I’m sure I’ve given the impression so far that I’ve only met creepers thanks to the modern day marvels of location-based apps like Grindr. Such is not the case. I’ve surprisingly made some great friends and professional connections through there – never underestimate the “Networking” aspect of these apps.
I’m a firm believer in apps only being as good or as useful as you make them. Sure, most guys are on there looking to turn a quick trick, but most does not mean all. Some people are genuinely looking for friends, dates, and networking. I’ve used apps like these countless times when traveling for work to find out where to go and what to do from the locals and occasionally ended up with a new friend in the process…all without setting foot in a bedroom or exchanging a not-so-G-rated picture or two.
When I first moved to Nebraska, I didn’t know a single person there. No friends, no family, no one at all. So what do I do? Hop on Grindr to find out where the hot spot is on a Friday. Little did I know that one of the guys I talked to would end up becoming one of my closest friends and roommates (yet now we don’t talk) who would introduce me to the Mean Girls of Lincoln of which I’d quickly become the Cady Heron.
Airports are also another great place to use apps like these. When drinking at the airport bar by yourself gets old, bing! What better way to pass the time than by throwing back a few with a fellow traveler? Sometimes you even end up talking to someone miles away from the airport who just lives nearby and becoming the friends that talk all the time via text, Skype, and otherwise – and stay in touch for several years. One of such friends is actually planning a trip to Chicago in less than two weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Dates, however, are another topic for discussion. A “date” according to most users of these apps should be defined as such:
Date – noun. An engagement to meet socially with another person, with or without romantic interest, most commonly with intent to engage in sexual intercourse.
While I am by no means an innocent angel when it comes to this, more often than not I really just want to hang out, preferably over coffee, a cocktail, or a small meal, and bullshit about whatever we have in common (if anything at all). Most gays, however, see this as uncommon as the Bubonic Plague in modern times. I apologize that I’m apparently old-fashioned and would rather go on one, or several, of these before I jump into bed with you.
Anyways, there’s the rare occasion that a Grindr encounter has turned into a date and gone well. Sometimes I’m all about meeting up with a random to go to Target. I mean, who doesn’t love Target? If you don’t, well, then there’s clearly no wedding bells in our future. One evening, I met up with a guy who was only a few hundred feet away to go to Target and ended up sitting on his patio a couple hours later drinking wine and eating chocolate cake from the grocery store – and only because they were out of cupcakes. Needless to say, definitely not a creeper and totally worthy of hanging out again.
So I rest my case. Apps are only as good as you make them. Not every Grindr meeting results in a bad date with an awkward individual who posted pictures from five years ago when they had a full head of hair and a waist size several digits lower.