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Sunday, February 3,2013

Bobcat MakeOUts: Spreading the love, one Twitter pic at a time

By Megan Moseley

Photo Caption: A montage of make-out shots from Bobcat MakeOUts’ Twitter page.

College has for many years been a period in one's life when young adults can explore, develop and make mistakes. But, until recently, those mistakes were not documented.

All that's changed now, and with a new Twitter account called "Bobcat MakeOUts" gaining popularity daily, some Ohio University students say getting busted for drunken bar hook-ups is easier than ever.

"Bobcat MakeOUts" apparently started after a friend of one OU student recommended the idea. The friend, a student from University of Mississippi, said the account "Ole Miss Makeouts" where students post pictures of other students participating in acts of public displays of affection was a hilarious hit. The Bobcat rendition, however, has surpassed its predecessor. "Ole Miss Makeouts" has a relatively small following of 156 Twitter users, whereas "Bobcat MakeOUts" has nearing 4,500.

OU and Ole Miss are not alone; many other colleges have started similar accounts with Ohio State University having 379 followers on its "makeout" Twitter account, and schools such as Purdue University having more than 8,000 Twitter followers and growing.

Trying to get one of the several male OU students who are associated with the account to go on the record about "Bobcat MakeOUts" was nearly impossible. You'd think the creator of the trending social phenomenon would proudly show it off like some overzealous pageant mom, but no, not these guys. 

Their need for anonymity suggests that perhaps they're worried about their reputation and how such an account could affect their future job-search. As one OU student puts it, a site like this is all in good fun, until you end up on it.

"I think it's great for college, but not for when you're going to get a job," said Brittney Snyder, 22, an OU student who has been on the site herself. "You love yourself as a Bobcat, but hate yourself as a real person."

Snyder's not bitter about being on the site, however, and says it's all in good fun.

"It was kind a joke. A guy friend and I pretended to be making out and I tweeted it," she said.

Snyder said she and her four roommates check the account almost daily and are always looking at it first-thing Sunday morning.

"You never know who is going to end up on it," she said.

This is true. A couple weeks ago Brandon Phillips, second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds, was even featured on the account, getting a kiss on the cheek by a Bobcat during a visit to Athens.

Some pictures are innocent such as the Phillips' cheek-kiss photograph, but others show full-fledged French kisses displaying heavy petting, for example in the corner-side room of some dimly lit Court Street bar.

Still, many OU students use only one word to describe it – "hilarious."

Take 18-year-old Kristen Alexander, who said she started following the account when she first heard about it from her dorm mates. With some friends and fellow sorority sisters surfacing on the lip-locked love site, she said she doesn't believe such an account can have negative repercussions.

"I think it's funny. It's a parody account. It's meant to be a joke," she said.

Anna McCann, a 22-year-old OU student, said she started following the account this summer. She enjoys it for the sex appeal.

"It's racy. It's what you do when you drink. I don't think it's a big deal. This is college," she said.

The gossip site continues to gain new footage with every weekend, and it's hard to say how some OU students' will react to the site after they start their job hunt. Until then, keep your eyes peeled for iPhone cameras pointed in your direction before publicly canoodling during your next romantic endeavor.


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