One of the things that I want to do before my semester abroad comes to an end is to befriend a local. And by befriend I do not simply mean to have a casual conversation with someone at a tram stop, I want to actually get to know someone, exchange contact information and keep in touch with them after I leave Europe in May. Within two days it will officially be a month since we first arrived in Prague, and unfortunately I have yet to meet a local I could potentially become friends with.
I first thought the logical thing to do in order to achieve my goal was to hang out at places where the local youth hangs; however, it turns out that approaching someone at a café is certainly not easy, it requires a lot of confidence not to mention a certain fluency in Czech. After I realized that meeting people the old-fashioned way would actually not be as easy as I originally thought, I started to wonder which social media applications or websites Czech youth utilize to meet new people.
As I was doing my research I soon realized that applications or websites, which allow you the opportunity to meet new people, are all utilized (or specifically designed) with the ultimate motive of finding a romantic or sexual partner. Just to be clear, I am not trying to do neither; thus, my research was quite unsuccessful. Yet, I did learn a lot about the online dating culture in Prague. According to an article I read on a blog called Prague Fashion Scene entitled “DATING APPS IN PRAGUE: A QUEST TO FIND THE GOOD, THE MEDIOCRE, AND THE REMOVE-FROM-PHONE” Tinder is the number one dating app in Prague and it is great “for those traveling, it’s an excellent app for meeting new people, having a city fling or getting insight from a local.” He also reviewed other dating apps such as The InnerCircle, “an invitation only, private members clubs where applications are tightly vetted” and Badoo, which according to the author “caters to both Czechs and foreigners living in Prague” making it perfectly suitable for exchange students.
The wide variety of dating apps and websites used by Czechs made me wonder why there are not apps of the same kind designed for people who would simply like to make new friends, or, if they do exist, why aren’t these as popular as Tinder? Are we really more comfortable with the idea of finding love/sex through an online application rather than a friendship?