Everyone has had a moment where they wish they'd flirted a bit more (or flirted at all) with someone they met in passing. Some of those people post vague missed connections ads on Craigslist, and now some of them can turn to LikeaLittle.com, a new flirting site that has become increasingly popular on college campuses.
The website, (more commonly known as LAL because kids today love abbreviations) looks like Twitter but functions more like Missed Connections in that users are able to anonymously post compliments or even ask someone out if they weren't able to summon the courage at the time.
Here's how it works:
Someone had posted: "At AU - The Tavern: Male, Brunette - was wearing a white shirt, amazing smile! i wanna talk to you but i'm too scared."
Komorowski had been wearing a white shirt at the Tavern, a campus fast-food place. Well, a white shirt with another shirt over it, but definitely a white shirt. He replied, asking if the author was talking about one of two guys who had been standing near the soda machine around 4 or 5 p.m.
"I hope it was me. :)," Komorowski wrote.
"Hmmm well i hope it was you too :D," the author replied.
LAL was founded by Evan Reas after he graduated from Stanford University business school in 2009. Not surprisingly, Reas says the idea for the website was born from his "lack of game" with women.
Now the site operates on more than 500 campuses across the country and abroad, with college students around the world emailing Reas with permission requests to launch a version of the site at their school.
While this will no doubt prove very helpful for the millions of people who are turning to the internet to reduce the risk of embarrassment that can come with approaching a stranger, it's pretty impossible to read these articles without addressing the potential dangers of meeting someone you met online.
Fear not. There is now an app for that, too.
"The dating landscape has evolved, and we need to evolve with it," said Linda Smith, a high school English teacher and the creator of the Chicago-based Date Tracker Alert, an iPhone app. Smith's app offers people a safety net when meeting up with a stranger. Users enter the time, location and other details of their date, along with a time by which they must check in with the app. If the user doesn't check in on time, the app automatically sends an alert to the user's emergency contacts.
Smith said she created the app because of the time she lost track of her daughter while the young woman was on a date with a man she had met at a party; Smith could not reach her by calling or texting. It turned out fine: The daughter's phone battery had died. But it frightened Smith enough to create the app.
"When I built this app, I made sure that even if the phone dies the information goes out, and I would have enough information to come and find her," she said.
Safety aside, I do not envy Smith's daughter.
College students take a liking to start-up online flirting site