In today’s world, ways of creating connections have become more streamlined and innovative. From LinkedIn for business, to the wide, wide host of apps for dating, there’s many ways to analyse people through a screen. But what about friendship? Sure, there’s Facebook, and Instagram, and every other social media, but they kind of expect you to already have friends. What if you just want to meet some people to hang out with in your city? Everyone complains about it being tough to make friends in your 20s, and for a lot of people, it can be hard to make friends at uni. Amelia Brookes shares her experiences of using Bumble BFF.
I was partially inspired to write this and do this investigation because of my friend, who has many times failed to hear what I was saying because she was swiping through a dating app. Let’s face it, it’s never a nice thing to be aired by Dom, 20. So I thought that perhaps I would get her back by using the only major friendship app on the market today: Bumble BFF.
For explanation, Bumble BFF asks you to write a bio, put a little information about yourself, answer one or two questions and talk about demographics you are in (Religion, drinking and smoking preferences, etc). Then you start swiping – right for yes I would like to be your friend, left for you’re probably great, it’s just that I don’t think we have enough in common.
One thing that I’ve noticed about Bumble BFF is that there aren’t half as many people on there as they are on Bumble
In my bio I shared that I was a cat person, a bubble tea fan and dressed like a toddler and a 65-year-old woman at the same time. Perfect. I uploaded a picture of me in a ballgown that I also saw an older woman wearing at someone’s graduation, just to evidence, and a picture of my cat, Erik. A few more miscellaneous pictures, and some info about me, and I was done.
One thing that I’ve noticed about Bumble BFF is that there aren’t half as many people on there as they are on Bumble (evidence: my friend’s phone). I think this is partly because I don’t think many people are aware that it exists, but also because some people are more interested in a relationship than a true friendship at university.
The social side of uni means it’s easier for some to meet with like-minded individuals through societies or just going to Ocean, but finding a relationship can prove trickier (Maybe they should look to UoN Matchmaking Society?). There also seems to be a 90/10 women to men split, with mostly women showing up looking to make friends, or saying that they’d like a group to hang out with that summer. I don’t know if men just automatically make friends or what, but there were hardly any of them on Bumble BFF, excluding a few quirky-looking punk-rock blokes.
it can actually be quite difficult to find friendship matches, and after you do match with someone they can take days to reply
Another thing that I wasn’t expecting was that it can actually be quite difficult to find friendship matches, and after you do match with someone they can take days to reply. I’ve had five matches so far over the last week, and have only really had a sustained conversation with one of them. The rest was pretty surface-level stuff: What’s your favourite bubble tea order? How was your day? What’s your cat’s name?
It’s nice to know that other people want to know about you, but it’s sad when they don’t reply after a few days and you wonder if they’ve deleted the app or are just talking to someone else. However, “Leah”, I loved talking to you about ancient history and art, and the places you want to go on holiday! The sustained conversation that I did have showed that you really can have interesting conversations if you’re willing to put in the effort of getting to know someone properly… and if you’re willing to wait around a bit for people to reply or to find new BFF matches.
I think a problem with friendship apps themselves are that they aren’t as well-known or widely advertised on the market, and this is such a shame, since I’ve seen people who expressed interest in making more friends and using Bumble BFF to see if they could meet new people (Bumble BFF trend when?).
I think there truly can be someone for everyone on here, which is why I’m sad it isn’t more popular!
I’ve seen so many varied people on the app, including someone who lived on a houseboat with their girlfriend, a girl whose only picture was her with a face full of green makeup, a fed-up girl who recalled her most recent act of kindness as ‘giving a man a chance’, primary school teachers, TikTokkers, anti-vaxxers, and as a UoN student, I noticed LOTS of people from Trent. I think there truly can be someone for everyone on here, which is why I’m sad it isn’t more popular!
In conclusion, do I think Bumble BFF is the future? Hmm, maybe not. But did I find the experience valuable? Yes, I did. In the beginning, I was so anxious that no-one would be interested in being my friend, but I found that there were so many different interests on the app, and that people did match with me due to our mutual likes… or maybe it was Erik who swayed them to like my profile (he is adorable, after all!). Either way, it was a fun novelty, and this isn’t a review (or sponsored), but if you can get over the mortifying experience of being known, online friendship might just be for you.
Featured image courtesy of Good Faces Agency via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.
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