Staff Editorial: Confessions not good for campus

The HBU Confessions page on Facebook is not specifically related to academic information but the page has gained a large number of followers since it’s inception. Students visiting the page may want to consider three factors: validity, rationale and interaction.

While some of the confessions may be true, others may be embellished. Some of the early confessions were so outrageous that they could almost be considered libelous.

Such online communities are increasingly common and, at best, serve as a forum for students to speak out and voice concerns. At their worst, they can divide and disrupt campus life.

Regardless of the validity of each confession, they are presented from the perspective of the person posting the message. Both the writer and the reader should know that perception is a powerful factor. Perception colors both what the writer expresses and what the reader comprehends.

Readers should remember the role of perceptions as they read or write comments.

All Internet sites and their information should be checked for validity. Readers of a confession  may want to consider the rationale driving the post. The writer might be trying to shock the reader, garner support or sympathy or merely share information. Perhaps the writer is using the HBU Confessions page as an outlet for blowing off steam.

Readers must consider the possible motivations and resist spreading information that may be false, inaccurate or exaggerated.

Finally, interaction is a major factor for readers to consider as they peruse the HBU Confessions page. Social media have promoted exponential growth in relationships shrouded in anonymity.

Recent national headlines demonstrate the damage, havoc and mistrust that can result from such anonymous relationships. On the Internet, people can potentially say anything and be anyone they choose to be.

Unfortunately, some people use anonymity as a license to create fiction and present it as truth. The HBU Confessions page on Facebook can be an outlet for someone needing to vent or possibly a venue for people to share and communicate.

Visitors to the site need to consider the validity and rationale of a posting while remembering that the security of anonymity plays a key role as well.

Opinion, Staff Editorial