Why do so many guys on Grindr behave like complete a-holes? That’s what one writer wants to know. And rightfully so.
“Like most gay men, my relationship with the app is a complex one,” Christopher T. Conner writes in a new op-ed titled Notes On The Meat Grindr. “I am caught between Grindr’s promise to connect me to other gay folks–yet disgusted by its ability to bring out the worst in us (myself included).”
Conner praises the app for its impact on the gay dating scene, revolutionizing how men meet and interact. But all that is not without a cost.
“Grindr shapes us into the stereotypical gay ‘tribe’ (twink, bear, otter, etc.) of our choosing,” he says. “The result is often an exaggerated performance where we try to present ourselves as caricatures of ourselves (often in hyper-sexualized, extremely masculine ways).”
And what exactly is wrong with that?
Well, Conner says, not only is it disingenuous, but it tends to make people act like shallow, superficial douchebags who hold no accountability for their behavior.
“As Grindr reduces us to our profiles, the lack of rules where no one is held responsible for their actions of behaviors also promotes racist, ageist, and hyper-masculine behavior,” he says. “One need look no further than douchebagsofgrindr.com for examples.”
But not just that. Conner believes the app is also starting to show a generational gap between its original adopters and new users in their late teens and early 20s. He recalls a recent conversation with a young man:
One 23-year-old male I recently spoke with had never been to a Pride festival, even though he was out to friends and family since age 18 and has an older gay brother. In his own words: ‘I had no idea Pride could be so much fun. I always thought going to gay bars was about getting black-out drunk and hooking up. I never thought about going out as being more than that. I also never thought about knowing gay folks outside of my hookups.’
Ultimately, Conner feels, Grindr “detours us from living fully empowered and open lives.”
“We need to put down out phones, go out, be social, meet new people and allow ourselves to experience the things in life which make it worth living,” he says.
What do you think? Does Grindr bring out the worst in people? And is the app totally killing our ability to interact with people in the real world? Share your opinions in the comment feed below…
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