With more than 1,600 Facebook friends and 3,000 posts, Vassar Missed has solidified its presence on campus this year. The anonymous founder of the page recently spoke with The Miscellany News about their time as moderator, before officially handing over the reigns to next year’s Vassar Missed.
Q: Can you explain the timeline of Missed? When you came up with the idea, when you created the page, etc.?
So, I basically came up with the idea the same day that I created the page (Sept. 6, if you want exact date). The first post, Missed Connection #1, was the next day and then it grew from there.
Q: What kind of space or purpose do you think Missed fills on campus?
I think Missed–it’s funny that everyone calls it that, Facebook wouldn’t let me put the name Vassar Missed Connections so Vassar Missed was the next best option–fills a niche that was previously filled at various times by like me maybe, say anything, Vassar compliments, and even yik yak. I think it’s a way for people to anonymously post things about other people on a platform that isn’t anonymous. On say anything or Yik Yak, for example, everything is anonymous. The posters are anonymous, the commenters are anonymous, and often the people about whom the posters write are either anonymous or only referred to by initials and class year. Integrating a page like this within facebook does a couple of things for its purpose on campus. First off, it takes away that anonymity that yik yak or say anything have. Anyone who likes (or reacts, lol) or comments on something does so with their name attached–their own name, not a made-up handle like yik yak. Also, the fact that people can be tagged on Missed posts brings it into “the real world” realm more so than an app like yik yak or a wordpress site like say anything or like me maybe. Since people check facebook often, it becomes just another part of daily life, which I think helps it fulfill its main purpose– the purpose that I had in mind when creating it–to spread good thoughts/happiness/hope/ whatever you want to call it around the Vassar community. I wanted to create a space that would make people happy, a space where someone you didn’t know could tell you how great you looked in that outfit last night or where the kid that had been sitting next to you in class all semester could anonymously hint at how awesome they think you are or where friends could compliment each other publicly. And I think, for the most part, that’s what Vassar Missed Connections is about–documenting these “missed connections” and in doing so bringing good feelings to the Vassar campus, feelings that are already there, but that didn’t previously have an outlet to be heard.
Q: Have you heard of any Missed success stories? Have people found each other in real life because of the page?
I have heard of a couple Missed success stories, though I cannot attest to the validity of these stories. However, assuming that they were in fact true and that there are others out there who have met each other in real life because of the page, I’m excited to think that Vassar Missed could do such a thing. When I first created the page, I had no idea that it would or even could actually physically bring people together, but I am so happy to hear that it has!
Q: What would you like to see changed about the page or people’s submissions in the future?
Honestly, nothing really. I think each submission is important and valid because each submission is someone’s feelings, whether they have an actual missed connection or a joke or are complimenting their friends or have a grievance or just want their voice to be heard. I think the page may change over time naturally because the Vassar community will change, which I think is a good thing, but I’m not sure if I would like to see any specific changes. Perhaps the new mod will change the page in some way or another, but that’s completely up to them.
Q: What aspects of the page do you hope the next moderator maintains?
I do hope that the next moderator maintains their anonymity, I think that’s pretty integral to the page. I don’t think there should be a “face behind Vassar Missed” or anything like that (unless it’s the womp womp that’s the current profile picture). I also hope that they post everything, as long as they think it’s appropriate–even the silly, trolly things. I think those round out the page and are important in the schema of Vassar Missed being a place to make one’s voice heard.
Q: How do you determine which posts are appropriate to post? Do you have a rule of thumb?
I think there are actually maybe only 15 or so submissions (out of the 3140 that have been posted as of the moment that I’m writing this) that I have deemed “inappropriate” to post. I normally don’t post anything that seems to be directly aimed at harming a particular, easily identifiable person. Other than that, I post everything…like I said before, I want Vassar Missed to be a space that’s representative of all the voices that choose to speak out through it.
Q: Which post(s) stand out to you or are most memorable?
My absolute favorite post (still!) is Missed Connection #18: I was taking my usual 11:15 walk after my Friday class to engage in a likely disappointing deece meal, but you caught my eye on the way there and I can only describe that as far from disappointing. It was near the trees on the path at the far end of Noyes circle, one of the more underrated and beautiful spots on campus. You were on the bench, and I simply passing. It was first the sheen of your brown hair that caused me to glance over. Brown. A cocoa-colored collection of the softest styled coiffure I could hope to one day run my fingers down. It was hard to catch full sight of your eyes, as your head was fleeting back and forth, likely taking in sights of the alluring pines that line the path. What I could so briefly see was a deep iris on two perfect orbs that seemed warmer than the coffee I hope to share on one of the upcoming bitter winter days. If I had a longer look, I can’t even begin to imagine what more they may reveal. I did not think of your body in terms of its size and shape. These qualities mean nothing, which I understand may be a paradoxical statement given that I have just described the beauty of your appearance. Nevertheless, you seemed so huggable and soft to the touch, though I wouldn’t dare come anywhere too close without your permission. I wanted to approach you, and I contemplated this some time in the few moments I had to look at you, but just as I considered taking one step closer, you walked away through the trees, briskly, as if you had another purpose that was much more important than what I had to offer. Of course it was. I can’t imagine that anything you do is without necessary and good intention. Maybe if I return one day to that one spot, you will be there again, with the same curious looks and wondrous appeal. Perhaps I will bring berries next time. I hear you like those. You are, after all, a womp womp.
Q: What do you make of some of the criticisms of the page–especially that it publicly acknowledges people’s gender identities, sexualities, etc?
I definitely am not trying to out anyone, and have specifically tried to not tag anyone in a post that might out their gender identities, sexuality, etc. I understand that since Vassar Missed is on facebook and enters into that “real world,” even just tagging someone in a post that asks if they’re into girls or something like that can create problems for them outside of facebook. So, I try to ensure, to the best of my ability, that I’m not doing that to anyone. I hope the new mod will continue to do so as well.
Q: How has being the page moderator affected your time at Vassar?
It’s definitely been a time commitment to say the least. And there have been some days when I get super tired of it and don’t feel like posting. But for the most part, I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed hearing about the good experiences that people have had due to its existence. That definitely makes it worthwhile.
Q: Did you ever post any missed connections yourself?
Only one, actually… Missed Connection #254: Student Secure.