KATHMANDU, Sept 9: Social media has become a new avenue for people to express their feelings without being judged or ostracized by others. Particularly, the 'confession' pages of some social media platforms are widely being used by the young people in Nepal. People express their feelings to a large group of unknown members. And many provide feedback and advice on such anonymous posts.
Stories that people share are funny, interesting, emotional, and some are even annoying. Confessor's information is kept secret. Nepalese Teenagers Confession (100K in Facebook), Confession of Nepali Teenagers (200K in Facebook), Confession of Nepalese Youths (100K in Facebook and 2K in Instagram) are some of the popular confession pages on social media platforms and these pages have devoted followers. These pages post dozens of anonymous messages every day.
Most of the schools, high schools and colleges have their own confession pages where they share about their secret crushes, confess their feelings, accept their mistakes and even confess about their teachers' behavior in the class. Confession pages that originated from Nepal in Facebook have confessions from high school students to those above 35. Confession pages are like a blank canvas for people where they could express everything that they feel without hesitation and there are other people as well who will react to that post and give their reaction in the comment section. An unidentified confession page went viral in the Internet in 2012 after a page was created on Facebook called OMG confessions.
A confession posted in Nepalese Teenagers Confession by a 33-year-old woman from Kathmandu says, “I come from a middle class family. I am not beautiful by look but believe that I am beautiful by heart. But society gives priority to the beautiful one. I had a serious relationship 7-8 years ago and the person made me feel like princess and he even said that outer beauty does not matter. He broke up with me saying that his family won't accept me because I am not pretty enough. Many proposals came for arranged marriage as well but they rejected me due to my looks. I finally got married at 33. I was happy initially thinking I got the perfect man who is educated and a fighter but my happiness did not last as he is short-tempered and gets angry over small things. His nature is totally unacceptable and I cannot spend my whole life with him and the most important thing is I am pregnant and broke.”
“If you are an average guy like me, you are not going to find a partner like in your dreams unless you have a lot of money. Life has no rules about being fair,” replied Nabin Adhikari. “The best you could do is to maintain your communication face to face. His angry attitude could be removed from deep conversations as it might reversal past stuff, and it may work out for you two,” replied Saron Rai.
A 21-year-old male who lives in Australia writes on Nepalese Teenagers Confession, “I am here in Australia for almost a year and a half and completing my studies. I have lived my life to the fullest and doing good here. My mother wants me to get married and I could not deny their wish as I don't have any girlfriend. I am here to search for a girl who understands me and good in person anyone interested can leave a message and we could get in touch.”
There are lots of interesting replies to the above post. “You are 21 and what would be your girl's age? I don't want to say anything to your parents but seriously? God bless you,” wrote Shobha Sharma. Another young man also replied to the above post. “I am in Australia and 21 too, but my undergraduate is not completed. I don't know how to complete my semester, please help,” wrote Aayush Kharel.
Similarly, another confession posted by a 22-year-old female from Pokhara says, “PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome) is the common thing faced by most of the women. But it is still not a widely-discussed topic though girls feel irritation, mood swings, anger, and anxiety during this phase. You may have noticed that suddenly female are having mood swings, arguing in small matters and getting irritated in normal things. Some have it in lower level and some face it as an extreme level leading to depression and sadness during menstruation. I face it too and feel sudden sadness, irritation and start to cry not due to pain of my periods but due to sadness without any reason. I spent the whole day crying but after the end of my periods I feel fresh with positive vibes.”
“Love, care, understanding the situation can help a girl face these situations, so it's time to discuss this topic freely,” replied Purushottam Dahal. Some even have comforting words. “My situation is even worse. Even the small things make me cry. My brother has suffered a lot due to my periodic mood swings and irritation,” wrote Anuza Rimal.
Some of the posts are pretty depressing. A 28-year-old female from Pokhara writes, “I am already 28 but still unknown about my life. I have completed +2 in humanities and I was really good student back then. I wish to go back to the life I was leading before. I grew as an orphan because my parents gave up on me when I was 4 years old. Life sure was tough but it's tougher now. My small dream to find a room and settle has never been complete. I work as a maid in someone's home, and I have a health problem. I cannot hear properly and can't get a good job. I don't even have a citizenship and even a person by myself. Sometime it is even hard to breath.”
Ramesh Poudel consoles the 28-year-old female saying that the girl is strong inside and wishes her luck for a better future. “You have already completed +2 and you could get good paying jobs. I know you are very strong and God will fulfill your small dream. A lot of strength to you from my side,” replied Sangita Shrestha.
Experts say sharing pain and suffering on social media platforms is not a bad idea. Kushuma Rayamahji, a counselor and psychologist, said, “If someone is posting it openly on social media about the suicidal thoughts and depression then we should advise them to take the help of experts and psychologists who can help them to find out the root causes of their problems.”
Jagannath Lamichhane, a mental health rights activist and psychologist, said, “There may be people who try to draw the attention by posting on social media about their suicidal thoughts and depression. Confessions posted on different pages lack authenticity and the source is also anonymous. We could help these kinds of people through counseling and therapies if we could get information of the confessors.”
The confession pages on social media platforms might appear creepy, annoying and sickly entertaining. But it has also provided a safe platform to be fearless in sharing personal stories with total strangers, and getting helpful responses from social media users.