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

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…

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.