Marcus Aarsvold: I'm confessin' (that I don't love HVL Confessions)
The Hiawatha Valley League consists of 14 different high schools. Each school has a relatively similar student body size, and my guess is most of these kids have a Twitter account.
Throughout this year, I have become intrigued by a social media mogul that has captured the attention of many HVL students. "HVL Confessions" is what it's called, and it is a Twitter account dedicated to anonymously revealing what kids of the HVL would like to tell the world.
How does it work, you ask? Well if you are someone who has a Twitter account and you follow the HVL Confessions page, and they follow you back, you have the power to send them a direct message.
A direct message is sort of like a text — no one else on Twitter can see this message except for you and the person/page you're messaging. So you could message this page a "confession" about your school, or any of the schools in the HVL, and then whoever works the HVL Confessions account will post your confession anonymously for everyone to see.
Due to the fact that it keeps getting shut down, there have been several HVL Confessions pages in the past couple of years. How? I'm not sure, but usually soon after one closes, another one starts up.
My interest is sparked by the way people react to this page. It is a huge reflection on the lives they are leading.
For example, some people could care less about a dumb website that spreads gossip and pits school against school. Nevertheless, there are also people out there who could be very hurt by the words that are said on this site.
There are people who care deeply about the online world and constantly refresh their iPhones so they can see the next so -called "confession." It reminds me of reality television, where millions of people watch to see what happens in the "real world." But is it really real-world?
In order to make you fully aware of what the HVL Confessions page is, here are some of the "confessions" taken straight from the latest page itself:
• "There's the same two junior girls that come to school high every day."
• "When I wash dishes in foods class, I just wipe them off with a dry towel to make them look clean! Been going on four years now."
• "There is actually a girl at our school who looks like a toad. Probably why people ribbit around her and call her a frog."
As you can see, some of these confessions are funny, some are not offensive, but I can tell you that most of them are very mean and rude to people. On the actual page, some of these quotes name the school home of the speaker, but how can you tell if they are truly from that school? You can't.
This is one reason why I wish people would realize there is no validity to the site. Anyone can say anything they want, whether it's about their own school or another school. People just use it as a way to convey information they want everyone to hear, but they are too afraid to claim this information as their own.
I wanted to hear what other HVL students and teachers had to say about this page, so I went out and asked a few people from different high schools what their confessions on HVL Confessions were:
• "The old account was funny, but the new one is rude and demeaning, and some confessions should not be said," — Pine Island.
• "I believe that a lot of the things could be true, but it's just not something that benefits our communities and it doesn't help bring the HVL together," — Kasson Mantorville
• "I think some of the confessions are funny and some could be taken the wrong way, but who knows how many of them are actually true? And they say it's all anonymous but somebody had to send it in and somebody received it, so I guess that person knows a lot about the HVL!" — Zumbrota Mazeppa
• "The negativity that comes from the anonymity of this site is damaging and probably hurts many students who already have low self-esteem," — Pine Island.
• "It can be humorous at times, however it can be hurtful towards others. At the same time though, people control what they put on there, so if they are mad about the negativity they should make a positive change. Also the usage of people's real names is not good and they should be removed," – Kasson Mantorville.
Honestly, I think that HVL Confessions is a complete waste of time. Sure, it might be funny to read something about a school you may not like very much, or even send in some confession of your own. But to sit and dwell on things that people confess about their schools or the people within them is not a very good use of your valuable time.
There you have it, that's my confession on HVL Confessions.
Marcus Aarsvold is a senior at Pine Island High School. To respond to an opinion column, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.