Finding a roommate using social media is as superficial as it seems

Sarah Rogoz, Editor-In-Chief

With the introduction of numerous social media platforms, the methods of finding a roommate have switched since the previous generation. No longer did I have to wait until orientation day to meet with my roommate. Once I narrowed down my search for my school, I was ready to embark on a journey like one out of an Eharmony commercial. I was searching for my perfect match– but in this case, a roommate.

My old Facebook contains several embarrassing videos of 11 year old me trying to sell my duct-tape wallets as well as pictures from my old Nintendo DSi. Therefore, I decided it was time to make a new Facebook. I created a profile that exhibited me in a more professional light, and looked up my college’s incoming freshman community page.

As I scrolled through I saw a sea of girls posting pictures of themselves along with bios that were as vague and cliche as I anticipated. Nearly every single one contained some version of “I love to go out, but sometimes I also like to stay in”. Seemed to me like the only thing differentiated these posts were the pictures and the social media handles at the end of their paragraphs.

You could see that the girls that were subjectively “prettier” had more likes on their posts, and in turn most likely got more Direct Messages asking to get to know them. Finding a roommate using these methods seemed more like finding the girl you think would compliment your Instagram appearance rather than one you think you would actually get along with.

The fact of the matter is social media can connect you with thousands of people. Even with this ability, people mainly base their choice on very few traits their potential roommate exhibits.

I personally didn’t send any Direct Messages to girls I think I could’ve got along with well because I didn’t even know where to start. However, I did receive several on my Instagram and eventually found my roommate for the next year.

Our conversation started with us talking about the temperature we like the room at, and ended with us bonding over the fact we both hate the amount of time it takes to straighten our curly hair. The conversing was more natural than some others I’ve had, and about two months of casually texting and snapchatting we decided we were going to room together.

I don’t know what about my post drew her to Direct Message me, but I’m glad she did. I no longer have to worry about applying for housing while not knowing who will be sharing a room with me. As a person who tends to stress out over even the smallest of things, this decision lifted a big weight off my shoulders.

With the amount of potential roommates I can connect with tripled, I find it surprising how so many conversations I had felt forced and unnatural. If girls were interested in rooming with me because of the things I said I liked in my bio, they would have made the effort to talk about those things, not just if I like partying or not.

A bio without a picture would’ve eliminated some of these dilemmas. But for security reasons, I understand why you need to see a picture of your roommate before you meet up with them. Nothing would be worse than finding out the 17 year old girl you have been talking with turned out to not be 17 years old nor a girl for that matter. But there needs to be a more reliable way to find a roommate that doesn’t revolve on appearance as much.

Finding a roommate on social media needs to revert to being more casual and not as shallow. If looks truly don’t matter, then college students shouldn’t be making this big of a decision solely based off them.