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A fan of old-school, back-of-the-alt-weekly personals ads, she wanted to create a way for people to find each other through their phones without the frustrations of dating apps."You have to be present to write these ads," she says. It's a friendly environment; it feels healthier than Tinder." And now that the 35,000 people who follow Personals seem to agree with her, she wants to take on those apps—with an app of her own.magazine, and running Personals—along with @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y—is a major time-suck.
She began to post screenshots to the @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y Instagram. Apps like Grindr are queer-focused, but can often feel like havens for cis gay men."All of the sudden I had hundreds of queers flooding my inbox trying to hang out." The response was invigorating, but ultimately Juniper found their match by responding to someone else: Arizona, another recent college grad who had written a Personals ad titled "Rush Limbaugh’s Worst Nightmare"."Be still my heart," Juniper messaged them; soon they had a Face Time date, and spent the next three weeks writing each other letters and poems before Arizona drove seven hours from Pittsburgh to visit Juniper in Connecticut.For years, lonely hearts would take out tiny squares of space in local rags to detail who they were, and who they were looking for, in hopes of finding someone.The truncated vernacular of the ads—ISO ("in search of"), LTR ("long-term relationship"), FWB ("friends with benefits")—endured thanks to online dating sites, but the infinite space of the internet coupled with the "send pics" attitude of hookup culture has made the personal ad something of a lost art.