As people live increasingly on their phones, making friends in the real world can be challenging. People, especially young people, are finding it more difficult to form meaningful relationships, resulting in the number of lonely people growing, especially between the ages of 18-29. Even though mental health awareness is no longer stigmatized and people (especially celebrities) share their experiences with loneliness and mental health, it is still a vulnerable subject for many people. But how do you meet new people in 2022 when everyone is on their phone? Tinder recently celebrated its 10th birthday, and how we meet people has changed drastically within those ten years; instead of meeting someone in the real world, it is now more common to meet someone online. Dating apps have become a regular part of everyday life for most single people, and it is safe to say Tinder, among other apps, has revolutionized the concept of modern dating - is it now time we do the same with friendship? Here are nine options for apps that help you to connect with people around you - both around the corner and on the other side of the world.
Most people know Bumble as a dating app, but they’ve recently added new features; you can now choose between Bumble Date, Bumble BFF, and Bumble Bizz. Bumble BFF is built upon the same algorithm as the original Bumble, where you get presented to people with similar interests that you can swipe either left or right to. Bumble BFF lets you pick what kind of friends you’re looking for. Maybe someone to explore your city, someone who wants to go clubbing, or perhaps just someone to grab a cup of coffee with. With the main target being people between the ages of 19-30, you can come across many people in the same place in life as you; rather you just moved to a new city, started a new job, or simply just looking to expand their circle of friends.
If you’re a part of the LBGTQ+ community, The Out App is the place to be. The app’s function is to bring you closer to the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you’re traveling or wanting to explore the queer community around you, The Out App can help you with that. It allows you to connect with other people who are also queer and expand your community while making you aware of LBGTQ+ functons being held nearby. The Out App is created by queer people for queer people who are seeking people to connect with - but not necessarily people to date.
Being a mother or wanting to become one can be a vulnerable place. Whether you’re pregnant, struggling to be, just became a mom, or are going through menopause, you can feel isolated from the rest of the world. The Peanut app is a safe space for women who want to connect with other people on the same path. It is easy to feel like you are the only one going through whatever you are going through; Peanut creates a safe place for women to share their support and advice.
Hey! VINA was created to make it more accessible for women to meet women, make professional connections, meet new friends in your city, or even find your next traveling buddy. With the mission to empower women through supporting each other, Hey! VINA is a great place to find like-minded women in your community; it makes it possible to create new friendships and learn how you can support your local community of women. The app is 16+, but its target group is millennial women who want to develop friendships and connections with other women.
If your local area lacks people to connect with, or you’re just interested in getting to know people worldwide, Ablo could be an excellent opportunity for you. Ablo makes it possible for you to connect with people across the globe. Ever wanted to get to know Japanese culture but didn’t speak the language? No problem; Ablo has an automatic translation feature that allows you to write in your language with people who might not know it.
With Meetup.com celebrating its 20th anniversary, it is safe to say they have experience with connecting people. At Meetup.com, you can join an existing group, create your own, or discover events near you. This makes it possible for you to connect with people who share the same interests; whether you’re looking for a new book club or a group to play tennis with, the options are endless. Meetup.com is a place for you to get new friends who you will vibe with, but it also can be used to find new business associates who share the same passion as you. And hey, if a group with your specific interest does not yet exist, create it!
If you are more introverted and the thought of meeting up with strangers seems a bit daunting, Yubo might be the right app for you. Yubo’s unintentionally primary demographic is young people between the ages of 16-18; even though the app is 18+, so it could still be the look for you. Yubo stands out from other apps because it allows you to have an honest conversation with the people you connect with before meeting up. It allows you to live chat with the people you connect with - making it possible to ensure you’re not getting catfished and having that (sometimes) awkward first meeting at home. And what’s not to like about meeting new friends from the convenience of your own home?
The dog is the human’s best friend - but let’s be honest, that is probably not enough. Pawdate is a friendship app for your dog. You set up a profile for your dog, and then, based on your dog’s breed, age, and needs, you can search for the best match for you and your dog to hang out with. Besides your dog getting to meet new dogs in your neighborhood, it also makes it possible for you to meet up with people who also share the same interest in their dog as you do; win-win!
Whether you just moved to a new town or want to discover people from around the world from your couch, Wink is the right option for you. Wink is an app that helps you connect with people worldwide and even your next-door neighbor. You get to pick your interests, and the app allows you to communicate with people with similar interests. If you find it nerve-wracking to be the one to take the first step, the app gives you different options to make it easier; you can play an icebreaker game or even call the person you befriended.
Making new friends isn’t always easy, but these apps can make it a bit less challenging. Always make sure to meet for the first time in a public place and perhaps see if their profile is verified. It can feel vulnerable to admit to the world around you that you are looking for a friend or two but remember, it is not something to feel ashamed about.
Rosemarie Lundgaard is studying for a master's degree in Contemporary Literature at the University of Aarhus. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, and enjoys coffee, going on walks, literature, and anything pop culture related.