Redwood Confessions provides outlet for cyber-bullying

Kelly Klein

Cyber-bullying is an issue that our generation seems to inevitably face, regardless of the circumstances.  However, this shouldn’t give anyone the excuse to encourage it.

An anonymous Facebook user created the page “Redwood Compliments.”  This page was made to provide the opportunity for students to compliment another student without any names attached.  After sending in a compliment via Facebook, it would show up the next day for the entire world to see, regardless of the nature of the post.

This page seemed to be a wide success while it was still new and popular.  However, within the next two weeks, the Facebook page “Redwood Confessions” was born. About a month later, “Redwood Crushes” was also created.

Being a senior, I have witnessed the effects of demeaning apps such as Lulu, to Facebook pages like “Bathroom Wall.”  The catch to all of these social media groups?  Anonymity.

Both of the newer pages only emphasize the “mean girl” stereotype that Redwood has tried so hard to curtail.  While it’s true that in the description of these pages, it is written that no bullying or harassing posts will be published.  However, I’ve found that many of these posts are extraordinarily negative and tread on the border of cyber-bullying.

Because students are given the ability to say whatever they please about whomever they want, the inevitable has occurred.  Over the last few months, both pages have become littered with sexually demeaning posts to terrible rampages about Marin County.

Not only have these groups reopened old, unnecessary wounds, but they have also managed to reinforce the seemingly constant teenage battle against cyber-bullying.

Without a face attached to these cruel comments, it seems that teenagers feel that they have the power—the right, to attack anyone or anything they please.  What most of these people do not consider, however, is the traumatizing effect that their anonymous words may have on their targets.

In fact, most of the “confessions” might not target a single individual, but they certainly do tend to make wide generalizations on topics these users apparently feel so passionately about.

For example, one user wrote, “#281: There are some people at Redwood who need a slap in the face and a good talking to, but most of you just need to get sent to Military School.”

Angrily bashing an entire school makes a huge statement.  Without a name attached to an argument, let alone any real evidence, all one can accomplish is offending the student body.

For example, if you fervidly believe that all Marin kids are “entitled assholes,” as one user so eloquently put it, I suggest you do something about it.  If not, at least own up to your opinion.

While it is true that these pages do have some positive aspects, like confessing your love confidentially to that upperclassman you hooked up with at the last bonfire, I’ve found that the negative comments have outweighed the positive ones.

Often times, people feel that they have made a difference by simply stating their unanimous opinion.  If you can’t own up to your opinion, your argument loses all of its validity.

The disadvantages outweigh the benefits of these new groups.  If a student doesn’t have the ability to make such broad generalizations without any real evidence, these comments have proven to be unnecessarily malicious and totally unreasonable.