Flirting online helps boost self-esteem

By Erin Shumlich

The popularity of the new social media site LikeALittle has skyrocketed after popping onto the University of Calgary scene last year. The site, which encourages users to “flirt anonymously with students on your campus,” has given students the means to procrastinate on essays, waste their Friday nights and avoid talking to peers in real life.

Recent English graduate Sandra Thompson said, despite having graduated, she hangs out on campus as much as she can in hopes of being noticed.

“I used to frequent Craigslist’s ‘Missed Connections’,” she said. “But I was never posted about because it was city-wide and I was always at school studying.”

LikeALittle, however, is campus-specific and allows anyone to flirt anonymously — the nature of the site allows people to flirt without the burden of small talk or conversation.

Thompson said she is constantly at MacEwan Hall and the Taylor Family Digital Library in order to have maximum exposure around campus.

About once a day Thompson posts on the site. Her latest post was on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 11:43 a.m. and said: ‘I hope one day, someone will notice and post about me.’

“I always post and sometimes I even include my hair colour, eye colour and location so anyone on the site can know it is me. I sometimes see people look at me and rush to see if they will make a post,” she said. “One day they will — a girl has got to dream, right?”

Although no one has yet posted about Thompson, she plans to continue lurking on campus until one does.

Third-year health science student Daniel Switzer, another frequenter of LikeALittle, said he understands its appeal.

“Girls sometimes just want to be told they are pretty,” he said. “People on the site often express that they are waiting to be posted about.”

Switzer said students often are too busy studying and the stress of exams hinders the time they can allocate for social interactions.

“It’s amazing that all these new sites are available for people to flirt online,” said Switzer. “I mean, talking to people in real life is so 2007.”

Although Switzer said he would rather die than stop using the site, he does admit there has been some questionable content on it lately.

“It’s tough because a lot of people talk about their problems, have racist comments and just want sex,” said Switzer. “It takes away from what the site is really about.”

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