This is the bare bones, minimum-requirements kind of stuff you’ll need to know to get a grasp on Missed Connections.
For the completely uninitiated – i.e., in case you’ve never seen the site, or heard me talk about this at a party or in class – Missed Connections are messages that anyone* can post for free in a forum within the Personal section on Craigslist.org. Unlike other types of personals, where users generally seek out new & unknown dating/romantic/sexual partners, the basic premise is that people can post a description of someone they saw or met “in real life,” but whom they are unable to contact through other means. Maybe they were too shy to talk to them, they didn’t get their name/phone number/email/Facebook/Twitter/what-have-you, only just exchanged a glance, the desired person was asleep when the writer saw them (yes, I’ve seen such a post), etc. There are ALL kinds of excuses, which I’ll talk about at some point later on.
By posting a Missed Connection, writers hope that the subject of their post will see it, and contact them, and they will all live happily ever after, or hook up, or something. Some writers use Missed Connections as a forum for reaching out to lost relationship partners (“I Miss You…”), posting chain letter messages , or venting out anything and everything – although technically, these posts should go in the ‘Rants & Raves’ section. By the way, some of the content of Missed Connections – and therefore, some of the stuff on this blog – is sort of NSFW – just a heads up.
*Anyone with internet access and an email address, to be more specific.
Missed Connections has its own set of jargon and conventions. Craigslist is organized by city, so writers can post on the page where the MC took place. The main Missed Connections page for Toronto looks more or less like this (as of this morning):
Each of the links is a unique post. The basic format is [title/description] – post category (gender/orientation) – age (if stated), and location (where the Missed Connection took place, in general or specifically – i.e., “Toronto,” or “Wrongbar”)
The title/description is the only mandatory part, so not everyone will include the category, age, and location. At this point, I know you’ve excitedly scooted over to take a look, and you’re wondering, what’s a w4m? Well folks, that’s why I’m here. Without further adieu, here are the exceedingly complex categories of Missed Connections. Based on my research, m4w posts tend to be the most frequent, followed by m4m, w4m, and w4w. About a quarter of posts tend to be uncategorized.
- m4w: Posts written by a man for a woman or women.
- m4m: Posts written by a man for a man or men.
- w4m: Posts written by a woman for a man or men. [I bet you’re catching on by now!]
- w4w: Posts written by a woman for a woman or women.
A more elaborate discussion of euphemisms can be found on the ‘Best of Craigslist.’
That’s pretty much all you need to know to start. Let the games begin.