The following story comes with a warning: If you don't want to know about the secret lives of teenagers, then turn away now.
If you do, you might just be able to get an idea by browsing through the anonymous postings on Facebook pages set up for local high schoolers and college students to share their burdens.
Although the trend only began catching on locally in the first weeks of 2013, the Facebook page Concord Confessions has already accumulated 300 "likes" and a wall full of almost 70 embarrassing moments, secret habits and plenty of bad language. The page is run anonymously, and is intended for students of local high schools and colleges, according to the "about" description.
Confessions span drug use, sexual activity, crushes and pranks. Users submit their confessions through an online form, and the Facebook page manager posts them online — all anonymously. Page visitors can respond to confessions by commenting on the post.
Some of the confessions, if true, may have serious implications. In one case on the Concord page, a user has posted that they want to kill themselves. Another post accuses a teacher of taking drugs (referred to as "rolling," which means tripping on ecstasy, according to UrbanDictionary.com.)
Clayton Valley High joined in on the action in mid-January with Clayton Valley Confessions, but it seems that no one has posted yet.
Nearby towns are also seeing "confessions" pages pop up, including Lafayette and Acalanes High as well as Danville and Piedmont. It would appear that the trend originated with the Moraga and Campolindo page, according to posts on the Moraga Confessions wall. So far, no other pages seem to have been made for other local cities such as Martinez, Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill.
Facebook's privacy settings allow page creators and administrators to remain hidden from other users, making it difficult to find out who is operating anonymous pages. The downside is that anonymous pages are public and can therefore be read by anyone on Facebook.
As the "Concord Confessions" administrator said in a comment on the page, there is no way to make the pages private. "I would have to make a group and then it would say who the admin is which would not be good," the anonymous page owner posted.
Do you think the "confessions" pages are harmless, or should they be taken down? Share your thoughts in the comments below.