I'll admit that using sources such as Craigslist to find a roommate isn't the most ideal, there are a whole lotta crazies out there. So I was intrigued when I heard about this new roommate service called Roommates Wanted that organizes group meetings at nearby places, like a local bar, so that potential roomies can meet each other face-to-face.
Right now, it's just in NYC, but the founders are open to expanding to other cities in the future. On the surface, it sounds like a good idea. Instead of back-and-forth emails, you meet a bunch of potentials all at once, and you wear symbols on your nametag to show the criteria that you're looking for (red if you have a room, green if you're looking for one, and drawings of pets).
But unless they're walking around with a "I'm a slob" or "I'm crazy" symbol on their nametag, is it really all that different from Craigslist? Not really. A person could be your best friend in the whole world, and you can still have no idea what they're like to live with. Two of my friends almost ruined their friendship recently because they lived together and were so different under one roof. Whether you meet a roommate in an organized group setting or online, there's still no way of knowing what's going to happen until you move in.
The only difference between this service and Craigslist is that with Roommates Wanted, you're going to find yourself in uncomfortable conversations (oh, you practice the trumpet ... that's nice ... uh, so, how about those Giants?) whereas if it was done via email, you could simply delete. Give me spam over awkwardness any day.
What do you think? Would you be up for meeting potential roommates this way?
Image via Joe Marinaro/Flickr