Online confession pages: where the young tell all

  • Sneha Mahale, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 07, 2014 16:52 IST

I love my mom but I also understand why her and my dad aren’t married. She drives me crazy too”, “Going through my camera rolls makes me sad because I realise how happy I was in comparison to right now in my life” or “I plan on dying on my birthday”. These are just a few — verbatim — secrets revealed by netizens on popular confession pages online.

Confession pages, which came into the limelight a year ago, were initially the domain of students looking to vent on social networks.

At that time, the content posted tended to be about topics associated with everyday college and school life. Now, Facebook pages, Twitter handles, websites and even apps have emerged to encourage people to reveal details of their lives that they cannot or would not share with family or friends.

So, while the “I did something I think is horrible... Am I overreacting?” thread on Reddit is trending, “That awkward moment when you finish a TV show series and don’t know what to do with your life” has over 7,900 likes on an app that goes by the name of Secret.

The focus is to encourage people to let out their darkest thoughts. For most, the format is simple enough. Interested parties send “confessions” to the page administrators, who then post them anonymously on their Facebook page or tweet it out from their handle.

The topics could be as mundane as “I love Salman Khan” to deeply intimate like “My husband doesn’t know both our kids aren’t his. They’re his brother’s.”

In India, too, these pages are catching on. “When we started the confession page, we asked for mail IDs and hardly got any response. [And we realised that] being anonymous is really important,” says Divyanshu Asopa, the founder of 21fools, a confession page.

The ones they get are mostly about people’s love lives and relationships with their parents. “Also, most are really dark. Some are about child abuse and rapes, among others. But the good part is that they evolved as a place to share dark secrets instead of bitching about each other,” he adds.

The latest entrant on the scene is Confess, a mobile app where users can share anything, without having the fear of being judged.

“People have lost the freedom of expression since their identities can be easily accessed by most people. Hence, I came up with the idea of launching this app, where users would get back that freedom. The topics that are discussed are related to sex, smoking, confessions about your workplace and most embarrassing moments,” says Alan D’Souza, founder and CEO, Vavia Technologies, adding that they plan to introduce new features soon.

Here’s what some people revealed online

1 ‘I am getting an MRI on my brain this morning. I am not afraid that they will find something. I am afraid they won’t. My condition is so poorly understood.’

2 ‘On my way to Gaza. Didn’t tell my parents about it, so they don’t worry.’

3 ‘I called in sick for work on 9-11-01. A hangover saved my life.’

4 ‘I faked pregnancy at my last job to take an extra long vacation.’

5 ‘My husband doesn’t know both our kids aren’t his. They’re his brother’s.’

6 ‘I wish I could talk to my ex husband. We need to apologise to each other.’

7 ‘[no regrets] I'm going to meet up with my recent ex just so I can publicly humiliate him.’

8 ‘My brother pretended to be my boyfriend and pretended to propose so our dinner would be for free. The greatest actors are the cheap ones.’
(Source: Secret, Whisper, Reddit. Statements are verbatim.)

Get the app

Secret: Allows people to share their darkest thoughts with friends, anonymously. Since it taps into users’ social circle, only the messages that have been written or read by a user’s contacts, are displayed, leaving one to ponder on who in their circle might have written them.

Whisper: Documenting everything from relationships gone bad to torrid days at the workplace, users post short messages overlaid on typically generic photos provided by the service. The company says it gets 3.5 billion page views a month.

Confess: They claim to be India’s first anonymous social network app. On the lines of Secret, it allows you to post to your connection network, without having to reveal your identity. It also lets you to check for confessions from users around you.

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