Students seem to like this website … a little
The latest addition to the list of time-wasting web sites available to university students is likealittle.com. Likealittle, available at many Canadian and U.S. universities, has grown in popularity during the last several weeks. The launch of the site for Wilfrid Laurier University coincided with the beginning of the December exam period.
The web site consists of short, user-submitted posts stating the physical description of someone they’re looking at on campus, usually followed by a flirtatious compliment or proposition.
An example of a post from the night of Dec. 17 reads: “At Concourse: Female, Blonde. you’ve got a kim kardashian booty ;) your studying philosophy, but lets study the philosophy of sex ;)”
Users are also able to comment on these posts and send messages to those who post.
The site calls this “high-quality flirting” and touts the additional fun of all submissions remaining anonymous. Students have visibly used Likealittle as a distraction from their studying, with users often attempting to arrange a clandestine rendezvous with the others around them.
Allegedly, anonymous “hook-ups” have occurred at Laurier and on other campuses because of Likealittle. “My best guy friend got laid last night thanks to this website,” one poster claimed. “Truly an epic creation.”
While many find the interaction of the site playful and harmless, others are put off or disturbed by the idea behind it. Second-year student Carly Greveling does not support the idea of the site. “I think it’s derogatory towards men and women,” she said.
Greveling added that the site has created an air of paranoia on campus. “It’s really creepy,” she said. “I know you look at people no matter what when you’re on campus anyway, but this is voicing that and having other people know what you’re thinking.”
As Likealittle grows in popularity, students have started to use the site for more than just flirting. Posts such as “At The World: Male, Black hair. Lunar eclipse tonight! :) whos gunna be watching at 3am?” and even “Female, Blonde. Anybody want to go grab a panzerotti avec moi? Need another person to get the discount, but it’ll be worth it, these things are huge. Any takers?” have begun to surface, much to the delight of readers.
Unfortunately, the page has also been used as an open forum for anonymously venting about fellow students. “Female, Brunette. i can smell your greasy hair from across the floor. please go shower,” is one of many posts containing derogatory remarks about others’ appearances and habits.
“Female, Blonde. hey foot patrol STFU” is another example of a post used to attack rather than to flirt.
Fourth-year student Sarah Lowry says that she is annoyed with the attacks, and that they have gotten more frequent and progressively crueler since the site’s launch. “There’s some really mean stuff on there,” Lowry remarked. “In the beginning, it was kind of okay, but now it’s just kind of mean.”
Lowry feels like the anonymity of the site gives posters more courage to say what they feel. “It’s like a step-up from Tweeting or Facebooking,” she observed.
As the site has become more popular, some students have used it to attempt attention-grabbing stunts. One poster, claiming he had lost a bet, posted that he would be streaking through the Concourse at a given hour.
According to Special Constable Services operations manager Chris Hancocks, SCS was quickly informed of this plan, and officers were dispatched to the Concourse to halt the planned streaking.
Hancocks said that the site quickly lit up with warning messages to the streaker. “There were people saying, ‘they’re here, they’re here, don’t do it’,” he said. No streaking took place.
Fourth-year student Chris Lemon believes that Likealittle’s popularity is due to narcissism, but that it’s nothing out of the ordinary – why it is so popular. “It seems that people just go on the website to see if people are talking about them,” said Lemon. “People like gossip, and people like to think that people are talking about them.”