PostSecret La Verne is a new Facebook page created by an anonymous University of La Verne student that has Amassed a following of more than 500 people who view, comment and share personal secrets.
People are asked to place the text of their secret on an image of their choice, log in to a provided email account then send the image to a secondary email account that is accessed by the administrator of the Facebook page.
So far a variety of secrets – from humorous to serious – have been posted.
One image shows a woman brushing her teeth with the caption: “Most days I’m too lazy to brush my teeth.”
While another image is haunting – a noose with the text: “Sometimes I imagine going up to the roof of Founders Hall, tying the noose and jumping.”
The page debuted online Feb. 26 and attracted 400 Facebook friends within five days.
Although the page has quickly grown in popularity, campus sentiment toward the page differs.
“I dig it, it makes people think different,” said William Krickl, a sophomore psychology major.
The page can make students think twice about their interactions with fellow students, Krickl said.
Other students, like biology major Christian Pickett, also feel the page is a good idea.
“I love what it stems from,” Pickett said.
Postsecret La Verne is an idea borrowed from the website created by Frank Warren who invites people to write secrets on a post card and mail it to him to be posted on postsecret.com.
“I like the page, I think if people use it the right way it can raise awareness about issues, but people could also use it the wrong way” Kelly Escribens, international business major, said.
The idea of the page and its potential for malice worry some.
“This creates a forum for cyber bullying and has propensity for rumor mills,” said Jerry Kernes, associate professor of psychology.
The issue of rumor mills also bothers business administration major and sophomore Rachel Czarnocki.
“It’s a wildfire waiting to happen,” Czarnocki said.
Czarnocki worries that information shared on the page could affect student leaders on campus.
Information, whether true or false, about fraternity, sorority or club leaders could be posted and could be very detrimental.
Senior liberal studies major Kelly Eder feels the page is not a good representation of the school and its students.
“What if a parent sees it? They won’t want their child to come here,” Eder said.
It is possible for the page to have a negative impact on the school, but the page creator and administrator is hopeful that the page will remain a positive outlet for students.
The administrator, who asked to remain anonymous, said people are reluctant to reach out at the Univeristy and is glad people are reaching out to one another through the Facebook page.
“It could easily turn malicious,” the administrator said. “So far it hasn’t happened; I am optimistic”
The page was created because the administrator felt ULV lacked a sense of community.
“I don’t believe in censorship, there is never going to be a secret I don’t put up” added the administrator.
Although some of the comments under the pictures containing the anonymous secrets offer sympathy and kind words, counseling department post-doctoral fellow Victoria Keyser views the site as deceptive.
“Social media in general provides a false sense of community” Keyser said.
Keyser said that by putting information on the Internet a person may feel relief, but if a person has serious issues they should seek professional help.
ULV does provide counseling and medical services on campus.
Services are free and part of student tuition.
The counseling center is located on the second floor of the Hoover Building on Third Street between B and C streets.
For more information, call 909-593-3511, ext. 4831, during business hours, or 909-593-3511, ext. 4650, after hours in an emergency.
The Student Health Services office is located at the corner of Second and E streets.
Brian Velez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.