Last week, I had dinner with a friend who was more than happy to share his new favorite iPhone 4 application. The app is called Gaydar. Gaydar, as we know it, is the ability to recognize homosexuals through observation or intuition. Gaydar, the application, makes gaydar literal. It acts like radar, using GPS technology to locate other men using the same application within close proximity.
Gaydar has taken my friend’s social life to the next level, enabling him to arrange mates and dates on the go with a high success rate. Before online dating, a regular guy or girl would find someone in such a narrow circle that requires enough courage for a face to face interaction. This is more difficult for homosexuals because their gaydar might not be always accurate. Not only will it lead to potential embarrassment, it would also likely insult the guy who is actually straight. Applications like Gaydar reduce awkward moments or heart wrenching humiliation when rejected face to face.
Recently, the Gaydar iPhone app has been updated to include chat and push notifications, and the app is now also available to download for Android users. Also, the chat function allows users to connect with other guys on the go as well as share their location, photos from their Gaydar gallery or direct from their device galleries or camera.
On the other hand, this kind of technology makes stalking easier too. The local news in the past couple of weeks reported social networking related violence. This is not to say that the Internet brought about such violence exclusively. It can be recalled that meeting strangers is not a new phenomenon – there were penpals, phonepals, textmates and the like depending on the available technology. This only means that participants should always be cautious. With the convenience and ease and the tendency for social networking to be a necessity, everyone at stake should give extra effort in disseminating information and improving security.