By Rebecca Widdowson, First Year Sociology
At first glance the confessions on Briscrush appear cute and innocent. Strangers are able to reconnect after missed opportunities or chance encounters. The Facebook page also offers life-long friends the ability to come clean about their feelings towards one another anonymously. It’s kind of like the lonely hearts ads from newspapers became based at Bristol university.
Scrolling through the Briscrush page, it becomes apparent that the promise of anonymity is encouraging more and more students to become bolder in their posts of declarations of love.
Whilst Briscrush's posts offer us a chance to giggle at our phones over lunch, or snort sneakily under the desks in our lectures, I think there’s a deeper, more dangerous impact that results from encouraging such behaviour. Especially considering the recent hype surrounding Valentine’s day, how can we be sure that Briscrush isn’t indicative of an unhealthy uni dating culture?
Let me emphasise that I’m not against free speech or anything like that. Part of me thinks that it’s sweet to give people the power to turn back time and pluck up the courage to tell someone else how they really feel. But I believe that something must be said for the ways that people use, and often abuse, that power.
Especially the power to tag others in these posts.
The most common example of this is when a post contains someone’s initials. Almost instantly the hunt begins to determine who this individual is. Not only that but I believe, deep down, we’ve all gone through the recent posts on Briscrush, hoping to spy our own initials.
Some of the posts on Briscrush can be friendly and funny and harmless, but then again, other times they can be downright insulting. There’s nothing worse than being tagged in a comment that you know isn’t true, even if it might be a joke.
There’s also a problem if you’re already dating someone and see a post about you on Briscrush. That’s got to make things awkward right? And it can’t be the easiest thing to bring up on date night. Then again, it’s probably quite flattering to some to be attracting that much attention.
Yet, we must ask what it says about you if you can’t tell someone how you feel to their face? Is that really a healthy way to start a relationship?
Not only that, but there is no way of knowing who that person is who posted about you. When you sit back and think about it, having a stranger write about how lovely they think your hair looked the other day is actually quite creepy. And because the page is available to anyone, everyone can learn about how lovely your hair looked the other day.
No way would that happen in real life. Imagine how you would feel if you were sat in the library and some random person comes over to tell you that they’ve been admiring your hair, non-stop, for the past hour. You’d be more than a little freaked out, wouldn’t you?
But as soon as we click on Facebook, the rules of the game change, and it’s suddenly completely normal to make such comments under the veil of anonymity.
Honestly, I could think of nothing more mortifyingly millennial than telling people you’re dating someone you met on Facebook. So for now, I think I’ll stick to the old fashioned way of meeting people, through friends. At least I’ll be able to stalk them on Facebook before we meet. The same can’t be said for Briscrush.
Featured Image: Briscrush
Do you think we need to rethink the way that we date at University?