Spotted! A New Way of Communication



Spotted at UTM is strange. There. I’ve said it.

For some context, Spotted at UTM is a Facebook group students can join to anonymously shout out random people at UTM. Most posts are about unrequited love, although you can pretty much say anything you want as long as it’s not incredibly rude.

I don’t loathe Spotted at UTM – not at all. It’s actually a pretty warm place if you’re looking for university advice or support about that failed midterm or essay. But there are things I don’t understand.

To start, let’s talk about the posts complaining about others typing loudly in class, talking in class, saving seats in the library or on the bus, and so on and so forth. I could go on, but let me drop some numbers instead: There are currently close to 3000 likes on the page, and that’s nowhere near as many as there are at UTM in total (it’s estimated that there were over 3000 new first years alone this year), so those annoying people you want to yell at will likely never see your post. Or know you were talking about them. Or care. A friend suggested to me it’s the idea of gossip that makes it appealing, but don’t be afraid to speak up! Do it kindly, my UTM friends, like I know you will, and I think some of these not-so-attractive behaviours might stop and your message will definitely be heard.

Of course, those romantic posts from men and women confessing their crushes on other students are everywhere too. Again though, it’s easy to post these things online, but guys, if you see this person in real life and your heart is a’thumpin’ at the sight of them, TELL THEM! YOU CAN DO IT!

But I’ll be fair, not everything on the page is weird to me. There are posts about lost t-cards and cell phones that I think are great—if I was on the page and lost my wallet or something, I’d be tempted to confess my love anonymously to whoever found it.

I kid. But seriously, those posts are understandable and I think they’re important and fair.

I just hope the page doesn’t end up like this. I didn’t realize this whole “Spotted at…” thing was a popular trend for schools (call me Grandma Leah, I guess), but I think our page has been able to avoid any potential bullying so far. Generally, most posts aren’t too harsh and I’m thankful we go to school with enough sane people and the page is able to stay clean and fresh.

I haven’t been “spotted” yet. I’d rather not be, honestly. But if you do feel the desire to confess your love (or hate) for me, I’ll be happier if it’s face to face, friend to friend—the old fashioned way.