Have I covered the Bumble phenomenon on here? Maybe not, but I certainly have used it and oh boy!
Quick and dirty: Bumble is an online dating app that has been in existence for a few years now that basically promises “normal” women that they will have more control over their flirting experience. Developed by someone who knows the struggle is “real” for women (really? just women?), here is how the Bumble experience distinguishes itself:
At Bumble, women make the first move. In heterosexual matches, the woman has 24 hours to make the first move and the man has 24 hours to respond. In same-sex matches, either person has 24 hours to make the first move, while the other individual has 24 hours to respond, or else, the connection expires. By prompting our users to be bold and make the first move we’ve seen over 3 billion messages sent to date.
The first problem I had with these rules is that it doesn’t matter if I was able to start the texting conversation with the guy I paired myself up with. I would say that the majority of the guys I wrote to did not write back to me – I guess that’s what makes them normal? Some did write back and I had some uplifting conversations where one person ended up telling me that “I was no spring chicken” while another one freaked out a few days into our chat, and told me he still loved his ex and “couldn’t do this.”
Basically, I would just position Bumble as another outlet to search for the needle in the dating haystack of madness. It’s not any better or worse than anything else out there for flirting, or finding a mate that doesn’t insult you or have a virtual emotional breakdown. But, do I group dating sites and apps with professional “networking” sites and apps? Definitely not, so I was surprised to read that Bumble has expanded into the “bizz” arena.
“According to CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, a safe space is needed for women who are career networking, just as it is necessary for dating.”
Would I want to use the same mechanism to find a colleague that I would to find a boyfriend? Would I want to find out that my mate has been using a dating app to “network”? Would I feel any “safer” as a female looking to professionally network using Bumble Bizz and its location-based technology versus LinkedIn or at an actual conference or event?
NO. And I don’t understand why the marketing message is that there “is a shield built into Bumble.” Like a hardcore protective barrier? Also, why should women fear men and not the other way around? There are plenty of dangerous women out there who use all sorts of technology to prey upon others. This also makes me question same-sex flirting, networking and the “rules” for finding friends online, which Bumble also claims to do with “Bumble BFF” (really?!)
As any human being with the desire to connect with another human being, my advice would be to do what feels right, and not to depend on technology as a protective “shield” from negativity or danger.
Take a page out of my cousin’s latest suitor’s book. Pay additional cash to extend the chat window, get to know the other person for weeks and then when it comes to actually meet up and make things happen, just chicken out:
Here’s a game rule that someone needs to scream often: When you are planning your first date, DO NOT “play it by ear.”