Bumble Launches "Snooze" Mode To Encourage Digital Detox

Bumble
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Tech companies traditionally work to keep consumers addicted to their devices, but one dating service is taking the unusual approach of encouraging users to set down their smartphones.

Bumble’s latest innovation is a “Snooze” mode that lets singles pause their activity on the app. According to company CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, the feature is designed to help daters curb social media obsession and take a digital detox without missing out on potential matches.

"It's time to encourage users to focus on themselves and mental health and take care of themselves and not feel trapped in this warp of a never-ending stream of social connection," Herd told the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.

Snooze mode is easily turned on in Bumble’s settings. Users may choose to pause their profiles for 24 hours, 72 hours, a week, or indefinitely. A message that reads “unplugged right now, but will be back soon” lets existing matches know that the feature has been enabled. Users may also choose from a selection statuses explaining their absence, including “traveling,” “focusing on work,” “on a digital detox,” or “prioritizing myself.”

While mental health advocates will find much to love in Bumble’s encouragement of healthy tech habits, competitors are bound to question the wisdom of advocating for less consumer attachment to one’s product.

Herd is confident that Bumble won’t see a dip in engagement metrics as a result.

“We’re not concerned at all,” she said. “This is about investing in our users and their wellbeing, and that will always trump metrics and bottom line. There’s no denying the data; we are all spending too much time on our smartphones and too much time on social media. It’s become the new pastime and the impact can be devastating, especially for young women.”

According to Forbes, it’s a mission Herd takes personally.

“I too found myself getting lost in social media when I should have been more present in the moment,” she explained. “I was missing out on what was happening right next to me just to scroll through endless images of other people’s lives. As a result, I turned off all social media for 3 weeks and it was eye-opening. I was uncomfortable at first, which only validated why I needed to take a break, but then after a few days I felt great and far more present.”

Herd hopes Snooze will inspire others to prioritize wellness and take time for their mental health. Whether users respond positively, and competitors follow Bumble’s brave lead, remains to be seen. For more on this service you can read our Bumble App review.