Anonymity at a Whole New Level

JMU Crushes. JMU Confessions. JMU advice.

Are these anonymous Facebook and Twitter accounts helping or hindering our already technologically dependent generation?  I vote hindering.

 I take up many issues with these new forums that basically encourage stalking and overall disrespect but is there really such a thing as anonymity  when it comes to the internet?  Your name may not be publicly affiliated with that degrading, creepy or ignorant post but there is a cyber footprint.  I’m not an IT professional but I’ve heard, once on the internet always on the internet.  This isn’t meant to be an internet safety lecture but if I were going to be a dumbass the internet wouldn’t be the first place I’d turn to as an outlet.

For those of you that don’t know, some anonymous person has started Facebook pages and Twitter accounts that enable JMU students to send in messages that will be relayed anonymously on the page.  Ultimately not a harmful idea but when you ask for the deep innermost thoughts of a bunch of college students, you’re obviously bound to reel in a web of gems.

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The first page to really come to my attention was JMU Crushes because it is still currently taking off the ground and the others were inspired by the success.  So…basically you see a cute person, random or someone you know and send a cute little message that surely, if they see it, will brighten their day.  Now I’m not saying a little part of me wouldn’t be flattered if I were mentioned, depending on the context and what about me that sparked the initial attraction.  If it was my sarcasm or my no-nonsense attitude then yea maybe I would, but if it were my butt, can’t say I’d be all that flattered…violated is more of an appropriate word.

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Now how is this not a form of stalking?  Especially since there was a debate about whether posts should be accompanied by pictures…this was actually a serious debate.  I mean, sure do it if you’d like to be charged with stalking which apparently is not taken very seriously these days.  I also think it’s very interesting, no no no, actually it doesn’t surprise me at all, but that most of the posts about females are sexualizing parts of their bodies or about sex in general, while posts about males end with “marry me.”

Honestly, nothing really shocked me until I began reading JMU Confessions because apparently that whole image that JMU students are “so nice,” we hold doors for everyone and campus is riddled with generosity and respect for all…I call shenanigans.  I don’t know who started JMU confessions and I don’t know if they meant for it to function just as the Catholic confessional does, but man is it shaping up to look like it.  The page began with peoples honest confessions about their uncertainty of JMU as the school for them, people doing dumb yet funny things and then there are these…

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These disgust me.  Not only do these misogynistic views express sexual objectification, possible scenarios of rape, violation of public spaces through masterbation but they are being announced with pride.  There is no shame because otherwise they would not post them even through an anonymous safety net.  I don’t know which is more appalling: that these things are actually happening or the fact that these men can admit to their actions in such a public arena and not face any consequences.

Within a matter of days JMU Confessions has turned into a place where JMU students admit to heinous things or bash on someone or something.  If the original posts aren’t bad enough the comments that follow may be even worse, from rudely correcting grammar to completely disrespecting someone’s opinion.  There are countless posts about JMU “biddies” and Greek Life and the party culture.  As a female and a member of a sorority, I do not understand our societies obsessive need to belittle people that make different life choices that yourself.  I am sad to say that I have never been more ashamed to be a JMU Duke than I am when reading the posts of JMU Crushes and JMU Confessions and the comments that follow some of the most atrocious posts.  Granted, some people comment and take a feminist stand but are immediately shot down to the point of of crucification.  I cringe at the image that these anonymous websites form of our campus because according to them we are sexist beings that objectify, judge, criticize, disrespect our peers.  I hope this is not the direction my beloved school is heading as I face graduation.

7 thoughts on “Anonymity at a Whole New Level

  1. Great post! These new sites are so vulgar and have turned into yet another thing that creeps and assholes can hide behind. I assure that more than half of the posts made would never be said if it wasn’t behind a computer screen… its gross!

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    1. Thanks! Technology these definitely give people a security blanket to post anything they want, take the Steubenville rape case where the high school boys were tweeting conversations and uploading videos of them raping a 16year old girl. Granted that wasn’t so “anonymous” but still they thought it was okay to do something like that through social media.

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  2. I’m actually really bummed that I’m the first to comment on this kick-ass piece. Lady, you hit the nail on the head with this one! I love that you took such a trending issue right now and took such a well-thought out stance on it–not to mention, it’s incredibly well-done. What started as a harmless page really has evolved into a forum that perpetuates disrespect, objectification, and misogyny. It’s repulsive, and has prompted me to unfollow all affiliated pages. I wish everyone would read this post, and at least entertain the implications of their seemingly funny or harmless words. So, so, so relevant, and a must-read. Thank you for writing this.

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    1. Thank you so much! As weird as it sounds, I had fun writing it (especially with all the screen shots) because I had a whole other post written that I wasn’t too fond of but then I was browsing JMU Confessions and was absolutely disgusted yet motivated at 2 am. People are obsessed with these pages and yet don’t realize that they are reinforcing everything wrong with our patriarchal society.

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  3. I can’t believe that exists and I think it is absolutely disgusting!! As someone who writes for JMU for a living, I can say this DOES NOT meet their standards of image. It will be taken down and we the student body should be the first to demand this happens! Thanks for writing this.

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    1. No problem! I definitely agree because just being a senior here at JMU and loving our school, this is not the image we should be advertising publicly on the internet let alone anywhere else.

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