When students want to share their Belmont experiences, chat about the Belle the campus cat, make a silly story, ask for advice or say what’s on their mind anonymously, Belmont Confessions A Twitter account is the place to go.
But one of the biggest Belmont Confessions tweets of the year answered a question on many students’ minds: Who started it all?
The founders of Belmont Confessions, which has become an annoying part of the Belmont online community, have revealed their identities after spending nearly two years keeping their identities a secret.
Now that they’ve graduated, Emma Gibson and Emily Gartz have taken credit for the account they created in April 2020. But Gibson and Gartz never expected the account they created for fun would grow to nearly 2,700 followers, appear on BuzzFeed News or become so influential among students Belmont.
“I thought we’d have four followers and the account would die in a month,” Gibson said. “I think once we kind of realized that people cared about it, that kind of happened when it hit both of us. It was bigger than we could possibly imagine.”
After being brought home from study abroad trips due to COVID-19 in March 2020, the couple felt separated from Belmont.
Looking to bridge the gap left by the pandemic and find some laughs while at home in quarantine, Gibson and Gartz begin The Belmont Confessions.
The former roommates decided to start the famous account after Gibson saw a Twitter account from Ithaca College IC . crushersThe students sent their missed calls anonymously.
In the same way, Belmont Confessions thrive on anonymity—Belmont students send in their ideas to be published anonymously, but the couple also had to keep their identities secret, Gartz said, in order to maintain their audience’s trust.
“I feel like I’d feel more comfortable sending something to someone if I didn’t know exactly what their face was,” Gibson said.
The founders felt that students were more inclined to send confessions without knowing who to send them to
“My friends wouldn’t send things if they knew it was me,” Gartz said. “It was so weird for everyone to trust us blindly, but it was also great. It was something we didn’t want to break.”
With social media pervasive in students’ lives, the account has grown rapidly within the Belmont social media community and has become an outlet for students to share their thoughts, questions, notes and jokes.
Belmont’s Confessions expanded to the point where the two founders sometimes received as many as 50 direct messages in a single day, depending on the news spread across campus in a given week.
“People were sending us direct messages whatever they wanted us to tweet,” Gartz said.
“Most of the time.”
With so many confessions coming in – and not all written with good intentions – the couple worked to screen the applications and make their page a safe environment.
“We kind of had an unspoken rule that if something was mean and addressed someone by their full name and was going to hurt someone’s feelings, we wouldn’t post it. We would honestly respond to the DM and say ‘that’s not a nice thing to say.'” Gartz said, “We don’t publish that.
But the account has become more than just a place to post about campus crush, stream-of-consciousness absurdity, and classroom complaints.
During the university’s fall semester, the account appeared to be posting more serious acknowledgments, particularly when it came to university policies on COVID-19 or issues related to diversity.
“Belmont’s confessions are really just a reflection of the students’ body,” Gibson said. “We publish what they say. “There was a collective sense of a more serious attitude toward certain topics.”
It is impossible to verify the accuracy of some of the confessions, but Gibson and Gartz left it up to their audience to decide whether the confessions were true or false.
“As a reader, you have to take everything with a grain of salt and an air of disbelief because when it comes down to it, you’re reading tweets from an anonymous Twitter account,” Gibson said.
After Gibson graduated in the spring of 2021, the duo had to find a new student to fill her role.
They prepared an online application form and received nearly 80 applications from enthusiastic students. Upon undergoing the same process after Gartz graduated in December 2021, they received more than 100 applications.
Gibson and Jartz reassured followers that the two new students now tasked with running the Confessions would continue the legacy of the account, which is now more popular than ever.
“We’ve looked at their social media to make sure they’re energetic and fit the same tone,” Gibson said. “They both do a really good job of carrying the torch.”
The confessions’ current officials will continue the tradition of anonymity – a secret that will remain the confession most awaited to be reckoned with.
Photo: Emily Gartz (left) and Emma Gibson at the Gartz Opening Ceremony in December. The Belmont Confessions / Emily Gartz.
This article was written by David Bang and Alison Fedorchik.
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