Confession Pages Only Mean Trouble

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Confession Pages Only Mean Trouble

An unidentified, anonymous internet user spills her secrets. (Ian Mckenna/The Observer)

An unidentified, anonymous internet user spills her secrets. (Ian Mckenna/The Observer)

An unidentified, anonymous internet user spills her secrets. (Ian Mckenna/The Observer)

An unidentified, anonymous internet user spills her secrets. (Ian Mckenna/The Observer)

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An unidentified, anonymous internet user spills her secrets. (Ian Mckenna/The Observer)

An unidentified, anonymous internet user spills her secrets. (Ian Mckenna/The Observer)

By MARIA FISCHER
Asst. Opinions Co-Editor
Published: April 15, 2013

Through the years our generation has always been enthralled with social media trends, from the earlier “surveys” on MySpace to the more recent “#tbt” hashtags on Instagram. But now there’s a new trend taking over the social networking world: confessions pages on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.

While students across the country are eagerly typing their deepest secrets into social media forums, you won’t find me submitting anything anytime soon. I, for one, could not be more appalled at these pages of blatant immaturity. These confessions pages are putting innocent young people’s reputations at stake, even though most of them never even submitted the confession and have absolutely no control of the post!

How do these confessions pages work, exactly? An anonymous student makes a page for his or her school. Followers of the page message the account’s creator with their “confession” or secret. These confessions range from the innocent “I wanna kiss somebody in the rain one day” to the downright disgusting “I pooped on the Ram Van once.”

Ew.

Regardless of whether the confessions themselves are harmless or not, I am horrified by this social media trend. The pages themselves might’ve started out as an innocent way for college and university students to bond and laugh together but lately I’ve noticed that the posts have gone way too far. Some posts explicitly mention students by name, and other posts discuss ruthless and cruel ways to get back at annoying roommates. Page readers comment on these posts and show their support for outlandish behavior.

What I find even more alarming is that these pages are starting to expand to the high school age. Students post negative secrets about other peers using their full name. These innocent students are called out on the Internet for moments of lapse judgment, and these negative posts pop up when you google their names. “So-and-so had sex with a freshman in the bathroom” will be the first thing that future employers or colleges will see as soon as they type a student’s name into a search engine.

Submitters also fail to consider legal repercussions. One of the most alarming confessions that I stumbled upon was about a student-teacher relationship. While the post itself was typed in a way that leads me to believe that the submitter was joking, accusations like this are taken very seriously. One “funny” post could change the lives of that student and teacher forever.

An inappropriate post could impact the lives of the submitter, as well. If someone posts a confession that deliberately ruins a persons’ reputation, they could potentially be charged for slander or bullying. Slander and bullying on social media are taken extremely seriously, especially after the Steubenville case.

If you feel the urge to submit a confessions post, I urge you not to. Social media trends are supposed to serve as entertainment, but these posts can ruin your reputation, another person’s reputation, and your school’s reputation. Where’s the fun in that?