Men who use apps such as Grindr are more likely to hook up with strangers when faced with a low phone battery, a new study has found.
Researchers at Canada’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University asked 262 queer men to imagine they’d been messaging a man who was “exactly the kind of guy you’re attracted to” for several days.
“While chatting with him, he’s been flirtatious and expressed sexual interest,” they were told.
The participants were shown screenshots like this. (Sexuality & Culture)
“Late one evening, while messaging him on your phone, you both begin to chat sexually with each other about the many sexual things you would like to do together. You both express being very aroused by the conversation.”
Participants —who all said that they used a dating app at least once a week—were told at random that they had either 5 percent, 20 percent or 100 percent battery life.
Lower battery means more hook ups
Those with a lower battery were found more likely to agree to a hook up than those with a full battery—though researchers noted there was little difference between those with 5 or 20 percent.
“When individuals are faced with a low phone battery, a sense of urgency may be experienced, which can increase risk-taking behaviours to accommodate an impending phone ‘death,’” read the report, published in the Sexuality & Culture journal.
The idea for the study came from ride-hailing app Uber, which published similar research on whether users with low battery lives would be more likely to pay premium fares (they were).
“We expected that if an effect could be seen when people are hailing a taxi, a similar effect should be observed under conditions that presumably matter more such as the scarcity of suitable partners on dating apps,” co-author Cory L Pedersen told Gay Star News.
He added: “It’s hard enough finding a suitable partnership, let alone having to deal with a dying cell phone.”
Is Grindr addictive?
Last year the renowned sexual health clinic 56 Dean Street told PinkNews that using Grindr can cause effects similar to that of addiction.
“Addiction has many definitions, but one of them includes a compulsive pursuit of a dopamine release in our brains,” said David Stuart, who manages the clinic’s chemise support services.
“Hit the right buttons and you get a sexual affirmation, that causes a dopamine release.
“Each button we touch holds the promise of sexual excitement or satisfaction, sometimes even a cure for loneliness or isolation.”