Let me see, who’s in my vicinity that might be, interested, in hanging out with me here……….oh, I see that blinker, I’ll go there then! Translated…
The first year of iPhone for me was 2007, my very first smartphone was Sony Xperia from 2012, the prevalence of smartphones in Taiwan back in 2014 got to seventy-percent of the population. The smartphones combined with the GPS system, with the friendship apps were born, made the physical bodies into geography. This turned the friendships of gale males upside down. But, before-Smart to SmartPhones, the transitional phases, there’d been, a very short-lived website: GapMap. The site is active during the “with the needs, but when the SmartPhones weren’t prevalent enough” back in 2010. I was still not yet into my doctoral program, still lived with my boyfriend at a suite high up in a building. My desk was in the midst of that penthouse, and, perhaps, due to the fengshui, I’d not, opened my field of vision, nor my life, wide, enough yet.
One day, my good friend, Doobe told me, that there was a website, GapMap, that I could see those who are…close to where I live—I’d tried register online, the image was like GoogleMap, but, with every person a dot, like the tacks on a map. And, passing the Fuhe Bridge, there were, the highly inhabited region of Zhonghe and Yonghe, living up to its name of “first class warzone”, the map needed to be maximized, then, maximized, again, to see the gaps between the people. There was a headshot like a sticker that’s, stuck on my head, I can’t remove it—looking at the face more closely, it seemed like that gay man on the twelfth floor, the one with the French dog.
something that’s like…this! found online
The Fengshui programs told that if the walls aren’t with light, our minds will always and forever be, closed. And yet, there’s, only limited living spaces in the city. I’d turned on the GayMap daily, like I was, opening the window, to see a wider, world, to resolve the problems of fengshui of my wall over my desk. It’s just, that the location of the GayMap GPS, it’s based off of the individuals’ needs, I’d often seen Elvin, Dong, from someplace, hanging themselves above the Hsintien Creek often. From upstream to downstream, the heads floated, like the ships of an ocean, very interesting, and malicious. Looked like the people afloat, actually, they’d, swum out of the Red Sea, that was, a way of appearing too. I’d not cared about cheating a lot, but, going north to south, south, to north, scanning from the origins of the creek, to the exit, it seemed, that I’d, immersed, completely, in water then.
My “field” discoveries ended, with the coming on of the SmartPhones, the friendship apps automatically set up the priorities for me based off of my geographical location in relation to others’, from near to far off. There’s only a limit to the number of people whom you can see on this trial version of the app, there’s a dense population of gay people in Yonghe, I can’t get my cursor out of Anhe and Shuanghe Boroughs at all—the hands of the goddess that’s blocked up the Monkey King of the digital era. My friend, Doobe who is out of the engineering majors, told me, that this isn’t difficult, there’s the false GPS system software. We can be physically in Yonghe, but our minds, Thailand, before we travel abroad, we’d already, set up our location at the hotel we are to check in abroad, and, gotten along with those around us virtually, and, as we physically arrived we are, already, well, connected. I’m completely taken now, the desks, the walls, and now, my imagination, became, limited.
And now, iPhone got to the fourteenth generation already, and, I’d still gotten reminded time to time of GapMap. Maybe, it’s more like that gap, opening up this tiny hole in the times. Can drag it with my hand, or, imagined a false location, I’d wanted to know the gay population in Zhoushan Island too, if there are passionate boys like me in Hai Phong, Vietnam, if there are Dongs who are like me, holding my location above a lake in Vieng Chan, Cambodia………………
So, this is how the invention of the internet, of programs like GoogleMaps, help people stay, connected, especially in this day and age, when face-to-face contact is next to impossible, especially due to the outbreak and all of that, we longed to connect, establish that sense of hey, I know you, “friend”, let’s hang out online, and see what sort of troubles we can get ourselves into, yada, yada, yada. And these apps aren’t that bad, if you use them in the correct means, if you only use them for the sole purpose of socializing, and connection.