In the classroom, around campus and in the gym, someone is watching you. And they think you’re cute.
This kind of attention is familiar to people who frequent the Internet in search of “missed connections” with a person they thought they had a spark with. And now, a new website called LikeALittle.com is making a similar opportunity available specifically for University students.
Launched on Oct. 25, the website has pages for more than 200 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and China. The University of Michigan joined on Nov. 5, becoming the second college in Michigan, after Hope College, to have a Like A Little page.
Evan Reas, CEO and co-founder of LikeALittle.com, said last month that a similar website at another university sparked the idea for Like A Little. He said the goal of the website is to bring people in the same community who may not know each other together.
“We can actually make this into a social network where people around each other can connect,” said Reas, a Stanford Graduate School of Business alum.
Reas said he and his co-founders went to work to create a site that provides users with “location-based communication.”
Users can go to the website, select their college or university, identify their location on campus and make an anonymous post about someone around them. Other users can then respond to the author, either publically or privately.
No account is required to make or respond to a post. Accounts are available to users who wish to receive notifications when a comment is made on their posts or want information about posts in certain locations across campus.
When responding to a post, users are randomly assigned the name of a fruit as their username. Reas said this anonymity distinguishes people in a lighthearted way. He said he is very focused on keeping the website’s atmosphere positive and encourages feedback from users.
Reas also said complimentary or flirty posts are welcome on LikeALittle.com. People on the website often make comments admiring other students’ physical appearances.
But Engineering junior Dan Forhan, the University of Michigan’s Like A Little page founding moderator, is able to comment on or take down posts that may be inappropriate.
Forhan said there will be “offensive or racist or overtly sexual posts once in a while.” But he said Like A Little employees are all actively working to remove any distasteful material to keep the atmosphere positive.
Forhan said it is hard to tell how many actual connections are being made through the site.
“Judging by the content of the site, it looks like they’re happening,” he said.
He added that it is also possible that the exchanges between some users are just jokes.
LSA freshman Saloni Godbole said a friend told her about the site. She said she mentioned to a friend that she saw a cute guy in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, and her friend suggested she post about him on Like A Little. Godbole said she never actually posted anything, but did check out the website.
Godbole said she thinks many people are just joking around in their posts but that “it could really open up a new way to meet somebody.”
LSA sophomore Rachel Weston said she thinks the website is appropriate for a college environment.
“That’s the way college is,” Weston said. “You’ll meet someone and talk to them and never see them again, so I think it’s kind of a product of that atmosphere.”
LSA freshman Louise Colo said she recently started visiting the website. She said she doesn’t believe people are too serious about what they post but said “it’s definitely a fun social thing.”