Fumbling with Bumble BFF
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If someone were to ask you to lay out a road-map for making friends, would you be able to? I would imagine for most people, the answer is no. Most people could tell you they have friends, and had to make them somehow. But no one would really know the steps they took in making said friends. It just happens at some point. I bring this up because someone mentioned the idea of using an app to make/meet friends that tickled my fancy. I signed up for Bumble BFF out of sheer curiosity, but I left questioning so much about the nature of making friendships.
Bumble BFF is built on the same infrastructure as Bumble, the dating app if never used it. When you sign-up for the app, you get to choose between a dating profile, Bumble Bizz (networking) or a BFF profile, and can seemingly toggle back and forth with a button (though not sure how often or if limitation). Its set-up is similar to other dating apps, you’re given a selection and can swipe right (interest) or left (disinterest). Once matched, you are given 24 hours to send a message, and the other party has 24 hours to respond. And if both party does, you’re off to the racetrack!
Now, you can reread the previous paragraph, and if you’re like me a few red flags were raised. First, much like Tinder, there’s a swiping game involved, but that means for the most part you are picking friends based on appearance. I’ll be frank with you, if I’m not trying to sleep with you, I don’t care what my friends look like. Even if I did, it is still odd that’s the first thing you judge them on.
The issue is compounded by the fact that Bumble BFF has a terrible system for fleshing out your actual profile. You’re allowed to write a short blurb about yourself. Then you’re able to tell people your gender, if you own pets, smoke/drink and if you’re new to the area/a local. That’s essentially it. And that tells me… nothing. Like you don’t have a pet, where is my opening for that conversation?
And let me tell you openings are such strange beasts on this app. Again, think back to making friends can you remember the first thing you said to any of your friends? Did you even breach conversation with them with the intent of becoming friends? I found the problem could be really in my head, overthinking the approach. But it doesn’t help that a time limit is placed on it so you can’t even wait until you have something interesting to discuss. So I have just started going with general how are things going questions. It’s a start.
But here’s a thing that can be an ego-breaker, after initiating a conversation, the other party also needs to respond. And I’ll be honest I’ve already had some folks who just didn’t respond. It makes you wonder why, but not too much. It’s just funny that someone would have buyer’s remorse from potentially picking a friend before speaking with them.
For the ones, I have made contact with and gotten a response, we’re still very much in the feeling out process. Asking basic questions, trying to get a feel for the person’s interest and intentions and it feels fine. It does still feel like there’s a barrier up that one party has to crossover into first to really get conversations cooking.
And this partially falls on me, when I started using the app it was more out of genuine curiosity than it was an interest in making new friends. I don’t think much has changed in my mentality, but I was eager to at least make one in-person connection on the app before banishing it to the graveyard of Google Play.