Kiss and tweet: Is new ‘makeout’ Twitter trend a total overshare?

Twitter/TempleMakeouts.
phl_makeout
Courtesy of @TempleMakeouts

 

If every questionable decision you made in college was documented and permanently memorialized on the internet, would your life have taken a different path?

That’s a question many students are having to ponder less frequently, as it’s become reality. And a new trend in which dedicated Twitter accounts disseminate photos of college students lip locking at campus parties is adding more fuel to the arsenal of potentially compromising information available online.

“It’s more like a comedy thing,” said one of six male Temple University students who together run Twitter account Temple Makeouts. They got the idea from similar pages affiliated – unofficially – with colleges across the country.

“We saw schools with over 11,000 followers and thought, ‘Why not make one of our own pages and see what happens?’” the student said.

The Temple Makeouts administrators said they’re not concerned their association with the account – or the pictures it sends out – will jeopardize job prospects.

“This is something everyone does,” one student said. “If an employer’s going to judge you over a picture someone else took and put on the internet and if they’re hunting that hard, they’re going to find a lot worse.”

But Cheryl Hallman, associate director of the Rutgers University-Camden Career Center, offered some words of caution.

“There is a large amount of employers that will Google a potential candidate during the job search,” she said, citing a recent survey showing up to 90 percent use some form of social media during recruitment. “So can it affect them? I would imagine yes, it can.”

Hallman said in her understanding, information and images are difficult – if not impossible – to remove from the web once they’re posted.

Still, the Temple Makeouts crew isn’t thinking about permanence. “I think it’s going to be something that lasts five month to a year,” one administrator said. “It’s going to get old, but it’s just something funny right now.”

More on ‘Makeouts’

The Temple Makeouts crew said their site grew quickly after they put up their first post. They have in less than a month amassed nearly 1,000 followers and sent out 120 tweets, most of them photos.

“I think we got pictures almost immediately after that – two or three in the first day,” one administrator said. “The last two weekends have been good. We’ve been getting 20 pictures a weekend.”

They claim their intent is not to offend, but to stir up social interactions.

“Part of the fun of it is seeing people you know,” one student said. “What so far we’ve seen is a lot of people will retweet one of our tweets and tag a friend.”

Temple Makeouts has so far have received only one complaint and immediately removed the photo. “We definitely wouldn’t do nudity or anything,” the student continued. “We’re trying to keep it as classy as we can – for a makeout page.”

Despite their new found notoriety, the six students are adamant about remaining anonymous. “It’s fun because no one knows we’re running it,” the student said. “Having our own friends don’t know that we run it is very classic.”

Development delayed

Rutgers-Camden professor of psychology and childhood studies Daniel Hart said the meteoric rise in social media use may be seriously affecting young people’s development.

“People imagine adolescence as an opportunity to try on different roles, then after some experimentation, to be able to create your own story of yourself in some sense,” he said.

“There’s some speculation about whether social media gives you less control over your own life story. It’s harder to get away from the dumb things you’ve done because everything is documented.”

He said the loss of control makes it more difficult to make life stage transitions, a problem never experienced by past generations who lived under less online oversight.

“I think that is a little bit different, not being able to, say, go from high school to college and wash away some of the dumb things you did in high school and become a slightly different person in college,” he said. “It’s the same thing with the transition from college to adulthood.”

Quoted

“Teens used to experiment by keeping diaries, which were seen as extremely private accounts of what they were thinking and feeling with little locks and keys on them to keep your prying family members from finding out. And nowadays, it’s hard to keep that information private.”

– Hart

‘No official position’

The Temple Makeouts page includes a disclaimer that it’s in no way affiliated with the university itself. “We have a Gmail address there,” one student said. “If anyone needs to contact us, we’d be readily available to answer any questions.”

The students say they’ve received no disciplinary warnings from the college for their extracurricular activities.

Temple University assistant vice president of communications Ray Betzner hadn’t yet heard about the account on Friday, but was nonplussed. “It has no official association with Temple, so I guess we have no official position on it,” he said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…

Comments

1

  1. I think that it is disgusting that, as a newspaper, you would think this is acceptable journalism. This is disgusting and I hope the people whose
    photo’s were published on the cover of today’s issue, without consent I might add, know their rights.