The Squad Effect: The Rise of Friend Finding Apps
The media has long depicted women with a gaggle of gal pals, but in recent years, the rise of the term “squad” has become sizzling topic of much conversation – and some criticism.
Your squad is the group of people who are supportive, honest, and genuinely want to help you succeed. The members of your squad help you to lift as you climb.
The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team has become a picture perfect girl squad (see photo below). Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City had Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha. TV shows like How I Met You Mother and Friends both featured idealized friend groups. And of course, Taylor Swift made a music video featuring her very own squad.
I too have my squad besties who are constantly cheering me on, even when we live thousands of miles apart. The term “SQUAD” has been dissected and adopted by the media, celebrities, and even brands.
With the “squad life” becoming so popular, many of us are paying extra attention to building up our own girl gang. This desire has brought about a surge of so-called “friend finding” apps that were previously only seen in the dating sector. After all, making friends in the “adult world” isn’t as easy as it use to be in the school age.
Even The New York Times is talking about it, suggesting that as we get older it becomes more difficult to make friends because of changing priorities and a lack of proximity. The friends we do have become closer to us as we become more selective about who we spend our limited time with. Finding and making friends, the article points out, can be even harder than finding a date or relationship.
Enter new friend-finding apps! Where growing your SQUAD as a grown woman can be tricky, here are a few apps that can help:
1) Hey! VINA
This app is a Tinder-like platform designed to help women find strictly platonic female friendships. You’ll take a quiz when joining to identify your inclinations towards work-life balance, coffee or wine preference, introversion or extroversion, outdoor or indoor activity preference, whether you’re a night owl or morning lark, and your spontaneity. When viewing potential “matches” you’ll be able to compare your compatibility and interests.
Matching on this app will then open a chat room. The app will introduce the two of you in the chat room and suggests making plans to meet IRL as soon as possible. This process attempts to remove the stress of messaging one another and focuses on creating a genuine offline friendship.
Bumble is best known for being another swipe-based dating app that puts the power into the ladies hands by requiring them to message first. Recently, Bumble has added a new feature: BFF Mode. This feature changes the app matching to other individuals who are also set in BFF mode, helping you to connect with other friend-seeking individuals.
Meetup is an app and website designed to help people with similar interests connect. You can join groups with topics you are interested in and browse events being hosted by other members of your group. Events can range from educational lectures to game nights at your local coffee house. The variety of interests and people to meet are endless on Meetup.
Within the app or site you can view basic profile information about fellow group members and even get a profile picture to see who you might be looking for at events. Members can also link their Facebook profiles to provide some additional information and verify their legitimacy.
As Taylor Swift said, “Other women who are killing it should motivate you, thrill you, challenge you and inspire you rather than threaten you and make you feel like you’re immediately being compared to them.”
Find (and friend!) those other women who are killing it, because as Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Make sure your average is lifting you up, not bringing you down.
Share this post with the gal-pals in your squad or comment below to tell us about how you plan to continue growing your squad this summer!
Jackie Follmuth received her Master of Public Administration degree from Texas Tech University and earned her Bachelors in Public Management & Policy at the University of Arizona. Jackie has a passion for leadership, management, digital marketing, and swimming education. She previously served as Bossed Up’s Digital Director, but has since moved on to be a data specialist for a non-profit in her hometown.