May 2, 2023 (3:38 PM)

10 min read

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Graphic by Raphael Eddmon Tiu

With social media platforms easily available at our fingertips, we are able to expose fragments of our lives that make many of our stories whole. We virtually create social spheres, making spaces to allow the world into the narrative. We start letting people in through doors and not just hold them outside as they peek through our windows. 

However, the spaces within our personal structures are still indefinite and boundaries are yet to be drawn.

Ironically, the extensive world of social media has been and continues to be constricting for many. And with the freedom to create countless spare accounts, the internet has been no stranger to people having multiple accounts at once.

These spare accounts have been around long enough and have gone by different names. We had them by finstas (or fake Instagrams) in 2015 where people would just post their wackiest pictures that do not ideally go well in their “real” accounts. The familiar stan accounts that serve as the stronghold of local and international fan bases. We have what we call backup accounts in case we forgot about our passwords. There’s also the less reputable dummy accounts that are more troublesome in nature: the ones used for fake identities, scamming, waging keyboard wars, and even helping with the like count of candidates for the coveted Social Media’s Choice Awards.

But beyond these many “forms” as we might call them, there is also the kind that is more personal, private, and sentimental: dump accounts.

Dump accounts for starters

By nature, dump accounts tend to be uncanny, setting them apart from the other variants. From unique and often witty names that are not easily recognizable, the small number of friends and followers, to the long rants that are unbeknownst to the general public.

As if the custom viewers for Facebook posts, close friends for Instagram, and Twitter circles aren’t enough, users have taken it upon themselves to start creating these specifically confined spaces to actually be seen as they appear, heard as they sound, and felt as they are.

Even among Ateneans, the creation of dump accounts has been a common phenomenon. According to Justine Kaye Lu, an AB Communications major, “dump accounts are [created] for personal reasons that lean closely onto the idea of the level of intimacy we share with the followers we allow into that account, and a space to freely express ourselves in the most unhinged way possible.” She also said how dump accounts are similar to academic accounts where the contents published are only specific to maintain a certain “image” about which most Gen Z people are conscious.

For Fice Aguilar, an incoming 3rd year AB Psychology student, “dump accounts are there for people to have a safe space to dump what happens in their life with the people they trust the most, and it’s one way of choosing their audience.”

“Dump accounts are platforms where you can share photos and videos without hesitation, knowing that your audiences are closely-knitted to you and are less likely to judge you.” Christian Ruz Pendon, a 3rd year Business Management major, adds.

With the numerous dump accounts that exist in social media, many are the reasons why people create such spaces. For Fice, it was only supposed to be for memories—photos, videos, and the like. But along the lines of capturing moments and posting memories, she eventually used it as a safe space to vent out her earnest sentiments.

Similarly, Christian shared how he can freely and intimately express himself. “I can show my randomness, quirkiness, and other sides of me that most people don’t usually see without the anxiousness from the public’s unsolicited remarks and judgment,” he added.

Just as these statements suggest, the experiences within dump accounts are also comparably the same with many users. Within these spaces we create, we can foretell stories in vivid detail, become unfeigned in sharing experiences, and deliver meaning through the thoughts that we turn into ardent expressions. Simply put, we can claim a sense of inner peace in knowing that we can freely express but need not explain.

But while these hold their respective truths, there are still drawbacks in using dump accounts. 

Despite the sense of freedom and privacy that come with managing these accounts, it is still possible for us to share too much without realizing the effects they have on our audiences. There could be times when we’re too complacent in posting that we have unconsciously shared problematic and offensive content. There could be times when we weren’t able to grasp how insensitive our posts have been. As the list goes on, in these contents, the genuine intention of creating safe spaces within these accounts could lose its sense.

The things we don’t say out loud

In dump accounts, we create our more intimate spaces; and within each space is a spectrum of stories that tell a multitude of things.

On one end are the mundane things like the cups of coffee we just bought or made, the all-nighters we try to pull as we hustle through our responsibilities, the “deserve ko to” moments of spoiling oneself after doing the bare minimum on tasks or even nothing at all, the stray animals that make us pause along pavements, and of course, those picture perfect dusks and dawns that majestically paint the sky. 

On the opposite side, we speak of our momentous life achievements and how we managed to get there. We persuade audiences through lengthy posts arguing social issues and our perceived truths. We share our insights on things about which we don’t usually talk. We teem with promise as we share idealistic life lessons that touch hearts, spark action, and inspire lives.

