Making friends in the era of a pandemic
( @bumblebff / Instagram)
If there is one thing I learned from quarantine and months in isolation, it’s that loneliness comes easily. After watching endless Netflix shows, trying every food trend on the ‘gram and every new dance on TikTok, the knowledge that you are more alone than ever before, is prominent.
And now, with Fall semester underway and Zoom classes in full swing, it is harder than ever before to make new friends.
As a way to grapple with this impending feeling of loneliness, I turned to the one thing that always provides me with answers: the internet.
Once I scrolled through article after article, I found the answer I was looking for: Bumble BFF. Operating similarly to online dating apps, Bumble BFF is an app that can help people specifically look for friendship.
When I downloaded the app, I didn’t know what to expect. Would I be meeting my next best friend? Or would I be meeting the next notorious serial killer?
Regardless, I built my profile by selecting fun pictures from my Instagram and adding a simple bio.
I matched with a bunch of girls, who similarly are looking for friends to hang out with, get coffee with and to find their new best friend.
After a few conversations with matches, I added them on social media. Starting Snapchat streaks and talking more thoroughly, the natural click some people strengthened, while other conversations faded away.
So far, I’ve been on two successful meet-ups from Bumble BFF. Both were at coffee shops, where a coffee addiction was a common denominator in our likes and interests.
For my first meet up, I was a bit nervous. While this wasn’t a dating app, I still had the “what if she’s a murderer” jitters. I told my boyfriend where I was going and said, “If you don’t hear from me in a few hours, call the police.”
However, once I found the friend and sat down at an outside table (masks on and socially distanced, of course) we launched into an easy conversation. An hour and a half later, we parted ways with promises to hang out again. And the good news is, we have hung out more. I made a new friend! We’ve had fun going to a farmers market and walked around Lake Alice.
My other Bumble BFF date, however, went a little less smoothly. While our conversation lasted a few hours, we didn’t have that much in common. Now, I’ve been left on delivered on Snapchat for over a week. That’s probably for the best, though.
I’ve done my fair of swiping. Now here’s your guide to get you going, too.
Don’t be afraid to swipe right
Looks can be deceiving, and as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. While it’s okay to have some criteria, there is no need to be picky, and you never know who you might click with.
Keep it simple with a hello
While you may be used to corny pick-up lines on typical dating apps, on Bumble BFF a simple hello can be a great way to start the conversation. Another good way to start a conversation is to establish a connection and find something in common. On each person’s profile,
Add them on other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat
Not only does this verify that the person is real, but it also can help you determine the vibes the person gives off. By snapchatting them, you can further develop your conversations and treat them more like an actual friend. This will help you determine if you want to become a IRL friend, and then you can plan hanging out with them outside of the internet.
So far, my experience on Bumble BFF has been a good one. Have I found my next best friend forever? Have I connected with my future bridesmaids?
Not yet, but maybe after a few more swipes.
Michelle Holder is an Online and Print Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She is passionate about international affairs and travel. You can typically find her buried in a book or drinking expressos at local coffee shops. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter @michellecholder.