@UUValentine encourages secret admirers

Screenshot taken from Twitter, @UU_Valentine

The list of anonymous Twitter accounts at Union is constantly growing. In January, one more was added to the number.

@UUValentine is a Twitter account that was created by Union students. The bio reads, “Who’s your UU valentine? Send in your valentine crush via direct message. Happy flirting.”

The account has 377 followers and 259 tweets.

Becca Rogers, sophomore art major, is one of the students in charge of @UUValentine.

“We wanted to make people feel good about themselves,” Rogers said. “We wanted it to be clever and creative so that people would want to read them, so we did the play on names.”

One tweet reads, “Tori I can already see that we have a good Bond. Be mine?”

Most of the tweets on this account are puns of people’s names, but others are more direct. This tweet from Feb. 1 reads, “Chris Hare could be my valentine any day!!”

Unlike similar accounts at Union, @UUValentine has an expiration date.

“We wanted it to be temporary. We’re going to stop it instead of it dying out,” Rogers said. “On Valentine’s Day, we’re going to send in a bunch and then quit it.”

Contrary to popular belief, the people contributing are not all girls.

“It’s funny because people think its just girls writing about their friends, but guys are really into it as well. Just as much as girls, sometimes even more,” Rogers said. “You’d be surprised.”

The first account of this kind was @UU_Crushes. This account was more popular, with close to 800 followers and 700 tweets, but was eventually suspended from Twitter for offensive content.

Peyton Penuel, junior DMS communications art major, was one of the students who ran the account.

The format of @UU_Crushes was a little different. Instead of direct message submissions, the account received anonymous tweets from Survey Monkey.

Penuel said he got the idea from other schools like Auburn University and Belmont University, which had similar crush accounts.

“We just wanted a twitter account that was something for people to laugh at,” Penuel said.  “To right after class say, ‘Oh, let’s go check @UU_crushes and see what’s going on there, see if we’re mentioned.’”

For a few weeks, that is exactly what happened.

“It was the pop culture of Union for a few weeks. It was trendy,” Penuel said. “It was what everyone was talking about.”

Penuel said that these anonymous accounts can be a good thing.

“I think it boosts your self esteem a little bit,” said Penuel. “I know I love it when I see my name on @UUValentine.”

Nick Dean, senior psychology major, has taken part in @UUValentine but is taking it a step further.

This Valentine’s Day, some of the people he anonymously tweeted on @UUValentine will receive actual valentine cards from him.

“If I’m going to make a joke on this poor person’s name who I might not know, they may as well get a sweet card out of it,” Dean said. “A couple of them are going to get real valentines that are going to be really funny.”

Dean said accounts like this provide a platform for harmless flirting and the benefits could include an increasing willingness to approach people in real life.

One concern of Dean’s is that this may prompt people to interact less in person and more online.

“I hope that people will not always hide behind the anonymity,” Dean said. “But just as we can use any other tool incorrectly, it doesn’t mean we should stop using it altogether.”

Dean said humor is an important part of life.

“That’s sort of an outpouring of the human experience,” Dean said. “So if we deny ourselves humor, then we deny ourselves part of our existence.”


Image courtesy of Cardinal & Cream|Cardinal & Cream