The latest trend to hit the BYU campus may be over before it’s really begun. On Friday, Jan. 22 the app Down to Lunch exploded across BYU campus as students downloaded it, signed up and invited friends to join. Down to Lunch is designed to make scheduling lunch dates and other social gatherings more convenient.
Since the initial app release in late August 2015, it has been exploding in use across college campuses all over the United States.
The app was created in May by Stanford graduates Joseph Lau and Nikil Viswanathan who initially developed it for their own use and to reconnect with college friends who were living around the San Francisco area.
“I think it’s really funny; I love the idea, and I think it is a great way to meet up with people you don’t see on a regular basis. I’ll probably use it but the idea makes me nervous right now,” said BYU senior Brooke Engilman. “I didn’t want to be out of the loop so it only took me two text invites before I joined the app.”
The app has a simple design with three main functions that have to be selected by the user before the invite is sent out. First, users decide the activity or meal. Then they have the option of sending the invite to all friends or certain friends in particular. Once they decide on the location, the invite is sent.
The app sends notifications to friends in the user’s contact list when they are available to meet. Friends who are interested can text back.
BYU senior McCall Mishler said she has received about 15 texts inviting her to lunch. “Most of these people I am not very close with so I wondered to myself, ‘why would they want to go to lunch with me?'” she said. “So I downloaded the app and clicked the biggest button on the screen, not realizing it would send a mass invite for people who were ‘down to lunch.’ Most of the time I like to eat by myself, so I don’t know how often I will use this app.”
Once the dust settles and the hype over this app has cooled down, students could also end up using it to create social gatherings.
BYU junior Tate Cowley said he thinks the app is a good idea. “It’s actually an idea I have thought of previously,” he said. “I’ve been messing around on it but I haven’t invited anyone to lunch yet.”
BYU sophomore Josh Johnson feels like it is a cool idea, but he is bothered by the constant spam he received on his phone as friends signed up. Initial reactions leave students excited for the possibilities or annoyed at the constant notifications and texts they have been receiving throughout the day as more of their friends join the app.