“A quick shag is fine, but if that’s all you’re agreeing to when really you want a relationship then ultimately you’ll be unfulfilled,” says Monty Moncrieff of the Antidote service for gay men.“So many of our service users tell us they want more emotional intimacy and a relationship but think everyone else is just looking for casual sex.” “So perhaps the apps can distort our view of what we think is available and what we think everyone else wants.” These one-off encounters which fulfil only a sexual and not an emotional desire can lead to anxiety and depression issues.
“But today if you go to any gay bar or club, you’ll see many people are using Grindr.” He added that app users are “still socialising” in bars and clubs “very well”.
Monty Moncrieff from Antidote reasons: “Maybe trying to get to know the person you’ve chatted with or dated, see where it leads rather than looking for the elusive ‘someone better on the next swipe.’” That might, in part at least, be the answer.
If there is a gradual decrease in opportunities to meet others in-person, there are the obvious mental health issues attached to a lack of social contact and communicating solely online.
Dating apps like Grindr, Tinder and Chappy also ultimately serve to offer us more potential lovers than we could ever need, which makes us feel hopelessly overwhelmed.
Antidote’s Monty Moncrieff has had first-hand experiences with men presenting as something other than their true identity online.
He describes one of many unpredictable situations which Grindr could throw up.Cataloguing the general public’s emotional responses to apps, the organisation asked participants to rank every app they use and report on how happy or unhappy it made them feel.An overwhelming 77 percent of people said that they felt regret when they logged into Grindr.Specifically they examined the mental health consequences when teens find their relationship doesn’t match with what they had hoped it to be.“I found that girls’ risk of severe depression, thoughts of suicide and suicide attempt increase the more their relationships diverge from what they imagined,” said Brian Soller, who led the research.Grindr has a lot to answer for: famously it has changed the face of gay sexual encounters, with its geo-located software revealing the nearest guys to you – and what they’re looking for sexually – at any moment, or place, in time.