The Latest Way to Flirt: Anonymously


A young man is studying for his college final exams when he looks up and notices an attractive woman across the room. He watches her for a minute, contemplates the risks of flirting with a stranger, decides against it, and gets back to studying.

End of story.

At least that would have been the end had he spotted her months ago, before the anonymous flirting website was created.

But now the young man has the option of posting a short blurb about the woman he's admiring in hopes that she sees it -- and responds.

Here are some examples from the site:

At Architecture Library: Female, Brunette. You have a pink laptop, dark alluring eyes, grey sweatshirt …Let's go cuddle.

At UT: Female, Blonde. We worked together over the summer. I thought you were really cute but I never got the words to tell you. I wish I had and had asked you out!

At I am A [site unidentified]: Female, Brunette. has anyone taken the geog 202 final? Guava says: I'm in that class too! the final is at 3:30 right?

At Jester [dormitory]: Male, Brunette: What time does the Wendy's close?

Those are merely four posts among thousands that students across the country are making about their peers on

This week Texas A&M University ranks #1 in Like A Little activity, with a new post about every 20 minutes. Last week, when finals were in full swing, the University of Texas at Austin was ranked #1, with a new post almost every minute. Queens University (Canada), Central Michigan University and Boston University rank right below the Texas schools for having the most frequent posts.

The site was co-founded by Evan Reas, a 2009 Stanford graduate. Reas told that he "wanted to make a way to let people connect and just see what happens."

He said that while people have the chance to speak to a stranger every day, they are often too shy. "Say you always go to a certain café, and you see the same people over and over and you don't feel comfortable going up to them," he said.

Conversations Between Strangers

That's where Like A Little comes in. The site was created with a simple goal: facilitate a conversation between strangers. Reas recalled that he was talking with some friends about ways to help people communicate that would be as simple as Twitter. Within a day, the new site had been created and was up.

Now more than 200 college campuses across the U.S. – and a few in Canada and Hong Kong -- have their very own Like A Little communities, monitored by Reas and on-campus site administrators. All the communities are open to the public. No log-ins, usernames or registrations are necessary.

"Boom!" It's Posted

Students from the University of Texas at Austin go to to view posts made on their campus. Once you've chosen your campus, you fill out the sex, hair color and location of the person you're posting about, a short message and "boom!" says the site. It's posted.

The participants in each thread are assigned a random fruit as their name so that posts stay anonymous. Reas said fruits were chosen in efforts to keep the site upbeat and friendly. Mean and degrading posts are strictly prohibited. The site filters a list of more than 30 negative words, so if someone tries to make a post with a flagged word, the post will be rejected.

But does the site serve its purpose? Are people really connecting because of it?

Most college women find it cute, while the guys seem to think it's hilarious.

Sierra van den Dries, the organizer of the UT community, gives the site a mixed review.

"People are making it out to be a hook-up thing, but I think the raw idea itself is really cute," she said.

However Van Den Dries said one guy at the library told her he hooked up with a girl he just met on the site. Knowing that made Van Den Dries uneasy. "It's weird. I don't know how I feel about it," she said.

Still the question remains. Is Like A Little cute or creepy?

Ryan Gottlieb, a sophomore business student at the University of Miami, said it's both.

"Cute" or "Creepy"?

"I've seen some hilarious [posts] and I've seen a couple creepy ones," he said. His favorite post was one a guy made about the girl he was standing next to: "she smelled like she showered in cupcakes and rainbows."

"At first you're like, 'Woah, this is creepy,' but the more you weed through it, it's really cute," UT sophomore Kelcey Bacon said. One of her favorite posts read, "I saw you at Starbucks three years ago and I still think about you from time to time."

"It's cute to know that meeting someone for ten seconds could change another person's life," said Bacon.

Senior psychology major Elizabeth McMahon monitors the site for the University of Arizona. She said there has been one post she had to remove for being "very stalkerish" but overall she still said the site is "cute."

"I hope that people can find love through it," she added.

Matchmaking Marriages?

Site administrators for Ithaca College's Like A Little community, freshman film major Jordan Presco and freshman English major Calvin Chetnut, say they have received e-mails from students complaining that the site is "creepy and just a bunch of perverts" but that other students seem to enjoy it.

As do the Ithaca site administrators themselves.

"It's such a good way to get anything interesting, clever or flirty that you have to say out there," Chetnut said.

While Like A Little has been active at Ithaca for just two weeks, Presco already has high hopes. "I just want a marriage to result from Like A Little. Then I'll be happy," he said.

What's next for Like A Little? Some posts speculate the site is just a fad and will eventually lose popularity.

But Reas has other plans. He said Like A Little is working on creating a chat room feature so that soon you'll be able to anonymously chat online with others who are within a small radius.

"Say you're in the library and want to see how many others are actually in the library, you'll be able to anonymously see who is around campus in particular locations so you can chat and get together," he said.

He said that part will be as simple as tracking the computers' IP addresses.

"A lot of the posts will just be joking and funny, and we want to push more of the actual real world connect," said Reas. contributor Melanie Torre is a member of the ABC News on Campus bureau in Austin, Texas.