If you’re a gay, or bi, male of a certain age, then you’ve probably used (or at least heard of) Grindr. The place where hope goes to die. Even though my blog is primarily about discussing the impact that men have had on me over recent years, I felt the need to discuss the app that has made me a terrible person.
Most people who sign up to Grindr, such as myself, are mainly looking for fun — but there is also room to look for dates etc. When I first joint the app as a curious 19 year old, I was optimistic and polite to guys who contacted me. If I was not interested in a guy, I would simply reply “Hey, thanks for the message, but you’re not really my type. Sorry, but good luck” or something along those lines. At the end of the day, we’re all similar, we’re all gay or bi and looking for something, I felt it was important to be polite to other gays, we’ve all been through the collective struggle of being oppressed, abused and treated liked crap, so why do we treat one another so badly?
After being on the app for a while, I started to fall into the trap. I started to be mean to guys, without really realising it. If a guy contacted me, who I was not interested in, I would simply block him, or even worst, simply ignore him and hope he went away. Sometimes I would even be a tease — that makes me sound utterly terrible.
At the time, I was not away that this was even going on. . . but since leaving the app and reflecting on the way I acted while I was on Grindr, I realise that it contributed in making me such a bad and mean person, something I loathe in myself to this day.
I know its naive, and false, to solely blame a single app on a behavioural change, but the access that Grindr gives someone, a nervous confused teenager (which I was at the time), allowed me to treat other gay men as if they were disposable people without any feelings at all. It is far different to other dating apps in the market, such as Tinder, in that you can contact anyone within a certain radius of where you are — and you can contact them time after time, as opposed to the ‘matching’ mechanism that is dominant on other apps.
Don’t get me wrong, I did have some success while on Grindr. I had some pretty good hookups, made one or two other gay friends (that have been really helpful recently), as well as going on a date, occasionally. But overall, it is a cesspit for the meanest and darkest sides of human behaviour.
If you look at trolling and cyber bullying, its classic that people say things to other people that you would not say in real life, the power of a phone or laptop protects you from face to face contact. The same can be said for Grindr, when you look at the photos of guys, they don’t feel real at first, they don’t feel like people who actually have emotions and feelings. . . when in reality they obviously do.
Nothing can be done to change this, its the way that modern technology has progressed. However, To The App That Has Made Me A Terrible Person I have nothing to say, other than that I feel much happier now that i’m not using Grindr. I also say to people who are on Grindr, and those within the gay community as a whole, let’s be kinder to one another. We’re not all going to get along all of the time, but if we just start acting terribly to one another. . . what are we really achieving?
P.S. — I’ll probably be back on Grindr by next week. It always happens.