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The strong community that is Spotted at Mac The online community created for students by students is improving the McMaster community one meme at a time

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Content Warning: This article mentions disordered eating. 

By Natalie Wylie

With a growing amount of nearly 30,000 likes and over 5,000 pictures and posts, it is no wonder that every time I open Facebook Spotted at Mac is the first notification that pops up on my feed. Spotted at Mac is a Facebook page that is based on anonymous submissions from students from the McMaster community. The page is multifaceted, as it represents a place for laughs and jokes but also a seemingly comfortable place where people go for help, tips and advice on a plethora of different topics.

Before coming into first year, Facebook was becoming obsolete in my daily life but after officially accepting my offer to McMaster I joined the Class of 2020 Facebook page. This page quickly became a large part of my personal social media intake as it became very active, with people introducing themselves and asking questions in anticipation of our first year.

The page was filled with excitement and happiness, however, the page died down after my first two semesters. Luckily as soon as that happened the Spotted at Mac page was on the rise and was an instant form of entertainment for me.

Spotted at Mac is home to a university version of Craigslist’s missed connections, where you can try to find the pretty girl you saw sitting outside of Starbucks in the student centre followed by a “coffee sometime?” request.

Spotted is also a place where you can share tips and tricks to make the most of your years at McMaster as well as to help with personal struggles among friends and family. The posts also allow students to connect with new people who have similar interest, or even those who are just looking for a pal.

 For me, one of the most intriguing aspects of [Spotted at Mac] was that it is an initiative created by the students instead of by the university. 

On a more serious note, this active Facebook page is a place where people go for advice about everything under the sun. In a more recent post on the page an individual asked for advice on how to help a close friend seemingly developing an eating disorder. When I looked at the comment section it consisted of nothing but supportive advice and even invitations to message people privately for additional help. This is the sign of a great community, one in which the people have no obligation to help but choose to out of the goodness of their own hearts.

Many parts of the internet come with hate and negativity, concepts in which Spotted at Mac is free of for the most part. There is a fair share of complaints and upsetting personal stories too. However, if you are struggling in a class I’m sure someone else is too and that they have posted a meme for you to laugh at, even if it’s just for a second. Allowing you to forget about the 12-page paper you have due tomorrow.

For me, one of the most intriguing aspects of this Facebook page was that it is an initiative created by the students instead of by the university. This is another solid reflection of the McMaster students and our ability to create communities on our own accord, specifically a community free of judgement.

McMaster students are creating their own positive space where individuals can make friends and develop a support team from behind a computer screen. This is a place where no one has to go through anything alone and everyone can engage. Spotted is a page created by students for students that allows everyone to be a part of a community with little to no rules but to simply be kind.

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