Over the past month, I have gone on a digital quest for friendship. To achieve this, I summoned the aid of two apps: Longwalks and Bumble BFF. I was able to make multiple connections, and more importantly, compare the two apps, so you can make the best choice for you! Who couldn’t use more friends?
Both apps are simple to use, and creating a profile is quick and straight-forward. Within minutes of installing either app, you will be able to begin browsing and potentially connecting with other users.
I am a new Bumble BFF user, having signed up three weeks ago. While there is a free version of Bumble, in order to use all its features, you must pay a subscription fee, starting from $13.99. Bumble’s format is similar to other "swipe" apps, which seems humorous when searching for friendship rather than a romantic connection. I am not a fan of the swipe feature for any intent and find it a bit dehumanizing. How can an entire person, all their thoughts, hopes, and passions be reduced to a few photos and a short blurb?
With a paid subscription, you are able to see who has “liked” your profile. Otherwise, exploring and swiping through Bumble users is random and time consuming. You are able to set your parameters for age and distance, but Bumble appears to be primarily designed for making local friends.
I do like Bumble’s freeform biography section, but the character limit is constricting. It took several attempts to fit what I wanted to say into the space. I also found it odd there was a limitation on the number of interests you can list. Users are allowed only five interests across all categories.
I have connected with several local women on Bumble BFF, but so far, the conversations have been fairly surface-level. Naturally, it can take time to get to know someone well enough to delve into deep topics that lead to genuine friendship, but I think the app could be better tailored to foster friendships more easily and quickly.
Longwalks is different from any other social app I have used. Longwalks is positive, aesthetically pleasing, and fully free to use. Longwalks provides daily fill-in-the-blank prompts, and within various interest groups called Clubs. These inventive prompts are at the heart of what makes Longwalks unique.
Based on your answers, you can connect with like-minded users from around the world! It is an inventive and effective way to get to know people through their responses and have topical conversations. You can freely scroll through the Longwalks community and “follow” users you relate to. If they follow you back, you can privately message each other. Over time, you can build deep and meaningful friendships, as I have in the one year and three months I’ve been an avid user.
Longwalks is constantly improving and has added many new features. They have recently included the option to add more photos to your profile, which I love. Visuals are great for showing people who you are and what is important to you. Longwalks seems to truly value user feedback, aiming to make the app the best it can be for all.
Admittedly, Bumble BFF does have more users located near me; however, Longwalks is constantly growing in all locations, and with it, the potential for making in-person friends. Longwalks also recommends five friends every day based on your answers, so it’s easy to make new connections daily.
It should be noted Bumble BFF does have an optional profile prompt section, but it is restricted to three prompts for display, and the options are few and more basic than the thought-provoking prompts Longwalks has.
I will continue to use both apps to cultivate friendships near and far, but for enjoyment and efficacy, Longwalks is the clear winner in my eyes.
Surfer Dust - poem
As you sleep,
The dust by my window
Dances in the sunlight;
Swirling specs of glinting gold
Riding air currents
Like minuscule surfers.
As the dawn and I kiss your brow,
I wonder how many surfers are yours
And which ones are mine.
When did they part with our flesh,
Freeing themselves to be wind-riders,
Slaves to the air?
Over distant seas,
Our surfers soar with the breeze,
Above plankton, slaves to the surf.
Have we tasted wine in Sicily?
Were we exhaled by a Sei whale?
You awaken suddenly
And stir the dust.
The soft shimmer spins
About your head
Like a living halo.
Lyrics: "Carpenter of Time"
Katrina Fleisher is a Writer and Business Owner hailing from Boca Raton, FL. Jill of all Trades with a penchant for Poetry.