People Are Saying Bumble's Mental Health Notification Missed the Mark
On Tuesday, Canadian users of the popular dating app Bumble received a push notification that said, “Did you know 1 in 10 men will experience depression in their lives? Match today to support men’s mental health.”
The purpose of the notification was to raise money for Movember Canada, the leading international charity addressing men’s mental health, but some social media users took issue with the way it was worded, believing it encouraged women to take on the emotional burdens of men.
— ????????Elizabeth Vail ???????? (@AnimeJune) November 13, 2018
Hey @bumble, this Movember (I assume) message for women is weird and insensitive. Plenty of ways to support men's mental health that don't insinuate that we should do our part by dating men. pic.twitter.com/bq20EGMkiy
— Elizabeth Allen (@elizallen_) November 14, 2018
Bumble quickly replied to Twitter users expressing discomfort with the wording of the push notification. To one user the company wrote,
Hi there! We believe everyone is responsible for taking charge of their own mental health, and far too often emotional labor is placed on women. Today we’re donating $0.02 to Movember Canada for every match made on Bumble Date, Bumble BFF, and Bumble Bizz.
Hi there! We believe everyone is responsible for taking charge of their own mental health, and far too often emotional labor is placed on women. Today we’re donating $0.02 to Movember Canada for every match made on Bumble Date, Bumble BFF, and Bumble Bizz. ????
— Bumble (@bumble) November 13, 2018
As Bumble stated in its apology, Bumble users could raise funds for men’s mental health by “matching” not just on the dating app, but on their non-dating apps, Bumble Bizz (for business networking) and Bumble BFF (for making friends) as well.
While Bumble’s intentions were good (raising money for men’s mental health awareness is much-needed!), the notification touched a nerve for many social media users because women are often expected to carry emotional weight of others. In an interview with Tonic, clinical psychologist Wizdom Powell spoke to this social pressure.
When men suffer from mental health problems in silence and fall victim to substance abuse or suicide, it’s often women and girls who are left to pick up the pieces and take on caregiving burdens.
If you are a man struggling with your mental health, you’re not alone and there is help available to you. In his piece, “Men, Talk About Your Mental Health,” Mighty contributor Tom Barron shared a word of encouragement for any man who may be struggling right now.
I am a man, comfortable with my masculinity, who struggles with chronic depression and general anxiety disorder (GAD). I’m excellent at covering it up when I need to, but awful at handling it when I don’t… You don’t need to suffer in silence. Take the steps to help yourself, and to better your mental health. Men who can talk about their emotions and feelings, in whichever way they feel fit, can be far more powerful than those who can’t.
The Mighty reached out to Bumble for comment and has yet to hear back.
Header screenshot via Twitter