Secret Window

Social Media trends offer some unique experiences to the users. Confession pages, a new social media fad, are mushrooming these days. Though there is no actual evidence of how and where the global trend of confession pages started, the trend in Nepal is seen to be influenced by confessions pages in educational institutions of the US and India.

Over the last month, several confession pages have been started by anonymous users in the name of various educational institutions in Kathmandu. The anonymity of these pages is their core appeal. Lively anonymous posts collected from online forums are posted in facebook pages, which have become the new hangout destinations for a large number of youngsters.


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Page visitors wait for the mysterious admin to post new content. Their interest in reading more confessions is evident on the walls of such pages. The deluge of comments requesting the admin to post new content is an example of the craze. These kinds of pages provide students both the opportunity and the risk of expressing things they would not share with otherwise.

The use of technology as tool to raise a voice of protest is not new. Several political changes including the Arab Spring used technology as a powerful tool. In Nepal too, we have witnessed the positive use of technology for social causes. However, the recent trend is very new to the education sector. Such pages not only provide a platform to confess personal feelings but also act as a podium for students to express their views publicly on diverse issues. 

Out of 80 randomly chosen confession posts from 8 different confession pages based in Kathmandu, 38 percent were related to love and liking, 22 percent complained about teachers and schools, 19 percent were negative statements of hatred while another 19 percent were alumni who talked about their memories, and two percent were about other subjects.

The trend clearly shows us that love and mismanagement of educational institutions are not the only issues discussed. These pages also contain information that could ruin the image of a person in a single moment. Statements of hatred and negativity can be found all over the pages. This kind of negativity is establishing itself as a new way of bullying. The pages could also easily damage the hard-earned reputation of educators and educational institutions. 

These pages do not violate the rules of Facebook so long as the contents remain within the bounds of civility. Students who set up confessional pages must do so under their real names, as per Facebook policy. But they can choose to cloak their identity as page administrators. Tackling these confession pages is likely to be a challenge to the regulatory authorities due to their anonymity.

On a different note, these pages have empowered students with a unique and powerful tool which never existed in the past. Students have been using the tool to raise a voice against the malpractices at their institutions. Their posts range from complaining about the teaching-learning style at their educational institution to making fun of a particular teacher’s teaching style. But in the big picture, these forums not only provide a platform for students to express their dissatisfaction, but also point out the urgent need to understand students’ perspective in education. This will also democratize educational institutions and increase their accountability.

The power not only resides with students, this tool equally serves as a window for educators and educational institutions. It creates an opportunity to the educators to review their own activities from the perspective of the students and understand their psychology. Hence, it serves as a learning opportunity for educators and educational institutions as well.
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