Recently, I’ve noticed a surge in anonymous hate on the Internet about Duke. The worst part is, this time, the hate is from Duke students themselves! I love Duke, and I don’t really get what the deal is. What’s a Dukie to do when everyone whines about your school—including its students?!
Oh, the Internet. It has exposed us to grumpy cats, those lovable but awkward people (you know, Koreans) and too much of Lindsay Lohan. It has also been an incredible forum for social activism. Why, I once ended hunger in Africa by liking a photo of two skinny black kids on Facebook. However, the Internet has a dark side, and it’s not restricted to the horse-related sections of PornHub. People can be like, really mean. Whether it be on some weird Facebook page, some nasty gossip site or some page of The Chronicle, college students with way too much time on their hands are ready and willing to say whatever they want without fear of the consequences.
But before you get too huffy about your name being on a CollegiateACB list or your Duke Compliments status getting less likes than the one about that annoying girl in your chem recitation, remember that these sites serve a purpose. I mean, the social status quo isn’t going to uphold itself. How would we know which sororities are the sluttiest and fraternities are the Jew-iest if there weren’t websites to instruct us? I used to look at girls and think that I could tell if they were attractive. Thanks to CollegiateACB, I now know that attractiveness is a multiplicative function using your appearances on “Hottest chicks” threads, performance at World War III (which is a progressive so it totally doesn’t happen anymore, on campus …) and, most importantly, sorority ranking. Sorry—Geeds need not apply.
What’s more, gossip websites answer all the questions campus is dying to know the answers to. Without these pure fountains of knowledge, I would be absolutely lost. How would I remember that Pikapp SUCKS? How would I determine which freshmen girls in my dorm are DTF? (Answer: All of them. Especially the new Thetas. Freshman year is just really great). And HOW would I know which frat is the gay frat? (Answer: GayTO, because it rhymes, and because it’s true.)
However, you can’t trust everything you read on the Internet. For example, people posting kind words on gossip websites are inevitably just promoting themselves. Unless they’re people pretending to be self-promoting but are actually trying to make someone look bad for self-promoting. Or maybe they’re trying to look like they’re pretending to be self-promoting in order to fool all of us into believing that they’re not self-promoting. Whatever they’re doing, it’s a lie, because no one says nice things on the Internet without some motive. In fact, Duke Compliments is actually the administration’s way to foster positive Facebook activity for students applying to med schools.
And if one thing is crucial in this day and age it’s online branding. So why stop at Twitter or LinkedIn? CollegiateACB and Duke Compliments are a perfect way to get your name out there. In fact, did you know that after self consciously plateauing frats and bottom-tier chicks eating pizza alone and crying (Cough, DG), marketing-firm recruiters are the most frequent visitors to college gossip websites? Take it from me, a former “Biggest Sophomore Slut” post-ee: Your social status at Duke matters to them. XOXO, a key three who will be working at McKinsey next year.
But CollegiateACB is not for everyone. Those who have actual schoolwork to do, no awareness of social status rankings,or an understanding of the word “gossip” typically find such sites exasperating. It used to be that if you didn’t want to see them, you could just avoid them. However, we top-tier types are overachievers, and we have found a way to expand anonymous commentary to the everyday Dukie—through walls on the Plaza, irritating satirists in The Chronicle and worst of all: Facebook. Duke Compliments and Duke Confess have filled the Newsfeeds of unsuspecting students with incessant and awkward ventings and expressions of love. Apparently, these people are too self-conscious to actually say these things to people, but are not self-conscious enough to stop annoying people on the Internet.
And does anyone have anything positive to say? Duke Confess is going to be the death of Duke. Without this site, freshmen would have no qualms about going to Duke, seeing only frequently garnered national attention for our respect and acceptance of all marginalized groups. But thanks to Duke Confess, students are going online and posting negative things about Duke—about how Duke is unwelcoming and cold. About how there is no avenue to date or develop real-world social skills. About how the culture at Duke just generally sucks.
I say the appropriate reaction to this is to fight fire with fire. Go onto other college’s websites and post about how much THEIR social scenes suck. We should stand up to criticism, sticking with the guiding force of the Duke social scene: Keeping our name up by putting others’ down. And as for the upwards of 300 naysayers at Duke? Whatever, it’s probably a personal problem.
Although it may come as a shock, the Dookie has a confession: I am not named Dookie, but it is a pseudonym I have developed so that I can say whatever I want without consequence. My real name is Dooktholomew. Follow the Dookie on Twitter @DearDookie.