Remember when it was easy to make friends?
When we were much younger, we were able to go up to someone in our kindergarten class, sit down beside them (maybe hold their hand?) and immediately become best of friends. No icebreakers, no coffee meetups to get to know each other. Genuine friendship in an instant.
Those were the good ol’ days.
Photographer: Victoria Stacey from Florals and Teacups
I can’t help but reminisce on how making friends used to be so natural. It was so effortless that we probably never thought twice about it. Fast forward to our adult years and well…making friends is now just like any other task on our to-do list. It’s now something that we actually have to work at.
Well, networking apps like Bumble BFF seem to be on a mission to make this easier. We’re all busy with work and other priorities that finding like-minded friends can be difficult.
Having had prior success making friends on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, I instantly became intrigued by Bumble’s new foray into the friendship arena (it originally started as a dating app).
In case you’re not familiar with Bumble, it’s a social and dating app that is changing the way that people date and make friends. You’re able to view different profiles and ‘swipe left’ to pass and ‘swipe right’ to connect.
After continuously hearing about it, I decided that I would try the app for myself for 7 days. By the way, this post is not sponsored in any shape or form. I genuinely was curious about whether I could really find friends through the app and thought it would be worth a try. Other than your usual social media apps, I’ve personally never used any type of social or dating app to connect with people. I met my husband before apps like Tinder came on the scene so downloading Bumble BFF was completely new territory for me!
Here’s how it went:
Creating my account
Like any social app or site, upon signing up, you’re prompted to set up your profile. What’s interesting is that you have to have a Facebook account to sign up as your information is pulled from your Facebook profile. I believe it’s also a way that they can verify your authenticity. My name, age, previous school, location and job title were all pulled in from my Facebook page so that I just had to fill in the gaps – photos and a short bio.
I never thought that I’d struggle with writing my bio but for some reason, it made me nervous! I wanted to be able to explain what I do while also describing what I’d be looking to get out of a friendship. After a few minutes, I finally settled on something I was happy with and moved on to uploading photos. Your profile photo from Facebook is pulled into the app but you have the option to add any additional photos. I quickly went through the photos I had on my phone to find a few decent ones and added them to my profile.
Curious to see my final profile? Here are some screenshots:
Swiping for matches
Once my profile was finished, it was time to get swiping! Remember, this was my first time ever using an app that allows you to swipe for matches so I found myself taking it really seriously. I wasn’t able to just nonchalantly swipe left or right (well, unless they had a really strange photo) but instead I found myself really reading people’s profiles to see if we really had something in common. I’m not sure if this is the case on dating apps but I should also mention that even if you ‘swipe right’ on someone, you can’t actually connect with them unless they ‘swipe right’ on you too. Eventually, I really got into it and then my husband became intrigued and started to give his feedback on who I should swipe right with!
If you’re wondering what I was looking for in a potential friend, that’s a good question. I didn’t exactly have any criteria in mind when I began swiping. However, after a while, I began to figure out somewhat of a pattern in the type of people I would be interested in meeting up with. I wanted to find females in my local area (in or near the city of Toronto) that were either a side-hustler like myself or a full-time entrepreneur. Not to say I’m not interested in being friends with anyone who doesn’t fit that profile but there’s a sense of relief that comes over me when I find people that are going through similar business experiences as me.
One weird thing I did experience though – even though I had selected in my setting that I was interested in matching with female BFF’s, there were a number of men that ended up in my selections! I’m not sure if that’s because they didn’t indicate their gender on Facebook (because remember, that’s how your profile is set up) or it was just a glitch. I don’t have anything against male friends (although I don’t have very many of them) but at this time, I was simply interested in finding a few cool females to hang out with.
Photographer: Victoria Stacey from Florals and Teacups
So, how many matches did I end up making? I don’t have the exact number but I think I had about 10-15. Not bad, right? But want to hear the strange thing…I didn’t really end up connecting with them! On Bumble BFF, after matching with someone, if no one initiates the conversation within 24 hours, you can no longer contact each other. I found that I was always the one attempting to break the ice which was a little bit frustrating. I did have a few ladies that reached out right away but for the most part, unless I made the first move, the connection didn’t happen.
I found that a lot of people were really interested in the fact that I run a blog and host networking events. Almost immediately after the usual “Hey, how are you?”, I was asked about my site and how I got started. It was a helpful icebreaker for me so I would recommend finding some unique things that you can put in your bio that will intrigue potential matches.
There were actually quite a few people where after a short conversation, we decided that we should meet up for “coffee”. I had set a date and time with two separate people but both meetups fell through! I was given excuses from being sick to being double-booked so I never ended up meeting anyone in real life. I’ll admit – at first I was really annoyed but I haven’t completely given up on the app’s potential and I continue to swipe every couple of days to see who I’m matched with.
Overall, despite my failed attempts at meeting up with a few women, I still found myself liking the app. I genuinely enjoy learning about what businesses or passion projects that other women have and I liked being able to read different profiles – even if we didn’t end up matching. I actually found that if people had their Instagram handle in their bio, I would make an effort to look at their Instagram profile – sometimes I even followed them.
I know that many people would say that connecting online is a lot easier than when you’re face-to-face. I’m not sure if I can say that I find one easier than the other. Both can sometimes cause me a little bit of anxiety, especially in the “break the ice” phase. However, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s definitely value in creating a diverse networking strategy for yourself. In other words, you can’t just meet people solely online or in-person. You have a much better opportunity to connect with different types of people if you take a diverse approach to how you meet them.
If you haven’t already and this post has intrigued you at all, I encourage you to try Bumble BFF out for yourself! It doesn’t cost you a thing (except for your time) and you never know, maybe you could make some valuable connections! Just make sure that if my profile pops up, you swipe right! 😉