In a time of social distancing, the unaffiliated University of Connecticut Instagram page, @uconn_missedconnections, works to show the importance of human connection.
The creator of the account, who wished to go by the pseudonym CMC for this article, said they created the account in early November 2020 to help members of the UConn community find the person they had a special moment with, whether it be for a romantic encounter or to share admiration.
“A missed connections page is an account where people can share stories of strangers they saw around campus, in hopes of getting their contact information or simply giving them a compliment,” CMC said.
CMC said they were inspired to create the Instagram account after seeing other universities’ missed connections pages and wanted to bring that platform to UConn. They said that during the pandemic, any human connection should not be taken for granted.
“Missed connections accounts are a great way to create a sense of community and add a little bit of happiness to a hard and rather lonely year,” CMC said. “Oftentimes we overlook how much the little things can make a persons’ day. Missed Connections is a great reminder of that.”
Although the majority of the submissions are romantic based, CMC said their favorites are the platonic connections. CMC noted that they had two separate posts about someone who roller skates in front of the Student Union.
“My favorite posts are always the ones who just platonically compliment people around campus, especially ‘campus icons’ as I would call them, or people who most people on campus would be familiar with,” CMC said.
CMC said their mission is to simply raise the spirits of UConn students during a difficult time.
“The goal of a missed connections page is generally to connect two people who are romantically interested in each other,” CMC said. “ However, my overarching goal is really just to make UConn a happier place.”
@uconn_missedconnections has been getting positive feedback from UConn students, CMC said. Although they have received praise in both direct messages and via story polls, they would continue running the account, no matter what.
“While I love running the page and would continue to do so without all the positive feedback and followers, it is always heartwarming to see these remarks,” CMC said.
To submit a connection, someone from the UConn community needs to either direct message @uconn_missedconnections or fill out the Google form linked in the account’s bio, as well as follow the page’s rules. CMC will post all submissions as long as they abide by the rules.
The rules are that all submissions should be respectful and refrain from inappropriate language. CMC said they will not post anything that is overtly sexual or that has the ability to make a person uncomfortable.
CMC said that submissions can give as much information as they would like, but asks that people “don’t be creepy.”
Submissions should be about people on campus. CMC said they do not post any unrelated content, like questions about classes or about the campus in general.
CMC said they would delete any post that makes someone uneasy.
“If you would like a post about you to be deleted, [direct message] me and I will delete it no questions asked,” CMC said.
After the post is made, CMC said they have noted that people comment saying that the submission is about them. CMC said they assume that the next step is that the person who submitted the connection can reach out via Instagram direct message.
“I haven’t heard of any successful love connections yet, but I would love it if people direct message me when/if this does happen,” CMC said.