Gay social networks remain controversial and iPhone app Grindr is no exception

Fire it up in a busy city and it presents the user with hundreds of Gay social networks remain controversial and iPhone app Grindr is no exception looking for casual sexual encounters, along with a chat feature that enables potential partners to check out what the other is "into" before committing to the short walk or cab ride.

Woo said a Grindr survey of its users found that two-thirds of them were using the application to find new friends, to network or to kill time, as well as to hook up. I don't have a sense of whether that's healthy, or whether it's verging on addiction.

While these new apps certainly can't be blamed for nurturing a generation of lonely and single middle-aged homosexuals by themselves, it isn't hard to imagine a generation of emotionally damaged gay men looking back on a life spent surfing around gay mobile apps and feeling

Gay social networks remain controversial and iPhone app Grindr is no exception

Gay social networks remain controversial and iPhone app Grindr is no exception

Woo could not answer is how to develop a version of Grindr that works for straight people and women. It shouldn't replace real life. With apps like Grindr around, which ought to come with a health warning, that's hardly surprising. Though other services like Manhunt popped up, many of which appear to be focused more closely on sexual encounters rather than the full gamut of social interaction, Gaydar, perhaps through simple inertia, remained the go-to throughout the late nineties and most of the last decade.

Woo said a Grindr survey of its users found that two-thirds of them were using the application to find new friends, to network or to kill time, as well as to hook up. Photo: EPA.

Gay social networks remain controversial and iPhone app Grindr is no exception
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