It’s the age-old question: Have hookup apps killed gay dating culture?
According to Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai, the answer is still no. They haven’t. In fact, they’ve enhanced it.
While speaking before a group of club goers in Hong Kong, Simkhai, who recently sold 60% of the company to a Chinese gaming giant for $93 million, explained why he rejects the theory that his app is damaging our ability to engage in meaningful social interaction.
“Even before Grindr, I think, sometimes you wouldn’t go out,” Simkhai said. “But today if you go to any gay bar or club, you’ll see many people are using Grindr.”
He added that people are “still socializing” in bars and clubs “very well,” and that for many people it gives them confidence to strike up conversation with people they otherwise may have been too shy to approach.
And as for all those studies linking an increase in STDs to hookup apps, as well as all those reports you hear about people being robbed, beaten, tortured and even murdered by people they met online, Simkhai says that all boils down to personal responsibility.
“At the end of the day, Grindr is an app that shows the guys around you and you can meet them,” he explained. “We make it very easy to meet people nearby.”
He continued: “Some of them do hook up, yet some of them become friends, boyfriends and even roommates–and that’s just the natural way of life. You meet someone and many different things can happen. It’s about all kind of experiences and I’m very comfortable with it.”
What do you think? Do you agree with Simkhai, or are Grindr and other dating apps having a negative impact on gay culture? Sound off in the comments section below.