Take My Survey at the End of This Post: Rearranging The Deck Chairs
It seems the phone aps like Scruff or Growlr are overtaking the traditional hook-up sites like Manhunt and Bear411 who have tried to stay in the game with their own mobile, even GPS-driven versions. Duh me kept wondering whether all those guys in the bars or the gym on their fucken Samsungs and iphones half the time were checking the weather, when a buddy enlightened me that what a lot of them were doing was checking out the virtual version of the hottie three yards away. Do any make a pass on the phone? I guess so though I rarely bring my phone in the bar or gym to know if anybody likes me, really likes me.
Well, recently the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the federal Centers for Disease Control decided to launch an online campaign on a few of these hook-up apps promoting HIV testing. Hey, the app gurus even donated the space (with the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more they pull in on advertising I think they can spare it), and the Big Brothers have gloated over the fact their messages were seen by over 19 million users and clicked through more than 30,000 times in a campaign that ran one month earlier this year.
Okay, sounds noble,but just because I click on a guy’s profile or he clicks on mine doesn’t mean we’re gonna do the nasty. So, do you really think gay guys, especially younger gay guys, are getting the message? With the increase in new infections among twentysomethings or younger rising double digits?
I mean, if you’re gay and you haven’t heard about AIDS (you’ve been playing too many video games, buddy) or don’t take all the talk seriously, do you really think a message on a phone app is going to change your mind? When HE’s waiting for you just two ab machines away.
Something tells me, a gay man who lives in sunny South Florida, one big party town and a hot bed for STDs where syph rates are going through the roof and HIV rates are the highest in the country, that the strategy behind these campaigns is like the crew on the Titanic rearranging the deck chairs so the passengers wouldn’t notice the ship was going down.
Wanna make a dent in the HIV rate, Big Brother? Make BB sites illegal, have apps and conventional hook-up sites not accept profiles with verbiage like “anything goes” or “mild to wild” or “safe sex: ask me.” Maybe even ban butt and hard dick shots. (I know, now I’m sounding puritanical, but, hey, if the guy is interested, that’s why God created texting and e-mails or the “send photo” feature, right?
But I wanna hear from you on this one – tell me I’m wrong, PLEASE. I’ll report on the results in a future post.