The Grind chats with the famous page’s new successor about sexy anonymous messages, Facebook analytics and relationships.
On Sept. 19, the anonymous creator of the popular Facebook page Stanford Crushes finally revealed his identity. Charlie Rosas ’15 posted a picture of his Wacky Walk garb, complete with a large heart-shaped “Stanford Crushes” sign, and captioned it with a last farewell. More importantly, he declared that he had chosen to pass the position of moderator on to “someone new, who…will breathe new life into the page and continue to preserve the kind but playful spirit of Stanford Crushes.”
The last time The Daily spoke with Stanford Crushes was in 2013, when the page had 860 likes and 890 posts. As of this writing, Stanford Crushes boasts 3,352 likes and 4,860 posts looking for mysterious strangers and shouting out unrequited loves.
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
TG: How did you get involved with Stanford Crushes and how has your experience been so far?
SC: During spring quarter, the previous Stanford Crushes was looking for people to take over the page, and I filled out the short questionnaire he posted. About two days before school started [this year], I got an email saying, “I thought your application really stood out and your intentions match what I want for the page.” We talked over Skype about his views on going forward with the page — he made it two and a half years ago — and a couple days later, I was admin and posting messages. I didn’t know Charlie at all before getting the job.
TG: How do you choose what relationships to feature?
SC: It’s complicated because I keep thinking, who do I want on the page — I can’t just choose the people I know. At some point it won’t be hard to trace back to who I am.
TG: What is Stanford Crushes to you?
SC: It’s a hard thing to balance. Stanford Crushes is a crushes page, while most schools have a compliments page. Many of the messages I receive are just compliments, but some are overtly sexual. Not everything that comes through is nice — of course, I don’t post those.
TG: So you do filter the posts?
SC: Yes, but only to a certain degree. I can only think of one time where I posted something by accident and I had to take it down immediately (after 20 minutes).
TG: So what gets filtered and what doesn’t? Do people really submit mean things?
SC: I definitely feel safe posting things like, “Hey, so-and-so, I think you’re a really nice person,” but not anything really sexual. Charlie also filtered the messages, but I might be more conservative on deciding what not to post. Because I do get requests to take posts out. People will message me and say, “Well, I’m trying to get a job right now.”
TG: Have you ever sent or received an anonymous crush?
SC: No. There are people in my life who could use some support, but I think I have to draw the line as the person running the page. I don’t want people to think that the posts are all written by me! Even before the job, I never sent or received one, but it made me happy to see the joy it brought to other people.
TG: How many requests do you get everyday?
SC: It varies. I haven’t looked at the requests today, but I expect to get a lot from FMOTQ [laughs]. I get more messages right after I post, since people remember that the page exists, and also after events on campus — people meet new people.
TG: Can you tell us a funny story about something that’s happened during your time as Stanford Crushes so far?
SC: Once I got three separate messages from someone looking for a girl he met at a party. The first was a description. The second was sent an hour later, saying, “Hey Stanford Crushes please don’t post it, I found the girl.” And then a third: “Just kidding, it wasn’t the right girl, please post my first message.”
TG: I wonder if any relationships have come out of Stanford Crushes.
SC: I get requests to reveal message writers, but 90 percent of the time, I don’t know who they are. The 10 percent are from people who message the page directly [and not through the anonymous Google form].
TG: What are your most popular posts?
SC: When I post a relationship feature, the readership really spikes. There’s also a whole science of when to post. I try to post in the afternoon and evening, before dinner.
TG: To conclude, what’s one thing you hope people will take away from Stanford Crushes?
SC: I think I touched on this before, but I get a lot of messages that are very sexual and that I have to filter. When I started out, I wanted to promote a culture that didn’t just sexualize everything. The photography project focuses on relationships in a broad sense. I mean, I’m someone who isn’t pursuing a relationship but is posting all about relationships.
At Stanford, I think it’s hard to find real relationships: FMOTQ is an example of that. Now that I run the page, I pay more attention to causes on campus like the Happiness Collective and the Duck Stops Here, initiatives that promote campus morale.
I just feel like people need to know, “You can find real friends here at Stanford and maintain good, strong relationships.” That’s what I want people to take away. There are happy people here. Not everyone’s a duck.
Contact Samantha Wong at slwong ‘at’ stanford.edu.