Women looking for a connection no longer have to wait for someone else to show their interest first, at least in the virtual space. “It was something liberating, my heart was pounding when I wrote that Hello“, confessed Laura Artime about her first conversation with a “match” in Bumblethe dating platform where female users are the only ones who can initiate an interaction.
Artime had just arrived in Mexico from his native Brazil in 2022, and “wanted to start over. He had heard about Bumble and I thought it was a good idea, because Tinder and the other ones apps they did not give me good feeling“he said to the voice of america.
“It was a way to practice my Spanish and meet new people. I haven’t found my better half yet, but I’m not losing hope,” he jokes, assuring that “if it hadn’t been for the fact that I felt in control, maybe I wouldn’t have tried it. “.
Make the first move
Described by its founder, Whitney Wolfe, as a “feminist dating app”, Bumble was founded in 2014 and since then has accumulated more than 40 million users, mainly in the United States, something that the company has been determined to change.
What is different about this new proposal, in addition to only allowing women to initiate contact with users of the opposite sex, is the security features, which allow you to report unsolicited photos and harassment. The application also has sections to find friends and make networking of work.
“We seek to attract women through the sense of empowerment, in all the senses that make up life, which is why we highlight different themes that promote taking the ‘first step’, and why it is important for them to take charge of their lives “, he explained to the VOA the senior manager of the Communications team for the northern region of Latin America, Marcela Millán.
The application first arrived in Mexico, later expanding to Brazil, and more recently to Chile, Argentina and Colombia, where it arrived last year.
“Bumble is an app made by women and for women, and its arrival in Latin America is part of the brand’s expansion plan. So we want all women in the region to find what they are looking for, in a space where relationships are equitable and healthy based on kindness, respect and equity, where women are in control of their interactions,” she explained. Millan.
According to Millán, this is “the only dating app that empowers women by putting them in control of their interactions. Women take the first step by opening up the conversation, setting the tone for kind and respectful connections. This means that women have the full control of who they interact with, and spam messages or advances are not tolerated.”
In Latin America?
Being the first to say ‘Hello’ or propose a date still “causes resistance among women in Latin America,” a region rooted in patriarchal traditions, said Graciela Inclán, a Cuban activist and writer living in Colombia.
“We have been raised believing that men are the providers, the ones who have to guide us and we the ones who have to wait for them to choose us. Luckily there are thousands of young women who are challenging those paradigms,” insisted Inclán, a user of various apps dating, including hinge“more serious than Tinder” and of course Bumble“.
Who knows? Maybe my big love is there waiting for me to swipe right”
The young woman acknowledges that she is sometimes overwhelmed because there are “so many apps that sometimes it seems to me that this market is oversaturated”, but warns that “in this post-pandemic world, starting a relationship virtually is the most natural thing in the world”.
“Saying that you met your boyfriend or husband on an app is not something you have to hide. Of course, you have to explain to our mothers or grandmothers in more detail how that world works, but I take it upon myself to tell everyone who comes to me want to hear that not everything is as they paint it”, warned the writer in reference to the “bad reputation” of the platforms most used for casual dating, which “in her opinion there is nothing wrong with it either, as long as everything is agreed”.
From Bumblewarn that they want to “promote in Latin American culture Make the first move” as a way to empower in other aspects as well.
“We seek to empower women not only in their relationships, but in all aspects of their lives,” emphasized the senior manager of Communications.
The “formative” era post pandemic
According to Millán, the relaxation of restrictions due to COVID-19 made 2022 a “formative year with the return of travel, the drastic increase in our social lives and commitments, and a series of turbulent global events, which left some out. out of control and exhausted”.
“In response to this, we have seen that people in Bumble limits are prioritized.
Taking initiative is great if you feel like it’s right, but is it going to be wise in the way you’re doing it, how far are you putting yourself out there?”
To emotional limits, such as being honest about what they want or recognizing signs of trust or warning. All these changes are changing the way they think, what they look for and trying to better balance their relationships, work and life,” she said.
For this 2023, the app team has perceived “that singles are challenging the status quo and taking control over what a healthy relationship means for them, especially in the case of women: for example, in Colombia , more than 500 million first movements were made in Bumble from January 2022 to November of the same year. More than 10 billion messages were exchanged in 2022. This was almost 20% more than in 2021,” revealed Millán.
However, experts such as psychologist Enid Vega recommend caution when entering the world of dating apps. Vega called attention to the amount of information that is revealed online and how people feel “safe in front of the screen”, which creates a kind of anonymity and from where they dare to say things and do things that they would not do if they had to. the person in front
“How wise is it to take the lead? Taking the lead is great if you feel it’s right, but will it be wise in the way you’re doing it, how far are you exposing yourself? Those are the questions that are in the subconscious and not we want to see why we are getting excited, or we are giving them open doors to be free as we want to do”, indicates the specialist.
Features to prevent harassment and report people during an unwanted interaction on Bumble and other apps are there to help, but in the end, “every user has to protect themselves,” agrees Inclán, who “despite everything prefers take a chance”.
“Who knows? Maybe my great love is there waiting for me to swipe right,” the young woman smiled.
[Con la colaboración de Tomás Guevara, corresponsal de la VOA en Washington]
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Source: VOA Español