In an ever-changing environment where secrets no longer stay whispered in the shadows, ‘confession pages’ have emerged as the modern-day confidants of university students. These webpages offer a unique outlet through which students can express their innermost thoughts and emotions anonymously. The once leather-bound diary with a small lock has become an open statement, unprotected and revealed to all who wish to know.
Confession pages such as ‘University Confessions’, ‘Confessions ZA’ , and ‘Cry @UP’have recently gained popularity among university students nationwide. These pages have garnered a collective following of approximately 396 000 followers. Their quick rise to fame is largely attributed to the unique sense of community created while still allowing students to maintain their anonymity.
Gen Z has had a unique coming-of-age experience that includes growing up amidst the backdrop of Covid-19 , the Russia-Ukraine war, and a host of other global challenges. These events have shaped the way Gen Z approaches their problems, and they are able to communicate in ways that set them apart from other generations.
However, Gen Z’s preference for anonymity is not a recent phenomenon solely restricted to Instagram confession pages. This generation favours apps that operate on similar principles, for example Snapchat, where messages self-destruct. According to Oberlo.com, 38.6% of users aged 18 to 24 engage with this platform. The correlation between Gen Z and their affinity for anonymity raises an intriguing question: are they shifting away from conventional means of seeking help and advice or could they be increasingly relying on platforms that offer solace, emotional expression, and guidance without the fear of judgement? It seems like an emerging trend where a new community is forming, one where strangers extend support and advice across the digital realm.
PDBY spoke to the representative of University Confessions to get a comprehensive idea of the usage and purpose of such platforms. University Confessions, in particular, was created during lockdown since it “felt that there was a need for students to get some stuff off their chest”. Almost as soon as the page was created, there was an influx of responses from students who were confessing and interacting with other confessions. University Confessions receives “about 20 to 40 confessions daily”.
There has been widespread use and an exponential increase in interactions with these pages as a post managed to garner 337 comments in just two hours. The creator of University Confessions shared with PDBY, “The comments and advice people can receive on their confession are amazing.” In a time when the spectrum of mental health challenges loom largely over universities, these platforms offer a powerful resource for addressing some prevalent issues that people are currently facing.
Whether you are searching for insightful guidance for your current relationship, a safe space to express your innermost fantasies, or even just a source of amusement, these confession pages have seamlessly woven themselves into the fabric of student lives. It exists as a medium of self-expression. It might be too early to judge the effects that these platforms will have on students, but the platforms are likely here to stay.
Originally posted on the PDBY website: I must “confess”.. The role of confession pages in creating a sense of community among university students