Hurt Feelings, Inflated Egos & General Nonsense

Ann Garcia

In the spirit of this magazine, I’d like to debate debate. Anonymous debate, that is. Much to the dismay of Facebook, the Middlebury study break website of choice changed in late April, as thousands of students browsed and posted anonymous remarks on Middlebury Confessional. Though the web site’s intent, as stated by its creator Shibo Xu, is to promote discussion on “controversial issues, such as race, sexual abuse or any other taboo,” it is by and large a series of slanderous, inflammatory or untruthful threads. In short, I am not a fan, and here is why.

When I graduate, I will treasure my memories of the gorgeous campus, and even those ugly fluorescent shades that the commons like to spend their money on, and other small details. Yet most of all, I will cherish the many conversations that I have had with friends and strangers. I will miss the Middlebury which has taught me to ask that girl across the table what she has put in her pasta because it looks delicious (pesto, cheese and basil), and to explain to someone in an a cappella group why I don’t think it’s right for them to partake in certain traditional initiation ceremonies. I enjoy having these talks and think they are an integral part of our education, but only if we are in full knowledge of who we are conversing with, and not hiding behind our computer screens.

I sincerely believe there is not a single issue one might wish to confront on this campus that they cannot sit down and talk about. Furthermore, the value of the conversation will be much higher than one in which “The Dinosaur” makes five mysterious appearances.

This site will not resolve whatever communication problems we may have on our campus; if anything, it will create hurt feelings, inflated egos, and nonsense. So, sit down and talk about it. I promise that if you have enough time to browse this site, you have enough time to stick around longer for a post-dinner chat. And please, do not post a thread to discuss this article. If you have any remarks, please, just come talk to me. Let’s put a rest to anonymous bashing and return to the old face-to-face approach.

Disclaimer: Sorry, girl on Confessional with that tampon issue, but just to be clear, this is not an invitation for private instruction.

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