For all of the NYU students who constantly bemoan the lack of community at our university, it appears NYU Secrets has become our solution, for better or for worse. The Facebook page, which has now garnered over 8,000 likes, is a stream of anonymous posts by its administrator, an NYU student who holds an incredible cache of often embarrassing secrets about our student body. If somebody has a burning passion to broadcast which NYU building they recently fornicated in or a sordid tale about roommate indiscretions, they can email or message the NYU Secrets page and have it made public in 24 hours, identified only by a number. However, whether this “community” page is ultimately beneficial remains to be seen.
The attention that NYU Secrets has garnered is unparalleled compared to other similar pages. Take a look at Columbia Secrets — as of Sunday night, it has a mere 19 likes (take that Columbia). But Columbia has an enclosed campus and a smaller student body in a smaller area, naturally generating a strong and cohesive community. Comparatively, NYU’s geography is far less conducive to the same kind of community, and thus it’s not surprising that we’ve turned to an online forum to foster it.
Obviously, a wall of anonymity implies that those who post to NYU Secrets have no obligation to abide by the truth. The service runs on the Internet after all, and besides, the recent “Reply All” episode has shed some light on how NYU students feel about capitalizing on comedic opportunities. Thus, the page at large could be seen as a great opportunity for the aspiring comedian to exercise his craft. As a consequence, the content tends to strengthen the stereotypes about sex and drugs that seem to define collegiate life.
It may be disconcerting that NYU students have found the strongest sense of community not in a physical, tangible place but through an online, faceless forum. Nonetheless, it does not change the truth that NYU Secrets brings us together as we laugh over our collective embarrassments and find fellow commiserators in the challenges of university life. So, it is our turn at WSN to contribute our secret to the ongoing social conversation at NYU.
#851: “We are all naked as we write this.”
This article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 11 print edition. Email the WSN Editorial Board at [email protected]