Campus Confidential scours student unions, lecture halls and dorms for the crucial and quirky stories that make colleges and universities special. Share what you’re up to on a Friday night, learning (or not) in that lecture - and what you're looking for in a school search as a new student. Higher education reporter Maura Lerner will keep you informed.

A digital site for secret admirers debuts at Macalester College

Posted by: Maura Lerner Updated: February 3, 2014 - 12:22 PM

Karintha Lowe, a sophomore and guest blogger from Macalester College, sent in this report about a new social media site taking her school by storm:


Just 48 hours after Friendsy opened to Macalester students last week, an estimated 20% of the student body created an account.


Not bad for a dating site that lets secret admirers stay secret.


Friendsy, which was founded by students at Princeton University last year, is part-Facebook, part-matchmaking site that allows students to check each other out anonymously.


Students can upload a photo and browse through pictures of other registered members from the same college. They can choose to “friend,” “hookup,” or “date,” one another -- but their identities remain secret unless the object of their affection expresses a similar interest in them. If the feeling is mutual, their names are revealed to one another.


 “It’s a new and fun way to see who’s around on campus, (so) why not?” said Rose Allen, a Macalester sophomore who signed up for Friendsy. Some students, though, may be reluctant to admit they've joined.  “I think people are embarrassed to be excited over something close to a dating site, especially one that’s just based on a picture of someone,” she said.


Yet the fact that so many signed up so quickly, she added, "has got to mean something.”


Friendsy co-founder and Princeton student Michael Pinksy said in a phone interview that the site has a natural appeal to college students. “People have all these acquaintances on campus and are too often afraid to take that next step," he said. "We started this site with the idea to bring those people together.” Now available at seven schools, Friendsy hopes to continue expanding across the country in the coming months.


Jake Greenberg, a Macalester freshman, isn’t entirely sold on the idea. “It just seems to me like this is one of those Internet trends that will go away quickly,” he says.


Fellow freshman Sarah Silbert chimes in, “you might as well ask people out in person.”
- Karintha Lowe, sophomore, Macalester College.
 

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