Humans of Smith College: An Interview With the Founder

Anya Gruber '16

News Editor

The popular Humans of Smith College Instagram was started in September by an anonymous Smith student. It has since gained over a thousand followers and captures the unique personalities found all over Smith campus. I sat down with the founder to ask a few questions about HOSC.

Anya Gruber: How does the Humans of Smith College work? Do you randomly go up to someone and ask to post about them, or do you post about people you know?

HOSC: Sometimes I’ll be talking to someone, and they’ll say something interesting, and I’ll be like, “Can I take a picture of you for Humans of Smith College?” But other times, because I try to post every day, I’ll just go up to someone and ask.

AG: When you just walk up to someone, what kinds of questions do you ask?

HOSC: I feel like the reactions are actually more interesting than the answers. But I like to ask, “If you could give advice to a large group of people, what would it be?” That’s a common question on Humans of New York. And sometimes, I’ll just ask them to say something about a prompt, and they’ll just say, “Oh, I’m really tired today.” But that’s also interesting.

AG: What do you look for in a person to talk to when you approach someone randomly? What kinds of traits does a person need to have?

HOSC: I try to be as objective as possible. Usually I [consider] whether or not someone will be willing to talk to me because sometimes people are really into their work. It also has to do with where I am. If I were to pick right now [the interview was conducted in the atrium of the Campus Center], I would probably choose that girl over there because everyone else around is doing something, but she’s by herself.

AG: Have you done this kind of project before? Are you interested in photography?

HOSC: No, actually, and that’s one of the downfalls of HOSC. I use the camera on my Galaxy [cellphone], and the pictures are not very good quality, so I’m trying to invest in a good camera. I’m mostly just interested in the people. I am kind of interested in photography, but it’s not the main point.

AG: I’m impressed that you’ve managed to stay anonymous since you founded HOSC in September.

HOSC: I know. But a few people know, because I interviewed them, and some friends know.

The founder of HOSC would like to stay anonymous but welcomes comments and suggestions. The best way to reach her is through Instagram direct message.