Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Grindr Paradox

Almost every queer man has downloading the app Grindr at least once (and then most likely deleted it and then redownloaded it again with this cycle repeating for months or even years) since the app launched in 2009. On the google play store and the apple app store Grindr is categorized as a social media app, meant to connect men with other queer men in their area. However when someone hears the term social media they would quickly think of Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, ect but when someone here the name Grindr their minds would most likely think of: headless shirtless torsos, physical and racial "preferences" in the profiles, and the fact that Grindr is known as a hook-up app.  

If you Google "top gay dating apps", the top 4 site that rated dating apps have listed Grindr on all 4 lists. Anyone that knows anything (even a little) about Grindr knows that a lot of men use this app to find local guys too hook-up with not find that special someone, and yet Grindr (and other known hook-up apps) have made it onto these lists of some of the best gay dating apps. The app itself doesn't even try to come off as a dating app.
Like all of my potential prince charmings are shirtless muscle hunks 
For many people Grindr is far from a dating app and it is just full of shirtless guys looking for sex, but what if the reputation that the app has obtain doesn't match the actual profiles on Grindr? The fact of the matter is more people are looking to connect with other queer men than they are looking to have sex. When looking at 400 profiles (200 on a weekday during that day and 200 a weekend at night. Thanks Free Grindr Xtra) what people put in their profiles did not match the stereotypical know usage of the app. 
Weekday Data (WD)
The following are the number of profiles that indicated what they were looking for:

Right Now- 79= 39.5%
Chat- 92= 42%
Friends- 102= 51%
Dates- 74= 37%
Relationship- 62= 31%

Weekend Data (WE)
The following are the number of profiles that indicated what they are looking for: 

Right Now- 82= 42%
Chat- 95= 47.5%
Friends- 102= 51%
Dates- 76= 38%
Relationships- 62= 31%

In both the sets of data guys that stated that they were looking for sex ranked 3rd below looking for chat and friends, and dating was a close 4th.  Even looking at the data closer only 34 profiles in the WD data and 35 profiles in the WE data marked only Right Now and nothing else. Meaning that the remaining profiles were open to a more serious connection besides just sex. Though the amount of profile that stated that they were looking for sex increased slightly from weekday to weekend, so did the profiles that said that they were looking for a connection other than sex. When just looking at profiles alone more guys state that they are looking for friends and someone to talk to over just looking for sex, along with almost as many people are looking for some kind of serious relationship opposed to purely being on for the soul purpose of sex. Also the notion that the app is full of shirtless torsos is false. 

Weekday Data  
Shirtless Pictures- 43= 21.5%

Weekend Data
Shirtless Pictures- 27= 13.5%

On both sets of data a person was more likely to either encounter a profile with a clothed picture (78=WD and 95=WE) or a profile with no picture at all (79=WD and 78=WE). But of course Grindr wouldn't have the reputation of being a hook-up app if a majority of the users weren't using it to seek out sex. So the question is why doesn't the numbers support the perceived reputation? Of course one explanation is that what one says on their profile doesn't necessarily have to match with what they are telling users in private messages. Just because a person says that they are looking to date doesn't mean they can not seek out sex without mentioning it on their profile. This can lead to a disproportionate amount of people looking for something that may not be mentioned in their profile. Even with this said there are countless amounts of guys who have found their current partners from Grindr and many more men do use Grindr to find a date/relationship, which leads to the ultimate question if the majority of people know/use Grindr to find sex why do some many guys use it to hopefully find a long lasting partner?