I spent a week on Bumble BFF to see if I could find a new best friend, and it was surprisingly encouraging.
To clarify, I didn’t try out Bumble’s BFF setting because I don’t have great friends. I can’t trip on UNC’s brick paths without an acquaintance seeing me — some of my friends from high school came to UNC, and I have made lifelong friends during my time in Chapel Hill.
But I’m a senior, and most likely my best friends right now will not be five minutes away from me this time next year. I am looking at jobs across the country, and I can’t help but worry about how I’m going to make friends wherever I settle in the future.
So, I decided to do what 21-year-olds do when they don’t know how to do something themselves — I downloaded an app.
I downloaded an app for a week to practice making a new best friend.
I heard about Bumble from a few friends about a year ago, but I had no idea what to expect from their “BFF” setting. I started by crafting my profile, an activity that took a shameful amount of time.
As a straight woman, it felt strange crafting an online profile that only other women were going to see, and even though I was making a friendship profile, I still experienced fear of other users judging me. I worried that the other women on the app wouldn’t think my photos were pretty or my bio was cool, and that caused me to sit staring at a blank bio section for 20 minutes. Big-time shoutout to housemates who help us make online profiles.
After a little too long, I settled on this.
And I started swiping for my new BFF.
During my days of swiping, I noticed some commonalities between the women who were on Bumble BFF:
1) Many of the women had relocated for work or a romantic relationship and were looking for friendship in a new location that was pretty far from home.
2) Everyone likes pizza and wine/ beer (and mentions that in their profile).
3) These people seemed incredibly normal.
After my first day, I made 11 connections and had one short BFF convo. The chat, refreshingly, consisted exclusively of genuine compliments of the other woman’s pictures and interests.
As the days and swiping continued, my BFF connection count grew, and I got a few more chats under my belt — all lighthearted and encouraging, all with women who I would probably be friends with if I met them in class.
And as my week on Bumble BFF ended, I felt encouraged. My time on Bumble BFF did not result in a new BFF — or even a meet-up with someone I connected with through the app. But it did result in gratitude.
I feel grateful for my friends, more than ever, that live five minutes away from me, and I can be ready to look forward, knowing there are ways to meet friends no matter where I end up.
Even if I meet them through an app.
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