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So when I heard about a friendship app, I was intrigued. I had heard about it from my improv classmate Ali (I had started taking improv classes to help me socialize more) and she said she used it to meet new people when she moved to the Bay Area a few months ago.
"I didn't know anyone here and I've never lived in a suburb," she said.
Because we had already chatted on the phone, I found it easy to talk to her. Vina when she moved to San Francisco a few years ago.
We talked about everything, from our jobs to more existential societal struggles. "I've always been a very social and connected person, but when I moved here for my career, I lost that," she said.
So, a few weeks ago, I took the plunge and signed up for Hey! I hemmed and hawed over what I would write in my profile, but decided to just be honest. According to Poole, the profiles I see are according to an algorithm that matches my age, location, quiz results and "some special Vina magic." I'm actually not too picky about the kinds of people I'm friends with -- I don't really care if we're total opposites or interested in totally different things -- so I ended up swiping right on most people. So I went back and tinkered with it, updating my photo with a more recent image and filling in my profile with more details. So I followed up with a simple "Hey, do you want to grab coffee? Deflated, I went on with my day, wondering if this thing was a waste of time.
I gave a brief description of my interests (comedy, food, board games, baseball) and my overall personality (nerdy with a snarky sense of humor). The only ones for whom I swiped left were profiles that were mostly blank or those that struck me as pretentious. Vina only matches you with people who swipe right on you too. I still don't know if that helped, but within a day, I received four "Dittos" (that's Hey! Excited but also nervous, I responded to all of them with a "Hi! A few hours later, though, I received a response from someone. But after a few back and forth messages, we couldn't agree on a time and place and the conversation died.
As a shy, introverted person, I don't go out often, and when I do, it's hard for me to talk to people. As a result, most of my friendships are cultivated through the internet, where the usual social barriers don't apply.
Over the years, I've gotten better at relating to people in real life, but I still struggle occasionally. Vina, and it's basically Tinder for making friends.
For most of my adult life, I've had trouble making friends. After many failed attempts, I became increasingly self-conscious, developing deep-seated social anxiety and a fear of rejection.
I was once described as a party animal with a private side. Have met someone through the site with whom I am happily developing what we both believe will be a long term and deep relationship.
Delighted by the response I had through my membership and consider myself extremely lucky to have ended up in the position I now find myself in.
She greeted me first, saying she liked that I was honest in my profile about being an introvert. She also liked that I was into board games -- something I'm pretty passionate about. So I thought, let's meet up and see how this works out. We ordered our salads and sat in a public park to chat.
Before long, we were texting back and forth about our favorite games, what we did for a living and what we did in our spare time. It took a week or so to schedule something due to our busy jobs, but we eventually settled on a lunch date in downtown San Francisco. Somehow, whatever anxiety I was feeling melted away.