The “UCSB Confessions” page has been stirring up a lot of controversy lately. Many people condemn the party lifestyle the page promotes, and characterize it as so superficial that its only defense to being called out is “calm down beezy.” Neither argument is really relevant because the problem is us. Not some out-sourced scapegoat that only gives us the motivation to continue our ways without fear of consequence. After all, it’s UCSB Confessions’ fault, right?
I know when most people hear Jay-Z, the last thing they are going to think about is his expansive wisdom. The Jay-Z that I listen to when I sit at home by myself, writing or gathering thoughts, is a much more enlightened person. How so? How can a man who raps about treating women like sex slaves and glorifies gang violence then write lyrics so wise in their relevance to this article? Before answering this, let me instead start by introducing the issue at hand.
There have been several anonymous pages popping up in the Facebook world regarding the culture and dirty little secrets the students of the University of California, Santa Barbara have to tell. I began researching with the assumption that I would come out having a clear opinion on the new UCSB Hook-Ups, UCSB Compliments, and UCSB Confessions pages. After I spent hours creeping the pages, aimlessly extracting quotes, and deliberately inserting controversy, the song “Lost One” by Jay-Z came on. I just pulled another chug from my beer and continued to troll the cyber play field.
But it didn’t take more than a few minutes for the wise words of Jay-Z to develop into my next story. I was stuck on the thought that maybe the confession pages are not the worst thing to have surfaced at UCSB. However, the content and reactions to many posts and the post themselves are not the proudest moments we have as Gauchos. That’s the point of the page, right? To glorify the UCSB culture. But it’s not our culture as UCSB students. The values exemplified in posts and responses by Greek stars, rapists, and degenerates are not the same as the student body that really makes up UCSB as a reputable school. What Jay told me is that:
“The worst drug known to man
It’s stronger than heroin
When you could look in the mirror like, ‘There I am’
And still not see what you’ve become.”
This is exactly what the page brings to light with its in-your-face, real, and gritty account of the UCSB life style. As a partial member of the more quiet, studious student body that will graduate with some sort of personal integrity, I see all the pain of bullying victims and lost souls wandering the anonymous pages. I, too, am guilty.
This site is a powerful tool for communication, and it shapes how we treat each other—both on and off the Internet. It gives us power as a community, but we still have to wield that power responsibly. Since we might be a brilliant, drug-crazed youth, let’s compare this site to a drug—a reflection of fame per se. Now after unleashing an unlimited supply of fame to the student body the only thing left to do is to do what we Gauchos do best. Drug abuse. I don’t want to sound like every high school graduate, but this site really does remind me of high school. Are we so low as a society where we value our vices and taunt good? Imagine a place that literally disregards anything beautiful, a place we continue to progress toward with every mindless post about cheating with the roommate’s boyfriend or admiring who gets laid the most. At the end of all my logic and my theory, I want to leave you with this: do you know who you are and is that who you want to be remembered as?
Photo Courtesy of UCSB Hookups Facebook Page