The friendship finder application Hey! VINA was launched on Jan. 26 for females looking for friends with similar interests in their cities. The app is currently available for iOS and only in New York and San Francisco for now but co-founders Olivia June Poole and Jen Aprahamian say the app will slowly expand both to Android and to other cities.
The app caters to females and is like Tinder for making friends. Simply put, the end goal is not to find a date but to create possible lasting connections by finding other females who share the same interests whether professionally or personally.
"The people we meet change our lives, whether they help you find your next job, the love of your life, or a place to live, we all get by with a little help from our friends," the website explains. VINA may have borrowed a line from The Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" but it has a point when it comes to the importance of friendship in people's lives.
"We started VINA in Summer 2015 with a common belief that all it takes is one friend to change your whole life, a passion for bringing people together, and the shared challenge of making new friends as an adult," Poole wrote. Some have expressed concern over the authenticity of friendships made over downloaded apps stating that, like dating apps, one can just stop seeing one person and move on to the next.
While the concern over forming authentic friendships via apps is valid to some extent, isn't it the same experience when actually getting to know someone personally at work or in school? It is a world where interests are varied but not everyone is courageous enough to actually come up to someone and offer friendship only to be rejected. At least the friendship apps offer a sense of acceptance to at least meet and try to get to know each other before deciding whether there is a possibility for friendship to blossom.
Other purely friend finding apps include BeFriend, Squad and MetjUp, as well as SpotAFriend which only caters to teens.
"True friendship doesn't come from when everything is great and wonderful; it's about going through life together," Psychologist Adriana Manago said.
Then again, you can consider yourself friends with someone for a long time and share some ups and downs only for the friendship to crumble at some point so. While we agree that true friendship is about going through life together, there is also the fact that people change over time and, whether one likes it or not, a long-time friend could outgrow them and branch out to other interests.
The concept of Tinder-like apps purely for friendship may sound funny to some but, just like romantic relationships, people must lay down some foundations for lasting friendships. If these apps can gain a person a new friend based solely on a few interests that matched them up, then it is probably worth a try. After all, true friends also understand that you don't always have to like the same things to know that the bond of friendship exists between people.