When I interned this summer at MTV Networks in New York City, a good friend of mine and I routinely spent evenings on his run-down apartment rooftop shooting the s**t. One night, he started gabbing about a friend of his who he claimed was a…dun dun duuun, “Grindr whore.”
“Yeah, he’ll literally find a guy on Grindr when he’s horny, go to his place, f**k him and leave,” he told me casually, taking a sip from his cheap Moscato wine—we are in our early, broke-ass 20s after all.
This level of sexual bravado frightened, impressed and bewildered me. For us post-millennial gays, Grindr is just as ubiquitous as Gaga. As is Adam4Adam, OkCupid, and other dating sites aimed at a perceived six-pack attraction and bam-wam-scram encounter.
I admit to falling victim to these online havens—hellholes?—for a period of three days. I downloaded Grindr—mostly from the peer pressure of my college friends—and subsequently deleted it after 96 hours. Somehow, getting five random messages from headless suitors begging for sex just wasn’t appealing to me. One…erm, enthusiastic, gentleman even graciously offered to drive to my dorm—location known from Grindr’s impeccable GPS feature—pick me up in his truck, do the deed and then drop me off like a Pizza Hut Big Dinner Box. How’s that for hot and fresh delivery?
I declined his offer…and deleted the app about 43 seconds later.
Perhaps I haven’t given online dating booty-calling enough of a whirl to pass judgment. Perhaps I’m a little old fashioned . Or maybe (just maybe!) I’m right on target. My university comrades—I’m sure yours too, and beyond—can’t seem to get enough of the instantaneous and temporarily gratifying world of Grindr and its constituents. And while I’m sure these tools have their positives, they obliterate something so vital to the human experience: um, actual interaction.
Not to mention the fact that we are in college. If there was ever a time where face-to-face mating was lucrative and easy, it’s right now. Whatever happened to “I met him at Starbucks?” Honestly, do you want to tell your parents you met your boyfriend on a dating website with a black skull logo that bears the same name as a baked Italian delight? Why not at an actual Italian restaurant? Sounds possible (and yummy!) to me.
Am I saying banish the Internet gay culture from your life? Absolutely not. Simply, take a second, stop scrolling through your phone and take a walk outside. You’ll be surprised whom you might meet (gasp!) face to face. “Catfshing” is now 100 percent preventable.
C’mon guys, I live in South Carolina and I’m still holding out for a live flirtation at my local Pinkberry KFC. If I can, so can you.