Mac Tumbls through cyberspace

By Greer Silverman

“I wish I could go to more parties, but no one ever invites me.” More than a few college students have lamented such lulls in their social lives, but these complaints are usually aired to a sympathetic friend or personal blog. At Mac, however, there are numerous forums where the lovelorn, the lonely and the occasional troll can air their woes and joys to the online Mac community. From the de­funct Like A Little to Mac Sex to the newly created Mac Missed Connections, there’s no shortage of tumblr-based confessions. For the less angst-ridden students among us there are also blogs and sites meant to capture the Mac experience: The Scottorialist keeps a running tab of cam­pus fashion do’s and don’t’s, and What Should We Call Mac and Mac memes summarize the essence of common Mac phenomena with a picture or gif. The origins of What Should We Call Mac (whatshould­ are murky, though the women behind Mac Missed Connections take credit for some of the posts. The site’s first post is dated April 20, 2012, and it features over 15 pages of Mac-related humor includ­ing responses to MPIRG emails, the dating culture, Kagin dances and Café Mac. Modeled on the popular site What Should We Call Me (, the site has over 96,000 views according to a stat counter installed at the bottom of the page. The Macalester College Memes Facebook page employs a host of familiar memes (including the popular Hipster Cat, First World Problems, Condescending Wonka and College Freshman & Senior) to poke fun at common attitudes and experiences on campus. The page currently has over 980 likes and several hundred memes created and posted by students, though it’s only been around since Sept. 9, 2012. The Scottorialist The Scottorial­ist is Macalester’s street style tumblr, a combination of snark and fashion. Creators Samilee Moody ’13 and Jeff Garcia ’14 post “badly doctored” photos of Mac stu­dents, documenting the styles they lust after and offering outfit and make-up tutorials. The site has featured its fair share of “fashion fails,” and several Mac students have found themselves on the receiving end of some withering critiques. One early post reads, “I think this guy is going for laid-back swag, but it just comes off as ‘I sell weed out of my studio apartment …well, actually it’s my girlfriend’s studio apartment, but, details!’” Lately, however, the posts have become relatively tame. “Opinions on the snark have been really, really po­larized; some people think it’s fantastic and others think we deserve to burn in hell,” said Moody, a self-professed “dorky” high school dresser. “I actually started to feel really bad about picking on people’s style.” “Some of my friends came up to me and said that they thought it was a bad thing and I shouldn’t continue. We have shifted in tone over time, but we’re not trying to be What Not To Wear,” Garcia said. The Scottorialist was founded during the spring of 2012 when housemates Moody and Garcia decided they had both had enough with the Macalester fashion and the stereotypical “college look.” Its alternative aesthetic ex­tends beyond a love of sophistication and an abhorrence for animal hats; the site also works to promote body positivity. “I was very frustrated that the Mac Weekly, while it does have a great style section, never interviews plus-size people. There are lots of fabulous big people on this campus, and so many stylish people in general that it’s hard to cover all of them if you’re only interview­ing one a week. Mac Weekly style writers also have a lot of trouble telling the difference between ‘photogenic’ and ‘well-dressed,’” Moody said. Recently, the blog has been rather static. However, this se­mester Kate Gallagher ’16 has joined the ranks, and the three plan to update more frequently as the year progresses. What should style-savvy students expect? “Lately I’ve found some inspiration in current party culture, i.e., dark lipstick, extravagant prints, extreme haircuts, but I’m also fascinated with the way dancers dress. Helsinki street style is also a huge influence for me,” said Moody. Adds Garcia, “More ties, more blazers. That is all.” Mac Missed Connections The newest addition to the Mac internet community is Mac Missed Connections (macmissedconnections.tum­, a site for the lonely and shy to con­fess their feelings and desires. Some posts are sweet: “I always show up just a little bit early to work so we can chat. It brightens my day just enough to get through the long, boring shifts.” Others are a bit dirtier: “I talk to you all the time, girl at the library desk, but all I re­ally think of doing is bending you over the circulation desk.” All are anonymous. “We don’t want anyone feel­ing like they can’t submit because they know who’ll be reading it,” said the creators (both also chose to hide their identities). This anonymity has proven to be an important element for suc­cess. Students can flirt from the safety of their dorms, shielded by their computer screens with a chance that the message might ac­tually be received. “If we’ve learned anything in our four years at Macalester it’s that people have a bit of difficulty flirting in person,” said the creators. “Also, we pret­ty much assume any website that lets you avoid face-to-face contact with the person you’re interest­ed will be a suc­cess.” Mia (name has been changed) has been looking at the site since it was started a month ago. “It’s nice to know there are other people out there going through similar experiences of seeing people they click with or could be interested in, but not doing any­thing about it,” Mia said. “It’s nice to have a place to let out your feelings to people outside your friend group, plus it’s exciting because you’re admitting your feelings and publicizing your thoughts about someone you’re into in a very public forum, where there is the possibility they could see it and be like, ‘Oh hey, that’s me and I know who posted it.’” A few days ago Mia posted for the first time, though she doesn’t expect it to lead anywhere. “I was dying to get the way I was feeling about this particular guy out,” she said. “I feel like he’s too cool for that sort of thing. But, hey, if he sees it, knows it’s me and something happens between us, I can only be thankful.” The site, which started over drinks at the Groveland Tap, now has over 15 pages of submissions and, accord­ing to its creators, 60 followers. They’re pleased with the response but they hope that traffic will increase. “We want this s— to blow up,” the creators said. “We’re not opposed to causing a stir.” Mac Sex Since spring 2011, Mac Sex ( has become something of an institution at Macalaester, al­lowing students to post anonymously about “sex+relationship+romance+dating+opinions.” The site currently has over 3,000 posts and 104 fol­lowers, though it has humble origins. In 2011, Maya Weisinger ’12, Rashi Sabherwal ’12, Emma Cohen ’12 and Charles Kilian ’13 took “Race, Sex and Work in the Global Economy” with Professor Corie Hammers. The four created the site as a project for the class in an at­tempt to explore and define the dating and hookup scene at Mac. They posted links on their Facebook pages and the rest is history. “I think people were generally excited. Anonymity is exciting. Sex is exciting. It just gets people going,” said Weisinger. “The stream of posts has been constant and that’s more than we could have ever asked.” The site has it all, from vindictive messages to ques­tions about sexuality, from lonely doubts to funny anec­dotes and from heartbroken confessions to joyful reassur­ances. The content and mood are shaped entirely by the student body’s concerns and needs, and since its concep­tion the site has changed. “It was meant to be more of a space to proclaim success and advances in sexual endeavors as a Mac student
, and we have noticed a slight morose undercurrent running through the posts,” said Weisinger. However, for Weisinger, at least, the project has proven a success as it fosters open dialogue about issues of sexuality. “I think the myth that Macalester deals with issues of dating and sex in a less than ideal way is true,” said Weisinger. “So this is not about dispelling anything, but creating a new atmosphere and culture about sex at Mac. We already know consent is Mac and how to take care of our sexual health. Now we need to work on confidence and sense of self.”