Image courtesy of Lexy Lott
When a stranger sat down across from Peter Bertola at Starbucks in September, he had no idea that just a few months later, she would become such an important part of his life.
“I really wanted to say hi, but I was a little shy and she left before I could,” Bertola, a junior computer engineering major, said. “Apparently she saw my name on my cold brew though, because the next day she posted a Missed Connection commenting, and we started talking. Eventually we started dating, all because of that Missed Connection post.”
On the Instagram account Pitt Missed Connections, students can anonymously submit public notes — usually compliments — through a Google form linked in the profile. The account, which has been active since March 2021, posts the submissions with the goal of helping students find people they wish they’d spoken to.
The Instagram page has been widely popular across campus with more than 7,400 followers and 1,000 submissions. The owner of the account did not respond to a request for comment. The page has been inactive for the past seven weeks while a new team is being assembled to take it over.
[Read: Instagram account seeks to reunite students’ missed connections]
With so many submissions, it may seem far off to think that anyone would actually be able to connect and start a relationship, but some Pitt students have found success.
Lexy Lott, a sophomore undeclared major, and her girlfriend Kaylin Troiano, a senior social work major, began their relationship after Lott’s Missed Connections post on April 3. Lott said she submitted the post after seeing Troiano at the bus stop one morning.
“Kaylin’s style really drew me in, and I just thought she was really cute,” Lott said. “I had a good feeling she was queer with the way she presented herself, which made writing the post less scary.”
Lott said in the age of online dating, making a post about someone based on physical appearance alone didn’t seem “too different.”
While Troiano didn’t follow the account, some of her friends did and shared the post with her. Troiano commented on the post and the two connected.
“After my friends showed me Lex’s post, I wanted to reach out to her because I felt like her language and use of punctuation and such were all so adorable. I had no idea what she looked like or anything more about her, but I like spontaneous and fun things like that and knew Lex had to be fun and cool if she also was intrigued by Missed Connections,” Troiano said. “She ended up being the best girlfriend I could ever ask for.”
Troiano said she found Lott’s initial compliment “sweet” and especially liked reading the specific details that Lott included in her post, such as how Troiano had her hair styled that day in a braid. Troiano commented on the post asking for Lott to break her anonymity, which she did, and the two have now been together for 10 months.
“We chatted back and forth for a week or so until one day after work, I just went for it and asked her to meet me in Flagstaff for a nighttime picnic,” Lott said. “We clicked pretty much instantly and have kind of been attached at the hip ever since.”
Not all posts have been romantically inclined. Some are submitted to show appreciation for others who showed small acts of kindness.
Sarah Kelty, a first-year marketing major and follower of the Missed Connections page, said she knows that there is a post about her, which described her working at Dunkin’ and “making someone’s day.”
“It’s weird when you see a post about yourself because then you realize that people actually notice you,” Kelty said. “It feels good to know that people actually notice you and that you impacted somebody else’s life.”
Like Kelty, Troiano said the concept behind the account — even without the romantic aspect — is encouraging and positive.
“I think the idea of throwing some compliments out there on Instagram is pretty wholesome, which is why I like the account a lot,” Troiano said. “It just seems to spread kindness and cute messages all around.”