“[I]nstead of advancing the gay agenda of inclusion, I found the apps to perpetuate what people scorn about LGBT: promiscuity, impersonal behavior, and sexually motivated conversations,” Cody Freeman writes in a new essay published by Time. “These depersonalized conversations are what lead to depersonalized relationships.”
On the contrary, one might argue that getting totally naked and rolling around in bed with another person creates a very personal relationship — at least for an hour or so.
Freeman claims hookup apps like OkCupid, Tinder and Grindr are destroying gay culture by perpetuating the stereotype that gay men are all a bunch of whores. He also believes the apps encourage “shame-based” relationships. (Of course, it’s only “shame-based” if one thinks being gay is shameful, which Freeman seems to believe, or at least he insinuates it subconsciously.)
“Gay men want those perfect relationships that we see in romantic-comedies, instead of the ultimate fear of our generation: being alone,” Freeman generalizes. “But there is nowhere that is not sex-based to connect.”
Hmmm. We’ve met plenty of other gay guys in non-sexual settings. At school, at work, at parties, you name it. Apps are just one of many methods gay men use to connect. And, contrary to what Freeman implies, not all of us do. There are plenty of gay guys out there who don’t have Grindr accounts.
Freeman acknowledges that the apps aren’t all bad.
“Compared to traditional dating methods, these apps provide many advantages,” he writes, “[Y]ou save time on bad blind dates and boring conversations, you can connect to someone anytime you feel lonely, and if you are rejected you simply move on to the next person.”
But, he continues, that convenience comes with a price.
“[B]ecause there are thousands of people at your fingertips,” Freeman writes, “it also creates a society of oversharing, superficiality, and instant gratification. You are on the grid 24/7 and you must advertise yourself.”
This creates what he calls a “paradox of choice.”
“Be careful who you choose,” he says, “because there might be someone better out there—always.”
Sounds like someone’s been burned more than a few times.
“I assume that I am like most people on these apps,” Freeman writes, “ultimately seeking a lasting relationship.”
Maybe that’s his first mistake.
What do you think? Are apps killing gay culture? Sound off in the comments section below.