I’ve been accused of being a bro for a very long time. I don’t hate necessarily the association, but from what I understand, there are some negative implications associated with the term. The word “bro” is usually applied to those who lack both intelligence and respect for women. So not only is this aspect incredibly offensive, but as so many generalizations tend to be, they are inaccurate.
Regardless, people have some unfounded desire to categorize people into preset archetypes, and since being a bro isn’t all bad, I guess I’ll take it. So it was no surprise to me that when a social app created to bring bros together was released, I was one of the first to hear of it. I was actually sent a link to the app from someone on Twitter.
The app is called BRO, and the website’s description says that the social app is “for straight, bi, and gay men looking for friends or more.”
Now I don’t want to sound too skeptical, but this app already sounds confused. I mean, an online forum for men of all colors, creeds and sexual preferences in one place for a plethora of indiscernible relations from friendships to lovers? There’s bound to be a LOT of confusion and conflict, right?
Regardless, I decided to find out what this app was all about. So I downloaded it, then had to wait several hours before I could use it. They had to first determine if I was a good fit, or something.
You can watch ads or invite friends to reduce your wait, which kind of sounds like bullshit, but I did it anyway. Eventually, I was accepted and was then tasked to create a profile, where I was asked standard questions about myself (height, age, ethnicity), and a few not-so-standard ones. Like this:
(I chose “Lumber Bro,” a term I hadn’t known previously existed.)
Lastly, they ask what I believe is the most pressing question: What you’re “Looking for” from the app. The options being: “Dates, Chat, JUST Friends, Long-Term Bromance.”
Then there’s the highly suspicious, “Whatever, Bro” option, which I would assume is chosen primarily by people who are cheating, or just don’t want to be so forthright with their sexuality, so they choose this option to reside in the proverbial gray area. As I would discover, most men chose this option.
I, however, chose “JUST friends” under the impression that I wouldn’t be seeing much of a response, as I quickly discovered BRO is VERY much a hookup app, though it’s intended to be much more. I also chose to make my profile photo a picture of myself and my fiancee so that my goal of seeking friendships and friendships only was fully enforced.
My screen was soon plastered with images of various men of all ages and…I just felt weird. I don’t know, something about perusing profiles of men you don’t really know (or know what they want from you) is a little weird. Also, friendship proved to be one of the least likeliest things dudes were on here for. These guys wanted ass.
One of the first profiles to pop up is a dude in leather assless chaps. He also has an assortment of heavy chains strung across his body for reasons I’m not sure. Other profile images featured men taking shirtless selfies in the bathroom, dudes in bars drinking beers, and a LOT of car selfies.
I tried “fistbumping” a few dudes (this is akin to the Facebook poke) and did received some back. But that’s about it. Fun, right? You can message others, but I didn’t want to give anybody the wrong idea because a good 90 percent of the dudes’ intention on the app were the frustratingly passive, “Whatever, Bro.”
Another feature of BRO is “Daily Bros” where, like Tinder, you swipe left or right on dudes in your immediate area. Again, this is very confusing, as I’m not sure what these dudes I match with want from me: friendship, or to fuck. So yet again, this presents an awkward situation as I don’t know what matching with a dude implicates.
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t match with a single person.
Essentially, I feel like BRO is a discrete version of apps like Tinder and Grindr. I appreciate BRO’s attempt at the idea of creating a dating-like app for friendship, but for that to work, these ideas have to be mutually exclusive. You can’t have an app for sex AND friendship, too many lines get blurred, and everything gets confused and muddled. After a day playing around on the app, I deleted it with no intentions of returning.
So in case it weren’t obvious: No, I don’t recommend the app. Not even a little bit.