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Monday, September 20, 2021

UC Davis Confessions: Your real Facebook status

Confessions from the last 24 hours:
“I just ate carrots and celery while watching porn.”
“I have seriously considered pole dancing as a side job to pay for college. I just wish there wasn’t such a negative stigma surrounding it.”
“I was really attracted to the girl in the drag king contest. I’m a straight female…I think.”
“I made someone crash on their bike and I didn’t say sorry.”
“How do you get the smell of sex out of your room? Serious question.”
“I have a crush on one of the weekend lunch waitresses at Thai Canteen.”

Facebook. The revolutionary social tool of the decade. It serves as a portal for family members to keep in touch, friends to share funny pictures and acquaintances to get to know each other better. But now, it also serves as a diary.

Over the course of a mere two weeks, the new UC Davis Confessions community page on Facebook has spread like wildfire through word of mouth and newsfeeds, reaching even the non-frequent social media users. Students express mixed emotions about the page, from creepy to ridiculous to funny.

With over 1,800 “likes” so far, the UC Davis Confessions founder, a psychology major, was surprised by the page’s fast track to popularity.

“I did not expect this page to get so popular,” the founder said in an email. “It took me by surprise when we reached over 300 likes within 24 hours.”

Founded on Oct. 16, UC Davis Confessions is a page where the founder and two other administrators post anonymous confessions people have submitted to them. To conceal identities, the page provides a link to an external website, where people can write their confessions into a text box, hit submit and reveal nameless confessions. The external link sends the submissions to the founder’s inbox, where they show up anonymously.

Although there are many confessions on the page, there are also movie quotes (namely from Mean Girls) and song lyrics, which raise the question of what the page is really about.

“This page is intended to be a place where students are able to express themselves anonymously,” the founder said. “A place to share thoughts, secrets, and ask for advice that they normally wouldn’t be able to share elsewhere. It serves as an outlet source.”

When viewing the page, it seems that the founders have achieved this goal. Confessions range from personal relationship problems, sexuality and pranks on roommates to promiscuous acts on campus grounds.

The founder said they get over 200 posts every day and therefore try to keep the page as up-to-date as possible. However, some inappropriate material is not posted.

With numerous daily updates, the page has provided students with a new form of entertainment.

“[When] I don’t want to study, it’s a tool of procrastination,” said Kelly Otsuka, a second-year undeclared life sciences major.

Otsuka said she uses Facebook approximately three times a week but had found out about the page through her roommate.

The page is updated frequently, which means Facebook users are constantly given new confession posts.

“I’ll probably spend like a good 10 minutes reading through stuff, and then I’ll try to log out,” said Leo Garcia, a third-year civil engineering major. “It’s really hard. It’s tempting, because everything’s so funny.”

With these reactions, the founder seems to have achieved her goal for creating the page.

“I wanted something different to take a break in between studies other than the usual YouTube videos [and] memes,” the founder said.

However, with anonymity comes cynicism. Both Otsuka and the founder said about over half of the confessions are probably true, but others say differently, such as Garcia, who believes only 25 percent are true.

“I think people just enjoy getting ‘likes’ and getting people’s attention, so a lot of people like to blow things out of proportion to get that attention they want,” Garcia said.

He also said that a friend had submitted a confession.

“It was pretty funny. He lied about it, but he got the likes he wanted,” he said.

Others believe it to be an even smaller percentage.

“Maybe like 10 or 15 percent of them are true,” said Yasin Hosseinpur, a second-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major. “Some of them are just ridiculous.”

Otsuka said she believes the popularity of the page has caused more of the newer posts to be creepy. The increasing popularity could mean more submissions, thereby also increasing the likelihood of false confessions. The supposed absurdity of some posts has caused some loss of interest in the page.

“First I thought it was funny and then I thought it was stupid and then I lost interest in it,” Hosseinpur said. “There are some things that are like, ‘Oh, I’m a girl and this is this.’ There’s no way you can relate to it and a lot of it is starting to be like that. It’s not much of a UC Davis thing as it is a general public thing, so it’s not fun.”

Still, some thought the page to be strange in the first place, but nonetheless amusing.

“I thought it was ridiculous,” Garcia said. “I didn’t like it. I don’t like how people open up so easily and say ridiculous things. I just didn’t find it appropriate. Especially if you want to confess something, you don’t confess personal things to a nobody or people you don’t know.”

Despite how ridiculous Garcia said the page is, he still said he reads it due to the funny and amusing posts.

Since the creation of the page two weeks ago, other UC Davis Craigslist-like pages have sprung up, such as the founding of UC Davis Missed Connections on Oct. 20 and UC Davis Singles on Oct. 22. Whether UC Davis Confessions sparked these pages or if they have the same administrators is unknown.

JOYCE BERTHELSEN can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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