A recent trend floating around the ENC community is the Twitter page “ENC Secret Admirers,” or @ENCSecrets. This is an account that allows followers to submit anonymous comments and messages about other students, faculty, or graduates that they admire—romantically or otherwise.
Social media has been an issue of controversy lately for the ENC community, as pages such as ENC Cuff Cam and ENC Problems started gaining attention. While pages like these tend to focus on the negative or put others on display, ENC Secret Admirers seems more like an attempt to lift one another up in a way that students might be afraid to do in person.
But, such things are never immune to controversy or mixed reviews. The ENC campus has responded in a few different ways to the concept, though most students do not seem to oppose the idea; many are actually quite indifferent toward the page.
Generally, those in favor of the page see it as a way to uplift and encourage other students without fear of rejection or discomfort. It is a refreshing change from the popular negativity that has recently taken over Twitter.
Sophomore Jessica Silencieux tweeted, “I honestly LOVE the concept behind @ENCSecrets the encouragement is pouring in&people get to hear something that could make their whole day!”
Senior Travis Biggs said, “I don’t mind the posts, as long as they aren’t creepy.”
Biggs has been mentioned multiple times on ENC Admirers, mostly in reference to his relationship. This is a large source of the distaste for the page because many posts threaten or invade upon couples, even though sometimes done jokingly; Biggs and others feel slightly uncomfortable when anonymous users talk about wishing they were the one dating that person’s significant other or “stealing” their significant other.
Some of the posts can push the boundaries of comfort, but for the most part it seems well-monitored and controlled. While the site administrator is unknown, the effort towards appropriateness and maturity is commendable. Even the administrator tweeted, “This page is not meant to hurt ANYONE. Please don’t submit derogatory admirations. We won’t post them.”
Another worry in opposition to the page is the potential for gossip or conflict. Being a small community of young people, anonymous secrets being posted online can add fuel to an already overworked rumor-mill.
Freshman Emily Moore expressed her concern on this issue saying, “I think it has the potential to create relational issues or conflict if it isn’t properly handled.”
She acknowledged the mostly successful monitoring of the posts so far, but that the page is still new, having been created April 5. Moore also feels the page is slightly frivolous and tends to idolize specific students over others. She is not a Twitter user and is already getting tired of hearing “who posted what about whom” all day long.
While a huge variety of students are mentioned on the page, there are a handful that draw a lot more attention. It is obviously not the fault of those students, but it can make other students feel left out or discouraged. This ultimately is a matter of political correctness, and the page really cannot be held responsible if not every student is involved, because it is based solely on anonymous submissions from students.
While there are valid points of resistance against “ENC Admirers,” the student body seems to like having a place to say what they normally would not in order to compliment someone else.
The trend is much larger than ENC, and pages just like it can be found for other colleges, like University of New Hampshire or University of Maryland.
If the page remains closely monitored and censored to uphold the standards of a Christian community, the page could be a nice replacement to the unpleasant Twitter accounts surrounding it.
Chaplain Corey McPherson said it best in chapel last Wednesday by encouraging us to live in healthy relationship with each other as one—but if the matter is serious enough, don’t turn to Facebook and Twitter to express it.