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While some view technology as neutral, neither good nor bad, an application’s architecture facilitates certain behaviours.In dating apps, these may be questionable: promoting superficiality, or encouraging users to spend more time on the app, rather than actually meeting in real life.Some are raped and tortured in prison, all because they went online to find others like them and feel less alone.Given its ubiquity in modern gay life, it’s surprising more people haven’t investigated the effects of Grindr on mental health.If I had to describe my relationship with Grindr, I’d say it’s complicated.In March the app turned ten, and in that decade it has transformed the landscape of gay sex and dating.
You learn to use Grindr just like you learn to be gay,” a friend told me.
He invited me over to take a shower at his place. It wasn’t the beginning of a beautiful relationship or a three-day chemsex bender.
Though I was dubious whether a shower was really all he was offering, I decided to go. It was one of the infinite shades between, facilitated by the spontaneity of Grindr and the kindness of a stranger.
For some gay men, it’s the modern equivalent of cruising in a public toilet, and you’re less likely to get arrested. You keep checking in case you got a new message, an urge magnified by constant, low-level arousal.
Nothing holds your attention like the potential for great sex at any moment.