Next Student Web Trend: Anonymous Online Flirting?

Students like LikeALittle a lot.  An increasing number of campus newspapers have turned to that tongue-twister to describe the rising popularity of a unique web service.

Simply put, LikeALittle lets students flirt with each other… anonymously.  The site offers campus-specific platforms for students to reveal their feelings for someone they know or strangers who just walked by or sit near them in class.  In respect to the latter, the whole shebang sports a Craigslist Missed Connections-feel, with a campus twist.  Begun last October at Stanford University, LikeALittle is now available at hundreds of schools worldwide.

As its co-founder Evan Reas tells The Daily Northwestern, “We really see it as a location-based communication platform.  We wanted to bridge that divide to make it easy to communicate with people in the same location, and change the psychological dynamic of the way we interact with other people.  There is this huge fear of rejection.  There is that barrier when it’s a person-to-person interaction, and it’s much lower when it’s anonymous or online.”

The quick four-step flirtation process involves choosing your flirtee’s gender, hair color, the spot he or she crossed your path, and a brief message you want them and web browsers to read.  No names are submitted.  A review of the messages posted by students at schools across the U.S. reveals four running themes: When crushing anonymously, students are idealistically romantic.  Their pick-up lines are cheesy.  The first things they notice are eyes and clothes.  And they fall hard, fast.

Among the many messages students have sent: “You held the door open for me today.  I was shocked that guys still did that.  Chivalry isn’t dead!”; “Girl in a large purple hoodie.  I think you’re cute.  I hope you’re not wearing your boyfriends hoodie.  Come talk to me sometime?”; “I think you’re too cute.  Your eyes are absolutely gorgeous.  I wish I wasn’t so shy and awkward with guys…no worries though, you’ll be my summer goal…baby steps.”; “You are most likely on the basketball team since you were on the floor for 90% of tonight’s game.  You were bleeding at one point and seemed tired and frustrated by the end of the game, I would love to nurse you back to health.”; and “At Chem 101: Male, Brunette.  I wish I was an ion so I could form an exothermic bond with you.”

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