As students search for that perfect Valentine, some turn to LikeALittle, an open online forum for individuals to anonymously express affections about prospective love interests spotted in lecture halls, restaurants, the library and other public areas.
Much like Craigslist’s “missed connections” section, LikeALittle allows users to post about strangers they may have seen or interacted with in the hopes of tracking down that special someone. The site tailors its service to specific college campuses so students can connect with peers roaming popular areas, with locales at UCSB ranging from Davidson Library to the local liquor stores.
Fourth-year geography major Michael Ford said the platform narrows the playing field and allows users to search for those elusive strangers more easily than on other popular sites.
“It’s sort of like a venting machine to get this sort of thing out,” Ford said. “There’s a slightly greater potential of two people meeting up than on Craigslist — there are only so many people [at UCSB].”
However, some find the anonymity of LikeALittle to be less helpful in making a love connection. Fourth-year global studies major Sarah Sloat said although she relates to the site more easily than with Craigslist’s “missed connections,” she doubts its effectiveness in attracting a potential mate.
“Personally, what would be attractive is if someone came up to me in person and said something,” Sloat said. “Saying that you like someone on the Internet isn’t an attractive thing to do.”
Some students, such as third-year Asian American studies and communication major David Hoang, simply find the highly specific details and romantic forwardness of the posts amusing.
“It’s entertaining to look at — there’s some funny stuff,” Hoang said. “I think some people are serious. It’s a fun way to keep it anonymous and other users help you out because they may know the person.”
Contrastingly, fourth-year political science major Kristin Goldsworthy said she is concerned the site could foster unsafe activity.
“I personally would be creeped out,” Goldsworthy said. “It reminds me of the Craigslist killer — you don’t know who’s on there.”
According to Goldsworthy, the website can’t take the place of an old-fashioned face-to-face interaction with a secret admirer.
“If there’s someone you really want to talk to, just go up and talk to them,” Goldsworthy said. “If they’re in your class, it makes a lot more sense to just go talk to them because you’re going to see them every day and if you put a missed connection thing online … it’s actually kind of creepy that you didn’t just go up and talk to them.”