Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Over the summer, Noah Weinthal ’15 created (Like) Like a Little to replace Swatties’ favorite way of flirting after the old site (not affiliated with the College) got shut down. He’s just put the finishing touches on the page, and it’s already blowing up on Facebook. So submit away lonely Swatties! But first hear what Noah has to say…
Monika Zaleska: Why do you think Swatties loved LAL so darn much? Is it just cause “flirting is too mainstream”? Or it cause we’re too awkward to function (in real life)?
Noah Weinthal: I think swatties like LAL because it gives us a chance to be witty and clever without having to worry as much about how we’re going to be received. Plus, if a pun falls through you don’t have to worry about that awkward silence afterwards.
MZ: You have a gender neutral option. You can simply like “a human” and you don’t have to report your own gender. Can you talk more about how you approached gender and sexual orientation in creating the site?
NW: I’m by no means an expert on Queer or gender identity issues, but I definitely considered it a limitation of the original site design to only let you choose male or female. I decided to include an “other” category, but I changed the wording to ‘human’ because I thought it’s more general, and I always thought the word “other” didn’t fit quite right when applied to people. It seemed pretty well received when I threw the idea around in the Class of 2015 Facebook group. As for identifying your own gender, I included the ability to choose whatever posting nickname you’d like, and so if you felt comfortable doing so you could certainly identify your own gender there.
MZ: Have you ever heard of people meeting/dating/getting laid through LAL?
NW: I personally have never heard of anything spinning off into the real world, but with enough optimism, dedication, and internet comments, anything is possible?
MZ: What do you mean by “if you wouldn’t say it at a Paces party don’t say it here”?
NW: I’m a big proponent of free speech, so I’m not really too anxious to censor people’s posts. That said, cyber-bullying can get pretty intense, particularly behind the shield of anonymity afforded by the internet. When I say ‘if you wouldn’t say it at a paces party’ I basically am offering that people should feel free to be brash and blatant (as, naturally, they would be in Paces) but should avoid personal attacks and threatening statements. I would very much hate to see the site have to get taken down because people were abusing it.
MZ: What’s your favorite post so far? Mine’s “Male Brunette liked at Sharples: Wish I was that flounder sandwich in your hands.”
NW: So far I think my favorite post was actually an attempt to hack the site. Basically someone attempted something called SQL injection, which I protected against, so it just led to a funny post of some code.
MZ: What if you like someone a lot?