By Lawrence Mashiyane
While Grindr has been around for years, I only recently decided to find out what it’s all about and what the appeal is. Particularly, I was interested in whether anything I had heard about it is true, and what that means for the gay community and stable relationships in general. Wanting to know all this opened me up to more questions: Who gets on Grindr? What’s the mentality of the guys on Grindr? What does Grindr mean for the stereotypes and stigmas that surround the gay community? These questions came flooding into my mind as I noticed that the App was referred to as a “Hook-up” App and not a “Dating” App as other such Apps, like Tinder and Badoo, are called.
I am a huge fan of memes and, at times, I spend hours of the night just looking at memes and laughing crazily alone in bed. Up to now, I had heard of Grindr but paid it no attention. In my opinion, Facebook was enough of a way to meet people as any dating site would be, if one had the interest anyway. However, when I saw a meme about Grindr, that was when I thought, “I really need to look into this” and so I did. I asked people what Grindr was as I only had a faint idea of what it was. After that, I watched YouTube videos and read articles about people’s experiences on the App. Some were hilarious and some were scary and creepy. Others were sad. Unfortunately, I did not find a lot of stories about “true love” or lasting relationships. I think I came across one or two, but certainly not enough to lead me to believe that anyone went on Grindr seeking “the one”, but is it unlikely?
To try answer these questions, I decided to get Grindr for myself. Not knowing what to call myself but knowing that using one’s real name is ill-advised, I called myself Madara’s Pain. After getting Grindr, I realised that was not a name one would typically find and, at times, people requested explanation. Simply, being the “Geek” (as Grindr would put it) that I am, my name is a double reference to an anime I love called Naruto. The first part is a reference to the main villain of the anime, Madara Uchia and the second part, Pain, is a reference to my favourite character in the anime (who is also a villain) called Pain. Why I put the two together as Madara’s Pain is to reference the fact that Madara used Pain in the anime. I see now that my Grindr name was a wasted double nerd reference as no one goes on Grindr to decipher nerdy references. Even though my bio was always changing and always some philosophical line like “the world is physically metaphysical”. Anyway, that’s who I decided to be on Grindr, my normal nerdy and philosophical self because I was there to investigate, for the most part.
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