Grindr: a Risky Business-The hookup app Grindr blurs the line between romance and danger.

PEARL OPPENHEIMER
Contributing Writer

Some risks that arise from using hookup apps include theft, rape or even worse.  Is it possible to safely navigate dating apps such as Grindr?

Grindr is an app created for homosexual and bisexual men. Grindr is similar to the app Tinder.  It uses a smartphone’s GPS-location to show users nearby who have the app.

Sophomore theatre major Caleb Smith thought Grindr would be a gateway to meet more people and become more confident. He quickly found that general honesty is difficult to find on Grindr. He said that people make fake profiles all the time.

“I try to get to know someone first. It’s harder to lie to someone you a have a friendship with,” said Smith.

On July 25, 2012 a Piedmont college student experienced dangerous consequences from using the app. The student was arrested for having sex with a minor. He met the teen through Grindr.

The student’s former suit-mate Jeremy Douylliez still believes his friend is innocent.

“I hate what happened to him… It’s tragic that something so small, an encounter that otherwise is so meaningless, can reap such huge consequences,” said Douylliez.

Douylliez is a former Grindr user himself. He discovered that the teen involved in this case was still on Grindr two months after the incident occurred.  Douylliez reported every underage user he came across, but he continued to see them all over the app.

There are other risks to meeting up with a stranger; for example, the app is linked to the murder of a 25- year- old man in Pennsylvania. ABC Channel 6 News in Philadelphia said police believed the young man, Dino Dizdarević, met up with someone through Grindr. The alleged killer dumped Dizdarević’s mutilated body in a nearby lot.

Additionally, a Canadian tourist was raped and robbed while visiting Philadelphia. The man met his attacker on Grindr. He invited the attacker to his hotel room. Upon arrival, the attacker held the victim at gunpoint, sexually assaulted and robbed him.

According to NBC 10 Philadelphia the victim said, “I will no longer be doing any type of app like that again. I’m just not.”

The national Cyber Security Alliance provides a list of tips to stay safe while online dating. What do you think? Is it possible to safely navigate the world of hookup apps?