I remember watching QueerTV secretly at midnight in my room when I was in high school and IRSHAD MANJI did a piece about gadgets that gays could wear to locate each other in a crowd – kind of like little metal detectors that beeped the closer you got to another gay with the device. I wanted one so bad.
Well now the next generation of cruising technology has arrived:
We’ve seen a handful of dating applications that cater to the straight community, and today brings the launch of GRINDR (iTunes Link), one of the first iPhone applications geared towards gay and bisexual men.
While privacy is an issue for all location based social networks, it is of the utmost importance on gay networks. Without proper security measures, bigots could easily download such applications and use them to pinpoint targets for hateful slurs and potentially even violence. Grindr deals with these issues by obscuring a user’s absolute location by default. Rather than plotting each user on the map. Grindr displays how far away they are (distances can range from a few feet to miles away).