So I filled out my profiles honestly, noting in each I was not looking to date, "only make friends :)." This practice got trickier on more information-intensive apps—I literally responded to Coffee Meets Bagel's "I like it when my date…" query with a "doesn't want to date me. But Laurie Davis, author of and an online dating consultant, later told me that strategy was all wrong: Being direct was the kiss of death."If you're looking for friends, I would just not write anything about that until the very end if they ask you a question about it," she said. "On OKCupid, they ask you 'you should message me if…' and I would say something really casual there like, 'You think having a drink would be fun.' Use words like 'fun,' which is an indicator of more for social than anything else." She didn't have a lot of faith in my whole friend-getting scheme, really.A woman's profile would show up on my Tinder, and I'd just stare at it.I couldn't swipe right, partly because of an information shortage, partly because of the guilt I felt misleading the woman in the picture.
Going in, I thought the experiment was limited: Because these were dating apps, I couldn't access the pool of straight girls, those least likely to see me as a romantic target.It wasn't, however, easy to find a great friend match.With photo-heavy, information light profiles, the apps had me frustrated within five minutes.During the month that I used social dating apps to find new buddies, I sent countless unrequited salutations, offered up priceless New York City travel recommendations, and even gave my number to a guy who wanted to discuss first amendment rights. When I started, I believed that, with millions of people just searching for company online, I'd easily find my new bestie or at least someone down for a platonic hang.A friend finder app, after all, didn't seem too far away with Tinder for cats and other spin-off matching services debuting. Lyke Me, an app three Michigan State University students have designed to match people based on interests, is launching this fall.) On a personal level, I wanted more friends.