is The Smartphone Giving us The Opportunities of Our Lives?

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Singletons searching for members of the opposite sex will soon have a new way of finding the person of their dreams – through the touch of a button on a smartphone.

A new app uses GPS technology to allow anyone with a Blackberry or iPhone to pinpoint potential opportunities for romance as they pass by on the street.

The programme has been available for the gay community for some time, and gay icon Stephen Fry told Top Gear’s very straight man Jeremy Clarkson about the relative merits when he appeared on the show.

Men around the UK turned to Grindr (pronounced Grinder) and downloads rocketed.

It told them how far away they were standing in feet – and perhaps even inches – from like-minded inquisitive Grindrs. Pixellated images offer a grid of potential partners.

Will it work in the heterosexual world? Well, the founder of Grindr – Guy Finder – Joel Simkhai certainly thinks so and on the face of it, why not?

Walking into a room full of strangers and striking up a conversation with a potential suitor only to be introduced a few minutes later to their loving partner could soon be a disappointing mistake of the past.

Instead, taking a few moments to click on to Grindr, or the heterosexual equivalent, and calling up who else in the room is single and keen not to be, at least for the evening, could save on lip service and inappropriate lust.

So, is it really a liberating nirvana for 21st Century singletons, or a risky bridge too far?

It’s certainly a huge help in terms of meeting people instantly whether in a bar or a boardroom.

But the gay community have found a Grindr encounter almost always ends up in the bedroom.

Is it a good idea to have “up for it” members of the opposite sex within fumbling distance?

I posed the question to a group of strapping 17-year-olds, teenage friends of my son whose hormones are racing around quicker than sub-atomic particles inside the Hadron Collider.

A 10-minute discussion concluded it could be very tempting and one or two admitted they may even download the app, but ultimately all agreed it just wouldn’t be worth the risk.

There are certainly plenty of wise words of warning from gay users who counsel that Grindrs are signing up to an unspoken code.

Accessing the app is a precursor to sex. It’s for those who want a physical encounter.

There’s almost a sense of obligation. So, by activating the app are you already agreeing to sexual encounter?


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