Grindr: Friend or Foe?

Brupp.

Are you familiar with that (distinct) Grindr sound?

“hey”
“hi”
“sup”
“nm. you?”
“just chillin”
“wanna fuck?”

I would not be the one to hold it against you if you are. However, I think more of us are familiar with that smart phone application message alert than we would like to (collectively) admit.

It is at this point in the conversation that one might receive the infamous (or much-anticipated) dick, booty or even torso pic (if the torso isn’t already the centerpiece of the profile picture). Hilarious! I mean, how often is it you have a conversation in which you are subjected to such overt promiscuity. The impact of which, I think, can either fan the flame so-to-speak, or alternatively pump the brakes.

It is a surprise like no other. “Bam, right in the kisser”. This moment is kind of like taking a sip of that red wine that’s been sitting (opened) under your bed for a few weeks. Nasty.

But it’s also a bit of a laugh — how could you have been so naïve? Online dating via Grindr: what else did you expect? Real love? A “true connection”? “Please. That’s what E-Harmony’s for”, a skeptic might opine. Comparatively, “face pic, please,” is what the optimist might crave.

There are some that are also of the opinion that there is about as much chance of finding real love and a true connection on a lonely Saturday night as Tony Abbott is likely to believe climate change is a thing (negligible).

Use of the geosocial gay connector, Grindr, is rampant and accordingly it is about time a conversation was started on a university level.

Regardless of your sexuality, whether you have ever utilised the iPhone application, thought about it, fantasised about it, downloaded it but maybe didn’t use it, or most probably: if your mate uses it and it is often the subject of (hilarious/promiscuous/terrifying/boring or even productive) conversation ­– then you probably should read this.

Without doubt, Grindr is interesting. It is a modern homosexual phenomenon. It is a deeply tangible product of emerging and newly established societal norms driven by powerful new technology. The app harnesses the glorious power of GPS which means that your phone, or rather you, turn into a high-tech tracking signal.

Grindr essentially feeds off the idea that made Facebook so great; a virtual construction that, at its core, provided a forum through which people could communicate (arguably) more easily than ever before. The success of Facebook is reflected in the fact that as at July 2015, the company’s market value was approximately $250 billion[1] with a total workforce of 10,082 employees.[2] To further spell out the lucrative social media market, Facebook was conceived in 2004, yet pulled eye-boggling revenue in 2014 to the tune of $12 billion US dollars.

This unprecedented social media service unequivocally also paved the way for other applications such as Hornet, Tinder and even E-Harmony to achieve similar economic and social connectivity goals globally (albeit with slightly different purposes). Grindr is evolution. It is proof that technology has facilitated a shift in how humans communicate with each other in a sexual context.

I have found Hornet and Grindr to be the crassest of the bunch, with various gorgeous and remarkably ugly dick pics thrown around like colour at the Holi festival in Delhi. Oh, and same goes for iPhone portraits of the male derriere. Don’t let this article deter you from trying out the app, but be prepared to at least once leave your moral, ethical and social inhibitions at the front door. Because once you enter, you’re essentially in a room. A big room. Full of boys at various stages of self-acceptance, who present various degrees of overt sexual desire, innocence, arrogance, insecurity, curiosity and even self-hate.

By all means — enter and have fun. Meet new people, forge some friendships and meet a lover. But be wary because for many those moral, ethical and social inhibitions will catch you up eventually. My advice: start the conversation, know the face of the person you are speaking with (or typing to), know a little about them and then arrange to meet, if you so desire, in a public place.

Enjoy the Grind. I sometimes do.

Sincerely,

A seasoned user.