Arts

Facebook page posts anonymous missed connections from U of O students

Maclaine Chadwick | Fulcrum Staff

Photo by Adam Feibel

STUDENTS AT THE University of Ottawa have found a new way to flirt with each other: through “Spotted at uOttawa,” a Facebook page that allows users to anonymously post missed connections that occur on campus.

The page, which has collected more than 8,000 likes so far, invites users to submit a private message about someone they’ve seen and liked on campus so the page administrators can post it publicly but anonymously. The page is constantly updated with posts generally consisting of compliments followed by the suggestion of a date.

“Spotted at uOttawa” resembles other Facebook pages set up at universities across North America. Queen’s University claims to have pioneered the trend with the “Queens U Compliments” page.

Well-intentioned as most of the posts are, these missed connections web pages aren’t always without controversy. The University of California, Berkeley page “UC Berkeley Compliments” is an example of how an innocent enough endeavour can go awry—the page has been criticized for a number of inappropriate posts describing intimate details about hookups that, in some cases, reveal a sexual partner’s identity.

U of O students are somewhat skeptical about the page, but generally find it entertaining at the very least.

“I don’t think it would be a great way to start a relationship or friendship,” says Megan Cary, a second-year English major at the U of O, “but I saw a post about one of my friends—someone had written in about how great she was—and I thought that was pretty sweet. I know it made her day.”

“I’ve sent a message to them before,” says third-year social sciences student Julie Jimenez. “Nothing ever came of it, but I wasn’t really expecting it to be a success.”

While some students are liberated by the anonymity that the page provides—nixing any fear of rejection or insecurities—others are more concerned that submitting to the page could backfire.

“I don’t think I would ever send anything in,” says fifth-year French major Alyson Rode. “I don’t know who runs the page and I don’t trust its privacy.”

Whoever does run the page seems set on maintaining anonymity and declined requests for an interview. That, or the Fulcrum’s emails were lost in a flooded inbox of missed connections.