Forget Sex: How The Idea Behind Bang with Friends could Revolutionize Social Interaction
By: Sean Hollister
Perhaps you’ve heard of Bang With Friends. It’s a rather controversial thing. Simply put, it’s a Facebook and mobile app that lets you pick which of your friends you’d like to “bang.” Oh, but it’s more clever than that: the app won’t reveal your intentions until that friend picks you back. Then, theoretically, you can clandestinely meet for a night of sex without any fear of rejection, or the need for awkward dates, and none of your other friends will be the wiser. Needless to say, some people aren’t so happy about the idea. They’re worried that it objectifies people, that it could promote infidelity, and other things of the sort.
It’s a shame everyone is so fixated on the titillating aspects of Bang With Friends, because there’s a genius idea lurking just underneath the surface. When the creators of Bang With Friends went looking for a fling, they stumbled upon a formula that could bring people closer together, period.
What if you could talk about any embarrassing or obscure thing, knowing that another person already shares your interest?
You probably have a number of interests that you wouldn’t bring up in casual conversation, and don’t display proudly on your Pinterest board. Things you don’t ‘like’ on Facebook, that you don’t share to any but your closest Google+ circles, and that you certainly wouldn’t tweet about. Your true tastes in music. Your Pokemon addiction. Perhaps even your favorite kind of porn. Your political stance, if it’s controversial. They aren’t necessarily deep secrets, but perhaps just mildly embarrassing things that you wouldn’t want to broadcast to the world.
And broadcast is indeed what you’d be doing in the modern era. None of these communication channels are really secure, and all of them are places where exposing your tastes could potentially cost you a job. So today, we build up collections of “safe” interests in public, and save our true feelings for anonymous chatrooms… except for the few of us brave or foolhardy enough to not give a damn. And when you do find people on IRC or 4Chan who share your interests, do you take them out to lunch? No, not if you might be worried that their friendly emoji could conceal a murderous plot.
But the double-blind Bang With Friends formula could bridge that lonely anonymity with real, human interaction.
Imagine this: Instead of secretly telling one person that you’d like to bang them, you secretly tell everyone that you love Barry Manilow… but just like Bang With Friends, only the people who also admit that they love Barry Manilow will be allowed to know. Now, perhaps you wouldn’t want to trust a company with that kind of information, with all the security breaches and hacks as of late.
But if there was one you could trust…
You walk into a party, and instead of treading water in casual conversation for hours on end, you simply look down at your phone. Right there are pictures of the people who share embarrassing interests with you, so you can clandestinely meet up and talk about them. You can chat the night away about Magic: The Gathering if that’s your cup of tea, and perhaps you’ll move on to other topics you hadn’t even thought to share. Perhaps, enamored by all the secret silly and private meaningful things you have in common, you’ll even hook up later that week.
In that context, banging with friends doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.