An explanation of Cambridge Facebook culture for freshers

Facebook isn’t only for Gen X

Crushbridge, Camfess, Queerbridge, Choirbridge – there seems to be an anonymous posting platform for every niche within Cambridge. And I predict that pretty much every student has sat down at some point mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, reading what other students have to say.

To me, there’s one main reason we continue to read about other people’s Cambridge crushes or an embarrassing supo moment – for a sense of community.

Cambridge can often feel quite disconnected, and sometimes we feel like we’re all in our own little circles scattered across the city, rather than one cohesive group. Anonymous Facebook posting can show us that, despite not seeing most of the people who go to Cambridge, we have this one shared experience of being a part of this university. Not to mention, it’s often quite light hearted, which reminds us of the things we enjoy about Cambridge, despite the academic stress.

Posting anonymously online is no new concept. However, I think the difference lies within just how pervasive it is to student life at Cambridge.

There is also a question to be asked on the use of Facebook as a social media platform at all – like a lot of people around me, Facebook was not an app I often used prior to joining university. For me at least, Facebook feels different to the other social media we use every day, in the sense that we don’t post, like, or comment on Facebook, in the same way we would on Instagram.

Perhaps that is why people love to use it, particularly anonymously. It provides a platform that feels separate from the somewhat more performative aspects of other social media, allowing people to feel more comfortable saying whatever they want.

There is also the element of Cambridge Facebook being used in a not so lighthearted way, with people ranting or complaining about specific things, their lives, or even other people. Although maybe, bearing in mind it is completely anonymous, if typing a rant out on Facebook is what someone needs to blow off some steam, then it might be a good way to do it. After all, we don’t know who it’s coming from or who it’s aimed at.

But overall, despite Cambridge Facebook sometimes being used just as a way to moan about Cambridge, the overarching value of having anonymous posting is the sense of collective community it gives us. Granted, Cambridge Facebook culture could be seen as a little weird, but it makes us laugh, and reminds us that there are so many people going through the exact same things we are.