I started flicking through my phone and almost unconsciously floated onto Grindr.
Some are raped and tortured in prison, all because they went online to find others like them and feel less alone.
Given its ubiquity in modern gay life, it’s surprising more people haven’t investigated the effects of Grindr on mental health.
He invited me over to take a shower at his place. It wasn’t the beginning of a beautiful relationship or a three-day chemsex bender.
Though I was dubious whether a shower was really all he was offering, I decided to go. It was one of the infinite shades between, facilitated by the spontaneity of Grindr and the kindness of a stranger.
Grindr offers distraction, a temporary balm for anxiety and loneliness, but I wonder if it might also placate people, so they never examine why they feel those things in the first place.
You learn to use Grindr just like you learn to be gay,” a friend told me.
There are no open spaces for the Egyptian community to gather, so Grindr is a crucial platform for people to come to terms with their sexuality.
Yet it is also dangerous: police use the app to lure gay men into meeting them, then arrest them on the spot.
The unpredictable timing of this reward is key to the app’s addictiveness, working by a psychological principle known as variable ratio reinforcement, which is also what makes slot machines addictive.