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  • snitzoid

Are most people introverted? Have trouble making friends.

OMG, I'm like a friend magnet. Honestly, I feel like a porchlight surrounded by pesky moths wanting my...fucking awesome sense of humor. Enough! Can I get some solitude for Christ's sake?

Bumble, the popular female-led dating app, this week announced the release of a separate app geared towards users making friends rather than romantic connections.

The pivot towards platonic matchmaking may come as no surprise to power users of the app: the ‘BFF mode’ feature, which Bumble launched in the main app in 2016, currently accounts for 15% of Bumble’s users. Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd expressed that young people are now more open to striking up friendships via an app, with a company survey finding 67% of Gen Z respondents agreeing that making new friends online “lessened their loneliness”.

Alone again, factually

Bumble's timing may be prescient. In the wake of pandemic-borne social distancing, surveys have observed a ‘loneliness epidemic’ across the US: in 2021, almost 1 in 6 Americans reported feeling lonely or isolated, with young adults nearly twice as likely to feel this way than those over 65. Last month, a YouGov survey found that, while 55% of Americans have between 2–5 close friends, 13% have just one, and a further 8% have no close friends at all.

The same survey reported that 59% of Americans consider themselves to be introverted, of which 21% self identified as very introverted. Today, the most common way for romantic couples to meet is online (per Stanford research) — could that one day be true for friendships too?

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