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The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

XOXO, Njit.Confessions 


Whenever she got a break on her shift at work, the creator of @njitconfessions on Instagram rapidly scrolled through hundreds of messages in her inbox, posting as many as she could throughout the day. The account was active from Fall 2021 to the beginning of this year. Over the course of its lifetime, it served as an anonymous forum for open discussion, accruing over 2,000 followers.  

“The initial reason I created this page,” she said, “was to make something lighthearted. I thought it would be a unique way to bring people together, especially if some students were not comfortable with in-person interactions.” She hoped to create a safe space where students could voice anything on their minds and feel comfortable doing so, without the fear of being judged or ostracized in real life.  

The format of the page allowed students to submit anonymous confessions to the account, which she would then either use to create a post or Instagram story. Dozens of people, at the very least, would then comment on these posts in the hopes of being featured. The creator would post responses to the anonymous questions or confessions submitted by followers through the account’s Instagram stories.  

At times, the page would face accusations of bias from users whose comments were not featured. To this, she responded, “There wasn’t much discretion for what I posted, as long as it wasn’t violent or dangerous. I received hundreds of messages every day, so some would fall through the cracks; I tried to share as much as I could, as long as it wasn’t harmful to anyone.” 

“When people messaged me asking whether I was avoiding certain content,” she added, “I would respond, letting them know about the sheer volume of messages I had received and that I had been unable to post everything.” Topics that garnered particular traction in the student body were political conversation, freedom of speech, abortion, religion, Student Senate, and sexual assault.  

The anonymity of these discussions often resulted in a difficult choice between misinformation and censorship when the confessions contained specific names. “This question is very difficult to answer,” she said, “because the premise of the page was free thought and expression. However, when a message named a specific individual or organization, I felt responsible to redact the name to avoid any targeting or the mob mentality.” 

She continued, however, “I didn’t feel the need to omit entire subjects, because that would be implementing bias on my part. It wouldn’t serve the purpose of the page if I were to do that.” Overall, the account attempted to preserve the general idea of messages.  

Running this account gave the creator better insight into the needs of NJIT students, although she maintains that the page did not represent the entirety of the community. However, she saw that “many people were struggling with mental health, and there needs to be better access to resources and awareness of how to find support. For example, some people did not know how to contact C-CAPS and schedule an appointment.” 

During the creator’s time at NJIT, she worked full-time. However, with the page gaining more attention with the end of the Spring 2022 semester, and the creator already having decided to take a part-time credit load for Fall 2022, she had more time to check and post messages. “Throughout the day, I would try to read through some of the messages,” she said, “and whenever I got a chance, I’d quickly post comments I had proofread.” 

When asked about the best and worst parts of this position, she reflected, “Having spaces like this, especially smaller spaces relating to our specific community, is really important and these discussions would not be happening in real life. You’re having these conversations with people that you might never have thought to interact with.” 

However, there were downsides as well. “I don’t like social media, or being on my phone much,” she laughed, “so that was one of the worst parts. Also, I got a lot of backlash although I was just acting as the middleman for these people to communicate with one another.” 

When asked if she wanted to say anything to the NJIT community, after over a year sending their messages, she said, “Throughout the duration of the page, I was only acting with my best intentions. These topics that came up — I wasn’t pushing anything. I don’t harbor any hatred or ill will towards anyone.”  

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Mrunmayi Joshi, Managing Editor
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