In your face
Want to find out more about that girl in your chemistry class who’s so funny? In the old days, you made furtive inquiries among her friends or screwed up your courage and asked her out for coffee.
It’s a lot easier with thefacebook.com, a sort of online personals for the college crowd. Students post photos and bios that disclose everything from relationship status to political views and favorite bands.
Since its launch last year by Harvard student Chris Hughes, the free Web site has swept college campuses from Yale to UCLA and now claims about 1.5 million users. Thousands of UCLA students have posted bios.
“Everyone’s on it,” says second-year Jennifer Bautista, who boasts in her profile that she beat anyone around in an “ugly-dance-move contest.”
Students can search thefacebook.com for people who live in De Neve Plaza, major in biology or love the pop singer John Mayer. “I don’t use it to meet new people, but to know more about the people I already know,” says second-year Jason Pae, pictured at right.
The Web site has digital approximations of flesh-and-blood encounters. Students can “poke” each other, which is a cyberspace version of “hey, you.” Users can create affinity groups. Some are serious but others all in fun, like the “We Sit in the 2nd Last Row in Biotech” club. Sometimes, thefacebook.com tells you more than you need or want to know about your UCLA classmates: More than two dozen students have signed on to the “Future Owners of Trophy Wives of America” club.
by Anne Burke