Is Chitter the new SFU Confessions?

Photo Credit: Lisa Dimyadi

As a busy student, one must explore various avenues that can aid in taking the edge off of university life. If all else fails, however, you can always count on a Facebook confessions page to release your frustrations.

For some time now, the SFU Confessions Facebook page has offered solace to students wishing to express major grievances as well as lighter sentiments, such as ‘bae goals,’ anonymously. Recently however, an alliance from various Canadian universities consolidated the demand for anonymous posting by producing a new app called Chitter.

Having used Chitter for about two weeks so far, I couldn’t help but question whether this new development would maintain the experience many students seem to yearn for on confession pages. Is introducing Chitter pointless? Or are there aspects that will enhance the juicy experience of university chatter?

The new application boasts merits such as a self-moderated forum via a voting system, ensuring only the posts appealing to the majority of the users appear. This implies that users don’t have to send their confessions to a moderator, instead they can go straight to the Chitterverse for approval. I personally find that this feature happily democratizes the experience of anonymous posting.

Secondly, it helps that there are different sections for different interests on the app. This particular feature is reminiscent of Reddit, making the app organized and relatable. With the various sections also comes a separate window where the top anonymous posts from the involved Canadian universities are highlighted — of which the University of Alberta seems to lead often, given that it was created there.

Overall, I find that the app is a more unified way to foster a Canada-wide sense of solidarity among university-goers who can now see just how similar their struggles are compared to other campus dwellers.

Despite these positive aspects, think about the larger picture.  The app is not SFU-centric, so it gives a sense of detachment. Furthermore, despite different universities not being able to comment and vote on each other’s pages, students from different institutions could be inclined to compete with eachother, rather than be genuine.

In addition to all this, the self-moderation feature of the app now gives a platform to an excess amount of mundane posts crowding the space, sometimes trolling or otherwise. This waters down the value people may place on posting via Chitter. SFU Confessions, on the other hand, provides a platform for a select number of posts which subsequently catches the attention of hundreds, maybe even thousands of eyes to each post.

Although I stand firm in my skepticism, I acknowledge that it is indeed just that — skepticism. My views are also based on only two weeks of usage. There is no telling what Chitter will do for the wider student community in the long run.

Currently, the SFU Confessions page still exists so students now get the best of both worlds. With time we shall discover how much ‘chit’ we’ll get into. Until then, chit away!