Some folks just want friends — no sex, no romance — just pure, unadulterated, platonic fun.
However, not everyone is a socialite.
Craigslist Anchorage takes a break from the conventional personal ads and offers a “strictly platonic” section, where strangers age 18 and over can solicit friendships.
Upon reading the posts, they run the gamut from those who understand what “platonic” means to those who are looking for romance in all the wrong places.
It seems there is something for everyone.
One post read, “I’m fat, want to work out?…Just realized I was fat again. Crap! Well anyone want to join me?”
Another read, “Open-minded smoke buddies…friendly guy here looking to meet some fellow open-minded smoke friends. I’m a very respectful, educated, non-cigarette smoker…”
Some didn’t mince words: “Who wants to trade rubs? Attach a pic so I know your (sic) real.”
Archeology student Monique Jones said she likes to use Craigslist to make platonic connections because it is less complicated, straight to the point and free.
“It can be creepy and a risk. You just have to have your wits about you all the time,” Jones said.
Maria Bonifacio, associate director of UAA Residence Life, coordinates campus social events all year long. These events include “speed dating,” where students can mingle and find friends.
She said she could see how online “friending” can seem enticing to the less social.
“I see students who just get their meals, go back to their rooms, close the door and I don’t see them until it is time for class,” Bonifacio said.
However, she encouraged students who are tempted to go fishing for friends online to “be careful. You never know what’s on the other end.”
Instead, she recommended students take even a few minutes to check out the myriad of free events on campus such as salsa dancing or movie nights. She said at least students would be in a safe environment.
The Student Health and Counseling Center, or SHCC, on campus promotes the importance friendship has on mental wellbeing and safety through campus events and booths. An emphasis is placed on safety, regardless to how the connections are made.
“Friends make the highs higher and the lows not quite so low, and it’s good to have someone to share the world with,” said Georgia DeKeyser, director of the SHCC.
Despite warnings that may come, Craigslist is brimming with people soliciting friends daily. Many of those posting write that they do not know how to make friends in person, but are lonely and simply crave friends — not sex, not romance.