Gossip accounts are storming the student body

Graphic by Kyleigh Carpentieri

Graphic by Kyleigh Carpentieri

Milana Pogretskaia, Contributor

**All students who have been interviewed have chosen to remain anonymous**

Connecting with people, confessing feelings and sharing secrets that will inevitably spread all over the University seems to be the main purpose of the gossip accounts surrounding the University. There are two main Instagram accounts that enable the aforementioned to happen – @pace.confessionss and @pacecrushesandconnections presumably, run by anonymous University students. Their main actions are collecting gossip, opinions and thoughts of students and then posting the information to their respective Instagram accounts, exposing the submissions to the public which consequently creates discussion amongst students. 

After conducting a survey with 53 students, statistically, every third person has heard about the University’s gossip accounts, and every seventh person has once submitted something to be shared on one of the Instagram pages. Most of the students actively monitoring such accounts are sophomores and juniors.

Surprisingly, not everyone who monitors these posts are following the accounts. The explanation lies in the nature of anonymity: students simply want to reduce the chance of being discovered if they submit something for publication. Undoubtedly, a declaration of love anonymously is much easier than doing so directly in real life, and even more easily if there is no way for the details to tie back to the student.

Some of the recent posts on @pacecrushesandconnections included: 

“I have a boyfriend but the tall guy with a side cut, you are so hot and I hope that girl hanging around you wasn’t your girlfriend,” one of the students shared. 

“My class crush is in two of my classes. They make it so hard to pay attention,” another student shared through a post. 


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A post shared by @pacecrushesandconnections

While reading this, the notion comes to mind that such University gossip accounts help people to express themselves, but, in reality, may harm the student body.

Gossiping has an inherent tendency to drive social bonding. Posts on the accounts about overcrowded elevators, food in the dining hall and individuals who constantly get posted are becoming inside jokes; jokes that allow the campus community to bond. Students are sharing and learning something from one another via submissions to these Instagram accounts. There are posts about classes and professors, which helps students get a firsthand idea of whether they are interested in taking the specific class.

There are even more benefits of these accounts when it comes to connecting. Students initiate dialogues in the comments section under the posts, whether debating or merely thinking about an idea that was mentioned in the post, which assists in meeting like-minded people and forming new friendships that may not have occurred otherwise. 

“Sharing information in those accounts is like writing in a diary,” one student shared. “I confessed my feelings to a girl, and I was so happy to see that she liked the post about her. Even though she didn’t know it was me, it felt good to finally let it out.”

As much help as these gossip accounts intend to bring, there is always a darker side. During college life, some students find the reach of this widespread gossip irresistible and don’t understand what trouble it can create. 

People usually gossip because of their own personal interests and in the process can unintentionally hurt the feelings of others. Consequently, misinformation is easy to both create and grow through these accounts.

Publishing a simple piece of gossip, heard by a friend, may not even be the truth. A lot of these are purely rumors intended to be negative. Even if the information itself seems innocuous, it can adversely affect the individual who is the victim of gossiping. 

Imagine a situation where someone simply stated that a guy, who is in a relationship, was seen flirting with another girl. There is no evidence of that, no pictures, literally nothing, but solely a post on an Instagram account that may ruin this relationship. 

Another interesting aspect of the way that gossip harms, is that it may be intentional. Someone may be trying to sabotage, do revenge or simply make fun of the other person. This brings a lot of negativity. 

In these kinds of situations, gossip can make people feel anxious, angry and helpless. “My friend was afraid that someone would start stalking her,” one student mentioned. “She has noticed a lot of mentions of her throughout the posts.” University gossip accounts and their posts can bring unwanted attention to people. Some may perceive such attention well, someone may even enjoy and want it, while others may feel uncomfortable. So the next time you consider posting, be intentional with what you are sending into the world.