Courtesy of Missed Connections Instagram
Among the countless possible honors and accolades one may collect during their time at Case Western Reserve University, a feature on the CWRU Missed Connections Instagram page might be one of the most memorable achievements for any student. If you haven’t heard of them already, @cwrumissedconnections is a student-run Instagram account that posts blurbs from students about “missed connections”—interactions with fellow students that flew by too quickly for a friendship to blossom. Most of the posts are positive experiences, whether they are about a wholesome conversation at the Tinkham Veale University Center or a noteworthy outfit spotted at Tomlinson Hall. On Sundays, the account specifically posts “Sunday Shoutouts” for the submissions that mention students by name.
The page has been a blessing in many ways, with the main goal of missed connections pages across college campuses being to make socializing easier. And considering the miserable state the pandemic has left our social skills in, missed connections allows awkward, shy and quarantine-afflicted people to find the person who held the gate open for them at the Kelvin Smith Library, all without having to speak to them in public.
Some missed connections submissions are oriented towards getting to know someone better after a brief shared spark—the numerous Dave’s Cosmic Subs and The Jolly Scholar posts almost all share this goal. Other missed connections posts have less of an objective, but are just as entertaining to read, as they use a myriad of colorful emojis to express an undying desperation for a specific person.
But the most common type of post—and my personal favorite type—simply compliments someone for their positive vibes. For instance, “The girl outside [insert building] with [insert clothes description] and talking about [insert conversation topic] had such a beautiful smile!” and “The person I ran into at [insert food place] had amazing [music taste/sense of style/hair]” both follow the generic formats of so many wholesome missed connections.
Regardless of which format the missed connection follows, there is something about receiving one that makes you feel special. Seeing yourself complimented anonymously is exciting, and even finding one about your friends and tagging them in the comments can be entertaining. And the beauty of missed connections has not gone unnoticed. The page’s following speaks for itself—I’m sure all 2,499 followers have not received missed connections about themselves, yet all of us eagerly look forward to reading what interesting moments or thoughtful compliments others have to say for the CWRU community.
It sounds strange when put in perspective—the fact that I get excited for people I might not know to compliment other people that I might not know—but that’s part of the magic of missed connections. Positivity at CWRU is contagious and the sentiment of wanting to spread it is becoming contagious too.
Because of this, stumbling upon a missed connection on my feed never fails to make me smile. Knowing that someone put in the effort to fill out a Google form to selflessly compliment a stranger from what may have been a 2-minute interaction completely brightens my mood. And the submitters often opt to omit their Instagram handle from the Google form, making the act even more genuine.
As the @cwrumissedconnections page continues to gain traction and receive more submissions, I can’t help but think that the people who run this account truly make a difference in CWRU’s atmosphere, no matter how imperceptible. The more we see genuine kindness and the giddy effect it has on us, the more we are inspired to be the ones spreading it.
So, unless you’re afraid of overworking the @cwrumissedconnections admins, don’t hesitate to type out a compliment for someone you briefly met—it might cross an item off their CWRU bucket list, and if not, it can brighten their day and the campus atmosphere, as well.