Diaries are so passé. If you really want to pour your heart out, Facebook seems to be the popular place to do it. Instead of disclosing intimate details through journaling, students are taking to the social network to reveal their innermost secrets.
Hundreds of high schools and universities have unofficial Facebook confession pages dedicated to sharing anonymous admissions. The pages are akin to secret-sharing platform PostSecret, where users can divulge anything without fear of recognition. Check out the video, above, for more.
Confessions range in topics from hygienic habits (“I love binge drinking for the sole reason that the next day poops are the most satisfying I’ve ever had”) to personal struggles (“I’m having trouble deciding if life is worth it”). Commenters often serve as a support system, offering advice and resources for students battling depression or self-image issues.
Using free online survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms, participants don’t have to share their real identity on Facebook. Page administrators don’t know the confessor’s name either, only their secret. Students who set up the pages, however, must use their real names under Facebook policy, but can conceal their identity when managing posts.
While some students can benefit from the therapeutic sense of community the confession pages provide, the social network also serves as an open forum for more crude, harsh commentary. School officials and counselors raise concerns that it presents another platform for bullying.
Police asked Facebook to shut down two Montana high school confession pages last month based on hateful and sexually explicit content. Students responded by creating a third page.
The confessions pages don’t violate the site’s rules as long as the content is civil, a Facebook spokeswoman told Reuters.
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