Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Part 5 Online Gay Social Networking Sites: Effects and Marginalization


Majority of the users contains pictures of them being half naked, some wearing only their underwear, and some taking the pose of what they consider as artistic nude. Having these trend leads to another issue that users tend to create stereotypes, the trend of “No chubs and effeme policy”. Most of the users with a gym-fit body usually has a clause on their profile “no chubs and effemes please”. “Chubs” is a term for an abbreviated word “chubby”, and effeme is the term for effeminate gay. This means that the user with such clause only prefers to date a user with a well fit body.

Some users who don’t have the “gym-fit body” were interviewed on face to face. Don, a 23 year old member shares the same answer among the 5 people interviewed, that he doesn’t send message to someone with a “gym-fit body” for invitation to be a friend, nor even ask them for a date since it always mean rejection, which has been proven by experience. Carlo, 24 years old, when asked about this trend, said that he only sends messages to someone having a not so developed body to
avoid rejection.

These resulted to stereotyping for both parties and created an effect of marginalization. Those with a “gym-fit body” claim the higher part of the hierarchy and the marginalized users either has to pump up themselves with steroids to date them and keep up with them or instead date persons within themselves. Questions were also posted about this to the users with “gym-fit body”, answers vary according to preference, but most of their preferred dates are of the same appearance.

Echoing the argument posted by Boyd in her article Friendster and Publicly Articulated Social Networking (2004) that one is simply performing for the public, but in doing so, one obfuscates the quirks that often make one interesting to a potential suitor. Thus, some users were also interviewed through messaging about why they post images with what they consider to be sexy, majority of the answers agree to the premise.

Going back to our respondent in the introduction, Jerome, considering the availability of pictures of the guy he has been stalking to, found the best avenue of stalking as his subject presented himself on his most vulnerable condition of being nude. This leads to a lot of issue. An issue of privacy on
exhibitionism and voyeurism can be extracted. Previous posts about this