It’s a trend sweeping college campuses by storm. No, not Harlem Shake videos, confessions pages. Right after Valentine’s Day, CSB/SJU got it’s own confessions page. Three weeks later, the page is now a place for not only confessions, but pranks and arguments. Many of these arguments begin with a generic statement such as, “Group X are privileged/complainers/have the hardest major/other broad statement.” Rebuttals come soon after challenging the original confession, often using the same broad language.
As students at higher education institutions, especially liberal arts ones, we’re pushed to recognize the gray areas in life. Even if you major in the hard sciences, you’ll have to take that humanities credit sometime and confront ideas where there are no absolutes. Some of us are crazy enough to major in these areas. We’re pushed to think critically and recognize exceptions to the rule, but if you looked at the confessions page, you would be hard pressed to find posts that mirror these values. It’s not the crass tales or joking “confessions” that are the biggest disappointment; it’s the ease people, under the guise of anonymity, are willing to generalize people and their ideas, failing to see the complexity of all of our lives.
One of our most human desires is to share our story. It’s cathartic, and sharing stories is often how we bond with others. Sometimes though, a forum that protects the story teller is needed. PostSecret is one of the most popular blogs in the world, and it is based on a similar concept as the confessions pages: provide an anonymous way to share your story. However, PostSecret celebrates the unique circumstances we all find ourselves in.
The CSB/SJU Confessions Page has the potential to be a truly cathartic space, and it has been for some people. It is a shame it is being misappropriated.