Making friends from nursery through college isn't so bad. Yes, you have popular girl cliques and the social politics that play out in the schoolyard, but finding people who you have things in common with is a relatively simple process. You're in some of the same classes, probably share similar socioeconomic backgrounds, and, except in rare circumstances, live in close proximity, making it easy to get together for friend dates.
But, as many authors and filmmakers have bemoaned in their works over the years, making a friend after college is less simple. Sure, there are your colleagues, but mixing work and play isn't always healthy — nor is it preferred after you've already spent 40-plus hours a week together. Finding people who share your interests takes far more effort (Do I join a yoga studio? Take a French class?), and often requires more time, money, and energy than many of us feel capable of at the end of a long work day.
Enter the world of friend dating, an entirely platonic, swipe right, swipe left approach to finding your next BFF. Dating apps such as Bumble and Tinder have introduced separate friend-making channels within their apps, and independent friend-making apps are appearing at increasing rates in the App Store.
The same skepticism that critics and psychologists once expressed about dating apps — can you really swipe right to find love? — has been applied to their friend counterparts. Can you swipe to find what Anne from Anne of Green Gables described as, "a bosom friend — an intimate friend, you know — a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul"?
I decided to put four friend-making apps to the test to find out.