Campus Life Editorial

I tried BumbleBFF and here’s what happened

I noticed, rather late into my years at UWF, that I have trouble making lifelong friendships. Sure, I have my work friends, my “we’re suffering through this term together” friends, and my regular hangout friends.  But I didn’t get around to making the type of friend you call after a rough day. 

I heard about BumbleBFF from a friend. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a fabulous idea, but I was pretty nervous to give it a shot– like pondered it for two months, nervous. Anyways, I finally decided to just make a profile “for science.” 

The layout for BumbleBFF reminded me a lot of Tinder’s layout. The user gets to look through nearby profiles of other users looking for platonic friendships. You swipe left if you don’t like them and right if you do like them. 

Making the profile was the hardest part for me. When I made a Tinder profile, I just slapped a few of my best selfies together and called it a day because the point of that profile is to just be attractive. While on BumbleBFF, I had to make a profile focused on my interests and personality because the goal for this profile is for people to see the real me.

For my profile, I selected a few photos of me doing my favorite things: eating, protesting, and playing around with my dog and boyfriend.

Once I made my profile, I started to swipe through nearby women who are interested in platonic friendships. All of the profiles I read seemed like the woman behind the profile is genuine. So, I swiped left only if the women were far away. Since BumbleBFF is a relatively new app, there aren’t a lot of users in the Pensacola area yet, so the app often pulls users from lower Alabama.

The tricky part about BumbleBFF is that if you match with someone, you have only 24 hours to message them or you’ll lose that match. That element made the experience a little nerve-racking. I hadn’t considered just how difficult it is to strike up a platonic conversation over the Internet until now.

My go-to move for starting conversations was to ask the other user about their profile. One of the parts that helped me calm my nerves was that majority of the women I spoke to on the app also felt a bit of their element too.

I haven’t met anyone on the app yet, but I plan to soon. Some of the women I’m speaking with attend group fitness classes or participate in book clubs. I plan to meet them in a group setting first until I feel more comfortable with them. You can expect a part two to this article after I meet a few of the women irl.

Gina Castro is a senior at the University of West Florida where she is double majoring in English Literature and Journalism. When she's not researching new stories to write articles about, she is watching knitting tutorials or obsessing over Toni Morrison.

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