One on one sexy chat
(For the verbally precise among you, I think such friendships between non-single Christians are also a bad idea, but that's not what we're talking about here.) Intimate friendships between men and women almost always produce confusion and frustration for at least one of the parties involved.
Close friendships by their very nature tend to involve extensive time talking and hanging out one-on-one.
How intimate of a friendship with someone of the opposite sex is OK? Won't the friendship be ruined if one of us expresses romantic interest and the other doesn't respond favorably?
Basically, the question seems to be how exactly single Christians should relate to members of the opposite sex in that large and awkward zone between "we've never met" and a deliberate dating or courting relationship. I won't repeat the full history lesson here, as several Boundless authors have already discussed it (Joshua Rogers most recently, in his excellent piece "Your Friendgirl Deserves Better").
This mechanism means that despite its cartoon livery of ginger cats, Meow Chat combines some of more Wild West elements of socializing online – its chat rooms are chaotic, full of belligerent and friendly users in pretty much equal measure, and the one-on-one chats are as unpredictable as that stalwart of the genre: Chat Roulette.
To the extent that one person's romantic feelings have been clearly articulated to the other (and were met with an unfavorable response) to continue in some no-man's land of "good friends," is arguably to take selfish advantage of the vulnerable party. What if one person develops romantic feelings in a friendship in which no "clear words" have been spoken, such that the desires of the other person are a mystery?
Yes, I know, the other person is an adult who is free and responsible to walk away if he or she is so unsatisfied, but like it or not, it tends not to work that way. Especially if it's the woman in this position (as seems to be the case more often than not) she will likely feel that if she pushes for something more than friendship, she may lose the interaction and companionship she currently has.
The app itself is available for i OS and Android and asks users to create a miniature profile by either importing information from Facebook or just punching in a username, email address, password (and, of course, a profile picture)goofy to creepy pretty quickly, with the chatrooms full of abusive language and invitations from strangers to start "chatting in private" - an especially worrying feature given that the sign-up age is just 13 years old and requires no external verification (and users can always choose to hide their age).
The app also offers the chance to browse profiles in your area, and judging by the short bios some users have written (“no nudes plz”; “don’t message me if your [sic] 50”) this feature can be a magnet for creeps.
In this series of articles, I've raised several biblical principles regarding the way we should treat our brothers and sisters in Christ.