“It’s more about Harvard than it is about me,” she says. “The things that get written about, on [blogs like] IvyGate and GossipGeek, are pretty minor campus scandals — people only care because schools like Harvard have this weird caché, and people are perfectionists.”
When you spend so much time crafting everything from your résumé to your personality, the potential damage gossip blogs can cause raises the stakes just a little bit higher. And while there’s some comfort in knowing that today’s indiscretions will soon be displaced by another juicy news story, negative posts, accurate or not, can have long-term consequences — putting a certain burden of responsibility on campus gossipmongers.
“There’s a lot of times that we decided not to include an item, or someone’s name, because it would probably ruin the rest of their life,” says Beam. “They don’t deserve that kind of humiliation.”
Kara Baskin, whose college career is an open book at whatkaradid.net, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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