You’re on it.
Your friends are on it.
You’ve posted on it.
It was April 2nd when I first heard about it. While sitting at Bongo Java with my friends, I received this text:
“Found this. You’re famous.”
After appropriately throwing a tantrum, I immediately turned on my laptop to find out what exactly “@belmontcrushes” was. The Twitter, founded March 28, employs an empty Survey Monkey box where anyone, not just students or people with Twitter, can type in his or her secret crush.
Chris Richey, senior and avid poster, has been following the account since it surfaced.
“It’s great. If you want a good laugh, just spend a long time on there, you know? You’ll see names you recognize; you’ll read a lot of fun stuff. It’s a good time. It’s also fun to make stuff up and put it on there,” said Richey.
The administrator of the account, an anonymous student who has only admitted to being “a girl” on Twitter, uploads a new Tweet every five minutes. Each Tweet is dedicated to one crush, which can range from a single student, a group of students and even some professors.
Dr. Peter Kuryla, assistant professor of history, has been featured on the site multiple times. After reading the Twitter, Kuryla was amused more at the concept of the site than at the actual Tweets about him.
“It’s just a really fascinating space,” said Kuryla. “The anonymity of it fascinates me—the idea that you can sort of try on, you know, a persona without any risks.”
The anonymity is equally as frustrating as it is fascinating.
While users can submit their posts anonymously, those who favorite and re-Tweet crushes don’t seem to mind revealing identities.
“What’s really interesting is that there’s nothing really so secret about this crush anymore,” said Kuryla. “How secret is it? But I guess it still is because you’re anonymous, but it’s not all that secret once it’s made public.”
In reading through the thousands of Tweets that have already surfaced in just over a week, victims have been praised for everything from physical features to religious affinity.
William Dodd, a junior English major and outfielder for the baseball team, was recently the target of several Tweets on the site. One anonymous Tweet read, “It’s impressive how William Dodd can even make crutches look good….”
When presented the website, Dodd couldn’t help but laugh.
“I’m not really more important,” said Dodd. “It’s cool to have an idea of somebody unknown to me writing something about me on the Internet. It’s as flattering as a Twitter can be.”
However, Dodd, along with several other students who are featured, follow, and even post on the site don’t recognize the Tweets as genuine.
“It’s just people having a good time,” said Dodd. “I’m sure half this stuff is friends writing about other friends, not actual people who have a real crush on someone.”
With no way to distinguish between genuine crushes, friends posting about friends and people posting about themselves, followers are left wondering about the validity of the site.
“The majority of people understand that it’s all fun and games, and that it’s meant to be playing,” the anonymous administrator of the site said. “There are those who just like to troll and either submit pointless crushes, like the squirrels in the quad, or submit about themselves.”
While the administrator of the site prefers to keep her identity a secret for as long as she possibly can, students are already trying to guess who it is.
“It’s a dude,” said Lindy Law, follower. “A frat dude. The whole thing is poorly organized.”
Anna Matlock, a senior English major and queen of gossip around campus, has been accused of running the Twitter, but denies any involvement.
“It’s not me, I promise! I know for sure it’s a girl. The person said they are. Other than that, it’s probably an underclassman. I don’t think an upperclassman would take the time to run something like that.”
Turberville and Richey are convinced it’s a student involved in Greek life.
“It just seems like something a girl would make,” said Richey. “There have been a lot of sorority and fraternity posts and a lot of comments on that.”
The administrator laughed off the people’s guesses.
“They’re all wrong, except I’m a girl,” she said.
Matlock praised her persistence in posting, but other followers don’t feel the same way.
“I started following it on Twitter, but I wish whoever posts would post less because I’ll probably unfollow them if they keep posting 20 at once,” Law said.
But according to the administrator, some Tweets don’t even see the light of day.
“I have gotten pickier with what I allow to go through. Recently, I have started deleting blatantly vulgar ones and ones that reveal too much about someone’s personal life. I also stopped posting ones about the same five people I get on a daily basis because no one wants to read about the same people over and over.”
In just over a week, the site has amassed almost 1500 followers, several of whom interact with the Twitter on a daily basis.
Law isn’t sure how much longer the site will stay afloat.
“It’s definitely trending,” Law explained. “And trends can either—they rise and they die. I don’t think this person really knows what they’re doing. I don’t think they expected it to hit off as fast as it did.”
The administrator said she plans on keeping the site up as long for as long as it stays popular.
“I plan on keeping it going as long as people continue to submit legitimate crushes. I know that sooner rather than later the initial buzz about it will wear off and it will slow down a bit, but I still think people would read it even if it was only a few Tweets a day.”
So whether you’re getting on the site to post a crush, read about a crush, or visit for the first time, its popularity cannot be denied. While you may never know who runs the site or who’s been posting about you, it’s a guaranteed good laugh, if only for a few minutes.
To visit the Twitter, visit here.
To email the administrator with issues or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With any information regarding who referred to me as “that ass,” Tweet @kateftully.