You would be forgiven if you thought Facebook resembled your local church these days. The number of teenagers the world over confessing their past sins, their love and their hatred on Facebook pages has practically shot through the roof.
Say hello to the newest Facebook viral idea – the confession page. The idea is a very simple one. You anonymously post a “confession” on a page and your peers react to it. These pages are generally based around a school, college or a similar educational institution where generations of students who have passed through the classes come together to post about incidences.
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“I bribed my way into ***,” reads one confession on the page of a reputed college as the comments break out on the thread. Then there are some fun college day confessions that read, “In the final year during our Second last practicals we were reliving the three years we spent in that lab, realising we behaved too boring and civilized and that we didn't break a single object in the past 3 yrs in the lab we decided to do something crazy.. We decided to come drunk the next practicals. 7:15 am everyone has come to practicals drunk. Not just a peg or two. Sufficiently drunk and all we ever did that day was laugh throughout those practicals.” The pages will have you hankering to sit back and relive your college days again.
If you get a chance to run through the confession page of your alma mater, you might just find the page dominated mainly by “I love you” styled posts. Clearly, these confession pages are used as a makeshift cupid site for a particular institution. “Ekta from FYBMS I have huge crush on you,” reads one post. If you’ve read one of them, you’ve read them all. An admin of the SIES College, Sion West’s Confessions Page on the condition of anonymity says, “It is very annoying when these guys start talking about their love for each other.”
Mustering up courage to confess love to someone is the least of the administrators’ worry, though. “A lot of them take cheap shots at other students, using the page to spread false news and fuelling unnecessary biases. This is where it backfires pretty badly,” says the administrator. The fact that no one can possibly know your identity gives a special power to current and past students. One confessor on a page alleged that a particularly well-known past student had raised his hand on a girl once. Needless to say, all hell broke loose on that section.
This is pretty much the reason why most page administrators delete or edit posts before putting them up. Abusive content is a strict no-no on these pages. Not just because the institution’s reputation is at stake, but also because Facebook has strict rules in place. The social networking giant regularly runs through pages to review content. Risking a page suspension is not something the admins want to play around with. Not even a few weeks old, some of these pages have “likes” running into thousands. Delhi Public School’s confession page has already racked up a staggering 7,000 likes in just under a month.
For most, going through confession pages is a form of entertainment. Parag Kadam, a first year student, says he loves going through his school and college’s pages. “You get to know all the inside stories,” he says. “Besides, no one can mess with you for putting up these confessions because they’re anonymous.”
Administrators themselves do not know who is sending in the posts. An anonymous Google document is set up by most pages so that confessors can write all they want without worrying about being exposed.
Niddhi Shetty, a social media manager, on the other hand, says that these pages are nothing but a waste of time. “I read a few posts made on my college confessions page and honestly, I don’t follow it because it's just full of juvenile ranting that's not doing anybody any good.”
Either ways, there is no stopping this newest Facebook fad that has been taking over schools and colleges at a break neck speed. These pages are fast becoming the cause for chatter and a breeding ground for all things popular. Whoever said Facebook was losing its charm with teenagers clearly has not stumbled across confession pages yet!