The Sentimentalist. The lover of love. She suggested a few names, but Apricus seemed most fitting: full of sunshine. Most people don’t know what to call her, or that she is a her in the first place. Most know her for her work in creating a rapidly-growing Instagram page called UR LOVED (and appreciated).
The page’s meteoric growth is certainly an indication that Apricus has done something right.
Less than two weeks after Apricus’ first post, nearly 500 students had followed the page and over 170 students had submitted messages of love, appreciation, attraction, or longing. Predominantly anonymous, UR LOVED offers a more targeted and specific platform than other confessions pages at UR.
Unlike other platforms, contributors can also attach a song to their message. That choice, Apricus said, was an easy one. “Music has the ability to say things words can’t say. Simple as that. And it’s cute […] it’s a sweet memory.” It seems that others agree: The majority of posts include a song intended for the recipient.
For Apricus, the page is more than just a platform: It’s an idea she holds close to her heart. “Wanting to create the page just stemmed from my love of getting to experience people outwardly love and appreciate loved ones,” she said. “That’s something I’m really passionate about. I love seeing people happy.”
While the page may be personal, Apricus kept herself anonymous. With this she feels that her peers will find it easier to express true feelings. “I think my anonymity helps ensure this page is about the people,” she said. “And I also think for others it’s important because that way they’re more comfortable loving people out loud. Maybe you just want to admire them from afar, and that’s okay.” She said that some friends have come close to discovering her involvement, but for now it remains a closely-guarded secret.
Any anonymous platform can be abused, even a positive platform like UR LOVED. It could be used to harass or bully students, or it could be inundated with troll comments or otherwise unwanted content. So far, Apricus has felt comfortable publishing a significant majority of the submissions she receives. “I think it definitely says a lot about the lovely UR community we have, however things can’t all be good,” she said. “I don’t post comments that are over the top sexual/objectifying, I ignore them. I also don’t post anything mean said about anyone.” Apricus has offered to remove anything that a subject feels uncomfortable with.
The very idea of this sort of public admiration brings up another question. Social media already causes a great deal of anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues, and some students who don’t receive messages might feel hurt or left out. Apricus believes in maintaining a positive outlook. “Someone who appreciates you is definitely out there,” she said. She also emphasized the importance of emotional openness with one’s peers. “I also think people forget it’s okay to ask your friends if you need a little extra love and affirmations; there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Apricus hopes to extend her little community beyond Instagram, finding users on other platforms. She’s learned much from these first few weeks, but she’s looking to add even more. “I also have some projects in mind that will need to involve people from UR,” she said. “I won’t reveal too much, but it’s all going to be great and I’m super excited to see where this platform goes.”