For some Knoxians, the dropping temperatures and brisk autumn breezes of fall term come with a sense of longing — one that simply cannot be satisfied with late-night Broadview hash browns or a rousing Senior Meeting. The young woman in the Ford Center for the Fine Arts holding a paintbrush over a canvas may wish she were holding her suitemate’s hand instead. The guy in the Gizmo with a basket of jalapeño poppers might hope to share them with his cute psychology TA. A freshman walking past the squirrels hunkering down for winter may dream of her very own Knox fox, a Netflix marathon and some snuggle time.
But could it be that Facebook is the cure for lonely hearts? Some unknown source thinks so. The anonymous creator of the Knox Lovemaker account joined Facebook on Friday, Sept. 28 and the first status update, shrouded in mystery, is as follows:
“WELCOME to the knox matchmaker. it is HERE that you can message if you think two people should be dating….upon receiving messages knox matchmaker will create the romance…in a way that only galesburg would approve of 😉 <3 [sic].”
Knox students who friended the Lovemaker made their feelings known on the account’s timeline: speculating on the account maker’s identity, comparing the idea to the Millionaire Matchmaker and confessing that each new Lovemaker post rang with the echoes of actress Kristen Bell’s voice (known for her portrayal as the narrator of TV’s “Gossip Girl,” who keeps tabs on Manhattan’s elite without ever showing her face).
Little additional information was readily available, besides that news of the first “pairings” were scheduled to reach the relevant parties on Friday, October 5. If Cupid’s arrows flew across campus that day, those involved seem to have kept it to themselves as the Lovemaker made no new status updates over the weekend.
During interviews and through hearsay, students drew instant connections to Knox PostSecret and the now-defunct LikeALittle. Some branded the Lovemaker a fad right away, foreseeing a day when it would fail to hold students’ attention.
Junior James Wright-Lee agreed with the LikeALittle comparison, saying Knox Lovemaker has “great potential, but it will most likely be abused.”
Wright-Lee’s suspicions seem to be correct, if the vows heard around campus to spam the account’s message box with unrealistic pairings are any indication.
“I would guess it’s a [female] upperclassman,” senior Amanda Lee said of the Lovemaker mastermind. She also suggested that the matchmaking could be a group effort. “If it’s one person, [the likelihood] is they don’t know everybody who’d be sending in stuff.”
Sophomore Alexia Vasilopoulos was actually friended by the Lovemaker first, and noticed that she shared a lot of its mutual friends. When asked what a romance that “only Galesburg would approve of” might look like, Vasilopoulos was unsure.
“I thought love was just a thing that … everybody could do in any way, I don’t know,” Vasilopoulos said. “There’s no limits or boundaries, or whatever.”
Sophomore Deion Horah was unfamiliar with the Lovemaker at the time of interview, but was quick to see the humor in it.
“That’s hysterical,” Horah said. “I’m gonna go home and [use it] immediately.”
Currently, the Knox Lovemaker account has approximately 100 friends. Whether it will catch on and become the new campus obsession remains to be seen. In any case, even with the promise that identities would remain anonymous, the person or persons behind the Knox Lovemaker account did not respond to an interview request as of press time. For now, any new Lovemaker schemes continue to be made in secret.