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Surprising Science

Is It Time to Develop an App to Make Friends?

It’s difficult to make friends out in the “real world.” But some people have managed to forge those special bonds through hook-up apps, like Grindr and Tinder.

Friends are difficult to make outside of college. Anyone who has endured the transition from university to the “real world,” or even to a new city, knows how much more difficult it is and how much more proactive one must be in order to acquire friends. However, Taryn Hillin from Fusion writes that hook-up apps, like Tinder and Grindr, are helping some to forge friendships rather than find a relationship.

Many people have spoken to Hillin in interviews about their experiences in finding friendships through these apps. Hook-ups or dates evolve into close friendships that people decide to keep rather than muddy the waters with an intimate relationship. A lot of these people say they’ve gained confidants and friend groups that they wouldn’t have otherwise. But these scenarios aren’t the norm. Rather, they bring to the forefront an interesting problem that people are having post-graduation: making friends.

There are some networks that assist in the friend-making process. Social group activity sites, like MeetUp and Facebook Groups help coordinate lonely people into gatherings that create opportunities for friendships. But what about an app that calls out into a network of other lonely people that there’s a heterosexual female looking for another female to watch B horror movies with her? Perhaps developers believe having that kind of app on your phone may seem too desperate or depressing for some. To introverts, it would be a blessing.

Hillin writes that the science of friendships require three ingredients:

“Proximity, unplanned interactions, and a private enough environment where two people can confide in each other.”

In an odd way, Tindr and Grindr are able to facilitate those kinds of interactions.

Would you download a social networking app to find friends? Or does that idea sound off-putting? Sound off in the comments below.

Read more about the people who found friendships though hook-up app at Fusion.

Photo Credit: Garry Knight/Flickr


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