UMass Flirts opens door for anonymous romance
It can be nerve-wracking to flirt with someone you find attractive or who you have a crush on. There’s the pressure of rejection and the embarrassment of saying the wrong thing, ultimately ruining any romantic chances that you may have with the person.
Enter UMass Flirts, a Facebook page dedicated to allowing anonymous users to flirt and express their feelings about another person on campus, allowing for users to gauge a person’s reaction to being flirted with.
The page is run by junior Kiran Mullur, a biochemistry major, and sophomore Gautam Satishchandran, a biochemistry and physics dual major. A similar page at Satishchandran’s girlfriend’s college in Minnesota inspired them.
“She goes to St. Olaf’s in Minnesota and she had a St. Olaf’s flirts page,” Satishchandran said. “We were like ‘Oh, UMass doesn’t have something like that,’ so we decided why not.”
“Our original idea was to do UMass Confessions, actually, but we found out it had already been made, so we were kind of sad about that,” Mullur added. “But then we were like ‘Oh, flirts works too.’”
Satishchandran and Mullur agreed that in the end, creating the UMass Flirts page has turned out to be more fun and less vulgar than UMass Confessions.
“That’s the point of [UMass Confessions], a lot of indiscriminate posts,” Mullur said, adding that the biggest difference between the pages is that Flirts does not want to offend anyone and aims to “make people feel good about themselves.”
To submit a flirt to the page, a user clicks on a link in the description box that brings them to an anonymous submission page. After the user submits their flirt, nobody can see who it was that sent it in.
“It goes to Excel on Google,” Mullur said. “All it shows is the time of submission and the date and then the submission itself.”
Mullur and Satishchandran’s friend Hao Dang, who is no longer associated with the page, helped the two administrators to set up the anonymous submission box, as well as designing the logo for the profile picture on Facebook.
UMass Flirts receives about 30 submissions a day and the two students try to post 10 a day on the Facebook page. Mullur said that the two do not edit any posts that are submitted, but there is censorship in terms of judging what is appropriate or inappropriate to post.
“Some people may agree or disagree, but that’s sort of the perk of being the makers of the page, we can sort of decide what’s appropriate and not,” he added.
Mullur said that sometimes the page will receive messages from some of its over 2,200 fans asking for posts to be taken down because Satishchandran and himself missed an inappropriate post in their editing, but they are always respectful of people’s wishes.
“If we get three messages that are like, ‘Hey, this is offensive to me,’ then we try to get rid of it because … our whole point is to please the people,” he said.
Satishchandran said that the funniest moments are when people message the page instead of using the anonymous submission box and then the flirt is about the user who submitted it.
“It’ll be like John Smith talking about ‘John Smith is so sexy,’ and we’re like really? Is he?” Satishchandran said, adding, “No judgment though.”
Flirts is one of three UMass anonymous submission pages, along with UMass Confessions and UMass Compliments.
Patrick Hoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.