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To Grindr or not to Grindr?

June 23, 2010

Image borrowed from Grindr.comDating. Everybody loves it, and everybody loves to hate it. Getting caught up in that whirlwind of loving like-liking someone so much that you can’t wait to see them again. Until you do, they’re at the forefront of your thoughts leading up to that pivotal (and lately non-existent) second date.

Having asked in April 22’s post, “My date with Anderson Cooper,” “should I focus my efforts elsewhere?” when it comes to dating, specifically regarding my convenient, short-term success with the mobile gaydar app Grindr. I’ve since eliminated the app from my phone and mobile routine entirely. Several reasons led to this decision. One being that I was recognized on the street by someone who knew my Grindr name, granted I’d never had any interaction with the creeper whatsoever.

The more tangible reason for axing Grindr came from reading Edge columnist Angelo Pezzote‘s article “Man or Machine.”  His analysis of how Grindr (and technology in general) desensitizes the gay dating process brings to light recurring themes of rejection many ‘mos face throughout their lives.

Pezzote asks “Do gay men find it easier to be rejected by a machine than a real person?” Yes, they do. Assuming he’s drawing on past experiences to which many gay men relate –whether it be his, mine or yours — there are too many platforms gay men can find answers regarding dating and hook-up scenarios. Grindr interactions usually result in banter, potential dirty talk and photo-swappings that amalgamate…to nothing; a temporary, literal and visual stimulant of visceral and candid sharings of intimate expectations. Whether intrigued or insensitive, hardly anything comes of it.

After quitting Grindr, I take Pezzote’s findings to heart. Not because I identify with what he says regarding this particular instance, but because he acknowledges how gay men think and engage. Defaulting to irrational behavior when everyone else  deems it appropriate is an easy task — it’s easier, less involved, looks cooler, and you know it!

Maybe our answers to dating rely not in the technological conveniences we’ve developed but in advancements we’ve achieved. Should our focus as gay men be directed toward establishing an elite status among the same sex, or should we focus on expanding our demographic in every facet to implement a resonating presence?

A link to Angelo Pezzote’s website: http://www.askangelo.com/.
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