We all have secrets. Because of these, we experience a certain level of excitement, fear and anxiety. We carry the weight of the these secrets by ourselves until we can not bear them alone anymore, and we have to tell somebody.
But not just anybody.
If you were to share a secret today, you would want to share it with someone who is close to you and can be trusted. Very few people in their right mind would share their confidence with a complete stranger. Yet, through the progression of social networking sites, people have begun to treat strangers as a close friends. Last week, the VUSC Confessions page exploded across Facebook. In less than 24 hours, the page was filled with hundreds of students’ confessions. Within the past couple weeks, confessions pages of the like have spread like wild fire in universities across the nation, drawing up the dirtiest gossip available (as if there isn’t already enough drama on Facebook). The VUSC Confessions page has generated a ton of comments; some honest and many others misleading.
One of the biggest attractions of these pages is the presumption that everyone can share their secrets without revealing their identity. The page is set up anonymously, thus, many of us naively entrust our secrets to it.
While posting whatever you want on the internet may have been okay in middle school, things have changed. We are now all young adults pursuing professional careers. Your secrets may never come back to haunt you, but as long as it’s on the internet, you can never be completely sure.
According to Sgt. Brian MiColicheck of Chippewa Falls Police Department, police investigators can track any anonymous post back to the computer it was sent from. Third party web pages such as VUSC Confessions make such searches more difficult, however, they can still be done at any time. People need to use social media with prudence, knowing that once something is online, it can never be taken back.
As members of an online community, we need to be cautious of the image we project of ourselves and our university. With all the dirt that is being brought up (or made up), confessions pages give prospective students and community members a negative image of Vanguard.
Some things are best left unsaid.
If you really need to talk to someone, talk to a friend, a student chaplain, an R.A or even a turtle. Facebook is not a nice place to talk trash. In a campus as small as Vanguard, it’s important to keep healthy connections. If you have a tiff with somebody, you can’t simply ignore them because you both know that you will see each other again and have to walk by each other in awkward silence.
So, next time you have a confession to make, consider confiding in a close friend over a hot cup of coffee, not to the world over a warm computer.