And who would forget what sits right in the middle of the spectrum—the constant, unlimited supply of completely random internet memes and reels.

As we breathe life into a parallel world, we pour ourselves within its exclusive spaces. With the millions of things we have in our minds, it’s comforting to know that we have a place where we can simply let and leave things as they are; not as people who have roles to play, but as people who can be more of our genuine selves.

Though honest as they may be, dump accounts existing doesn’t mean that everything else is fake in the larger scales of public accounts.

The content we share in our main accounts still hold their relevance. We still share those random life updates that no one asks for, post our cups of coffee and talk about our small wins, or be brutally honest about social issues and lived experiences. 

But like how those clichéd words go, a glass can only contain too much water before it overflows. Similarly, we can only carry so much of the world before things start tipping out of balance. And when things get overwhelming, we commonly bottle up those emotions, thoughts, and sentiments, which then become the things we don’t say out loud.

Many are those who have cast aside parts of themselves simply as the things they don’t say out loud. In the bigger world of our main accounts, there are steps never brought to pavement, ideas that remain on the shelf, sentiments that stay unspoken, and opportunities that remain unhatched. We fear judgment. We feign affection. We become cynical towards how the world sees us.

But within the premises of dump accounts, everything has a chance.

Within these ‘safe spaces,’ we can share how we brought the steps to pavement by walking the long roads and taking the ones less traveled. As we turn our back against the persuasive mediocrity, we face our actual truths and create our own trail rather than follow the footsteps of those that have come before us.

We can actualize our ideas as we speak of the unspoken, turning the faint whispers into confident echoes, the little things into grand. We embrace the pain, discouragement, and judgment. We fuel ourselves with drive, energy, and passion and march onwards with our ingenuity as the grand things become bizarre, and as the bizarre becomes our own.

We lead our opportunities into fruition by grabbing the keys and opening doors that have remained closed for periods of time. We head for horizons—the never-ending pursuit of fearlessly chasing one goal after another, without holding back for what the world has to say about the journey.

Outside, people only see the product and not the process, and they start blabbering about our actions as if the choices were theirs to make. But within these spaces, we realize how we don’t need a big crowd and the world’s deafening applause after accomplishing our feats. Here, we take the relevant part of the world with us and let them witness from front row seats as we start to shine through.

Raindrops, ripples, and the roles we play

The relative encounters we share with the world connect us with each other. In the same way, the world relates to us through the windows of our experiences. But there is always a limit as to what people can see from these windows. Within these windows and structured walls are our own stories, like the ones that we hold close and let loose.

And whatever we choose to do with these stories are up to us: we can either keep it to ourselves or share it with the world.

By nature, dump accounts are created to liberate ourselves from the exhaustions of the world. And for all we know, these spaces await with open arms those who are willing and deserving to witness what it brims.

As we stride back and forth from the bigger outside world to the smaller secured spaces we’ve created, it remains important that we stay grounded with reality. We still dedicate ourselves in pursuing the roles we need to play, the standards by which we live, and continue to show up when needed. The difference now is that when we drift back to our comfort zones, we know which stories we want to hold close and let loose.

However, it does not simply stop at that.

In the spaces we create, we must also maintain a clear sense of responsibility in handling the freedom of expressing what’s actually on our minds. We make sure that the things we want to say out loud do not deafen what truths also exist outside of ourselves. After all, dump accounts are still public accounts that only hold a relatively small number of audiences, and it would defeat its purpose if we do not become responsible for our actions.

We’re no strangers to the analogy about how the raindrops that fall towards the Earth create ripples, showing how something so small could still have a broad impact. Those raindrops are the same ones that fill up the lakes, flow through the rivers, and flood into the ocean. 

In the same way, we are like the clouds that bear these constant raindrops. The raindrops signify the thoughts and sentiments we share, and the ripples are the impacts they create. With the world being an infinite ocean of knowledge and information, how we contribute to its waters define us.

In the vast ocean of social media, we are merely ripples.

But this does not mean that we are anything less than the impact we leave. Everything we put out there has its own, significant effect on those that it reaches. What lies upon us now is what we want these ripples to create.

The world is and will always be unfolding as it should. With both its big and small spaces, we take on the world with one meme at a time, one coffee post, one insight, one ripple—one story at a time.

This article was published in the April 2023 Issue of Atenews. Read it here: https://issuu.com/atenews/docs/atenews_2023_tabloid 



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