@USC.MissedConnections: Where Trojans (almost) find love

Students turn to Instagram account to shout out Trojan crushes.

“To the guy outside baked bear on 3/9 in the white Madhappy sweatshirt — I can’t stop thinking about how cute u are.”

Like the author of the post above, hundreds of USC students have anonymously publicized their missed love connections on the new Instagram page @usc.missedconnections.

Since its start in September 2020, the Instagram account has amassed over 3,000 followers. The page treats their followers to daily love confessions, complaints, and even conspiracy theories sent in by USC students (like whether or not USC President Carol Folt is a hologram).

The account administrators choose to be anonymous so the Instagram page continues to be a communal space where students feel comfortable submitting their romantic or platonic interests. They will be referred to as Admin A and B.

Admin B was inspired to create the page when he was featured on another college campus’s missed connections account and wanted to recreate that experience for USC students. He enlisted the help of Admin A, a fellow freshman, to start the page and the pair hit the ground running.

“Initially we just kind of did it for fun to get to meet people and spread a little joy over Zoom,” Admin B said.

Posts range from laugh-out-loud hilarious to cringe-worthy and even arouse the occasional “awww” moment.

The account became popular soon after it was launched. After the administrators kickstarted the account by sharing posts they wrote themselves, submissions increased exponentially.

“We were kind of shocked with how quickly the submissions picked up after that,” Admin A said. “I thought we would have to be doing that for at least a few weeks but really only the first two posts featured those made-up ones and after that it was just submissions, which is really cool.”

The administrators estimated that they receive 30 to 50 submissions a day and currently have 350 backlogged posts yet to be shared. While the account requires a bit of oversight, the administrators said they are glad to foster a sense of Trojan community during an online semester.

“We also always get random DMs like, ‘hey, I really love your page, what you’re doing,’ and that always makes us feel good. People are appreciating what we’re doing. It is a little bit of work, but it’s also a lot of fun,” Admin B said.

The account administrators said they are planning to keep the account running when in-person classes resume in the fall. Admin B expects the account to become even more popular when more students return to campus.

The term “missed connections” was first popularized by the website Craigslist when the company’s CEO Jim Buckmaster noticed the personal ad section was filled with people attempting to connect with strangers that caught their eye in a fleeting moment — usually on public transportation, in bars, or even while shopping at Wal-Mart.

For USC students, common places for these missed connections are the USC Village, off campus student housing, and of course, on Zoom. Students send in messages with the name of their Zoom crush and often, that person is eventually tagged in the comments.

“To the puppy with the blue tongue named king, who I pet in the village starbz this morning (3/13) I am in love with you please reach out so we can be friends,” read one post.

A freshman theatre major, Gry Nystrom, was pleasantly surprised when her friends tagged her on a post she was featured in.

“I felt like it was a fun way of being a part of the USC community,” Nystrom said.