• Lillie Burke

Like a little? Like a lot?

It all starts with a post.

“You were wearing a purple sweater and a matching purple headband. Those colors on a guy are usually questionable, but you pulled them off really well. Hope to run into you again soon.”

People writing under the names of various fruits ask for more details to try and figure out the mystery man, sometimes informing the author that the lad is already taken, other times telling the author, “Go for it, girl.”

Other posts receive a bit more than confidence boosting reassurance.

“Black deep v-neck … at Belmont. That really narrows it down,” posts Mango, the comment dripping with sarcasm.

Soon after details about the dreamy guy or gal have been given, Apple and Cranberry have a comment debate about the superiority of their fruit. Administrators intervene in the “intense conversation” to keep the interactions light-hearted.

An occasional overly sappy remark sends the comment chain into a frenzy. Is the remark a genuine heartfelt request or a snide comment about the operation of LikeALittle?

“Just yell ‘yo can I have your numba? Can I have it?’ That should work,” said Lucuma.

Snappy retorts, like the one above, and cute cliché phrases, like “did it hurt when you fell from heaven,” rule the site.

Welcome to the world of LikeALittle, a place for people to make connections and maybe find that special someone who caught their eye while walking across the quad.

LAL has provided another forum for connections since October 2010 and has managed to overtake 450 campuses nation-wide. Founder and CEO, Evan Reas, along with two other co-founders, started the site at Stanford University.

“We started LAL because we wanted to create a way for people to easily interact with others around them,” said Reas. “It is often difficult or awkward to just start interacting with new people, whether it’s flirting, meeting new friends or neighbors, et ceetera. … We wanted to make this process simple for anyone.”

The Twitter-like site works like most social media pages with comments and posts. Recently, a new chat feature was added that allows online views to communicate with other users who are close by.

Adding a real-time chat was just one of the plans to continue the expanding and growing the site to attract more users.

“Concerning long term plans, we have more really exciting new features coming up to help facilitate interactions by people nearby,” said Reas.

Anonymity is a key component of LAL. With secret admirations being revealed on a public site, the LikeALittle staff had to think of a creative method to conceal identities.

“We were looking for a way to differentiate people on the site in a positive, friendly and fun way,” said Reas. “One of the co-founders thought of using kinds of fruit. It stuck and worked really well.”

Now Banana, Strawberry, Cherry, Gourd and even Tomato can discuss their likes and provide details on other posts.

Chatting fruit and anonymous comments doesn’t seem like the breeding grounds for good personal connections, but LAL has managed to create an atmosphere that breeds lighthearted conversations and sometimes relationships.

In the testimonial sectional, some of the more successful stories are showcased. The testimonies vary from linking new best friends to helping overly shy guys inform the “cutie from sociology” how he feels about her.

“We’ve heard of hundreds of stories of people successfully meeting people they have started dating as well as new friends,” said Reas. “People have also told us about hosting parties because of the site, buying and selling things, finding study groups, housing, and many other stories of success.“

From what started out as a merely freshman fad, LAL has turned into full-blown phenomenon all across Belmont. Perhaps it’s the anonymous posting, the silly user names or the ease of use that has people “liken’ this site a little.”

#likealittle

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