“Saw a hottie in class? Spotted a cutie at Freebirds? Had a great drunken conversation but didn’t catch a name? Dm us,” reads the bio of the UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) Missed Connections Instagram. This matchmaking page takes a new approach to connecting UCSB students. Its goal is to help students find someone they may have been too shy to reach out to in person, or who they simply didn’t get the chance to exchange information with. Students can participate by direct messaging the account and sending in a description of whoever caught their attention.
The account uploaded its first post on Feb. 18, 2021, and continues to be active. Sometimes posting multiple times a day, it seems there is an abundance of people looking to partake in the fun. Each post is unique, and incredibly amusing to read. Some contain very elaborate passages with lengthy descriptions or detailed stories, while others are much shorter and straightforward with statements as simple as “I gave her rocks at Devs,” or “#34 on the soccer team.” Every submission is anonymous, unless requested otherwise, allowing people to feel more comfortable sending in their own missed connection. The page is full of fun stories, sweet compliments, and, of course, quite a few hopeless romantics.
Kylie, a first-year at UCSB, decided to join the fun herself one day. While eating lunch at Carillo, a “floppy-haired brunette cutie” caught her eye. Her friends, who had just recently learned about UCSB Missed Connections, ushered her to send in a message. After scrolling through their page for a few minutes and clicking between the entertaining posts, Kylie was quickly convinced. She direct messaged the account with a brief description of this mystery man.
UCSB Missed Connections promptly uploaded her message, and the search for this “floppy-haired cutie” began. A short time later, the comment section was filled with guesses on who the post could be about, and Kylie was exhilarated. The account then reached out to Kylie with a potential match; however, it was unfortunately not the person she had in mind.
While the outcome was not exactly what Kylie had hoped for, she explained in an interview with The Bottom Line that it was still a very exciting experience: “I’m still disappointed that I never found out who it was or saw him again, but if I ever do spot him I will definitely send in another message.” Kylie was also very appreciative of how active and dedicated the account was towards finding her missed connection, and she would not be hesitant to try again.
Regardless of any mishaps, the page has remained harmless and fun, not only connecting people in romantic ways, but in platonic relations as well. UCSB Missed Connections has formed friendships, in posts such as those reading “to the girl with a lava lamp tattoo me and my gf met on DP who told her not to get a republican tiger tattoo, let’s be friends.” It’s helped people find lost items (“orange/black lanyard with a blue tassel thing on the end, multiple keys and a bike key, i’ve been looking everywhere on campus for them and they’re gone”), allowed people to send apologies for misunderstandings (“To the man with the lobster slippers San Nic — I’m sorry I laughed so hard at your shoes I was just incredibly high. They are so cool”), and of course, generated lots of laughs. Even if you’re not sending in messages yourself, this page is a great way to bond with others over intriguing posts, and feel more connected to UCSB student life as a whole.