BY: JESSICA BEUKER
As a woman in her 20s living away from home, I can say with confidence that each year that goes by makes it harder and harder to make new friends. The days of monkey bar bonding and boldly asking your classmate with the awesome Lisa Frank binder if they are allowed to “come out and play” after school are over, left behind in a pile of frayed friendship bracelets and broken slumber party pacts.
Making friends when you’re a child is as easy as offering half of your PB and J sandwich to the new kid. This friendship magnetism usually echoes throughout high school and university as well—although with a little more drama, a lot more schoolwork and slightly less peanut butter. The problem seems to arise after graduation. We move away, we settle into careers, we no longer have that structure that allows us to meet new people and socialize everyday.
But a new app could change this.
Hey! Vina launched this month and connects women who live in the same area. Essentially Tinder for friendships, the app helps women make connections “so they can network professionally, meet a girlfriend who has the same interests and shared passion, or just grab a coffee with a stranger,” according to Notable.
Hey! Vina founders, Olivia June Poole and Jen Aprahamian, created the app after watching their own social circles shrink as friends moved away, got married and had children.
The app works by creating contacts by tapping into your existing Facebook network—which means you have to have Facebook—and letting you know who your friends know in your city. The app also matches you with people based on your activities, interests and life stage. “Maybe you’re a new mom, or you’re trying out Paleo and training for a marathon, or you’re single and need a fantastic wing-lady,” states the app’s website.
Next, you swipe through your suggested matches, à la Tinder, until you find your potential new best friend. Once you make a match, the app will send you both an introductory message, so you don’t have to worry about being the first person to reach out. The next and final step is to actually meet and obviously become BFFs.
Hey! Vina also releases lifestyle and personality quizzes to help match you with the most like-minded females.
Not all adults are quite as bold as this girl, who asked a stranger working drive-thru—who complimented her nail polish—to have a sleepover. Who says our greatest friendship-making days are behind us? Hey! Vina could be the push that many women need to put themselves out there and create long-lasting bonds.