Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Secrets

PostSecret is absolutely compulsive reading. I love it. I'll never comment on it, I just read it on bloglines, seldom even clicking onto the website itself (in fact I don't ever). Every time I read it it makes me think about the person who sent each postcard in, about what they wanted to say, and why they couldn't say these things out loud.

Once I went on this web forum, somethingawful.com I think it was, anyway it's huge - so many people use these message boards it's like they have a community all of it's own, with their own rules and jokes and in-clubs and in-jokes that is frankly quite baffling. But I saw it on the PC screen of an old work colleague and took a peek and ended up reading it for a few weeks before getting bored with not being able to comment (you have to pay to be a fully fledged member).

Anyway what hooked me for those few weeks was this topic that by the end of it I think had hundreds of replies and was 45 pages long. One guy had come up with the idea, he set up an anonymous e-mail address and invited people to send him their deepest, darkest confessions which he then posted up for all to see. Of course, there were clearly some made up ones but for the most part, it was a stream of raw, sad, painful, some hilariously funny stories along with some that were often quite sick, which people had kept buried for years and years.

I remember being absolutely fascinated, like you'd had a peek into real human nature; it showed a snapshot not just of all that the internet hides, but what every person you know hides. Everyone has these secrets that they will never tell anyone, the things they do in private when no one else is there and then all of a sudden, after sharing them with no one, they come clean to thousands of people (the hit counter on postsecret currently shows 146,846,538, no doubt an indication of how many people are equally as interested in reading them).

Recently, PostSecret set up a facebook page. It doesn't really work in the same way, purely because of the comments beneath which are often quite judgemental of the person writing. As soon as comments from real people (not pseudonyms) are enabled, the floodgates are opened for a backlash of negative reaction. Immediately, the constraints of real life come back into effect and give the idea an entirely different feeling to it's blogspot counterpart.

If you don't already, I'd recommend checking out PostSecret. You'll laugh, feel sad, repulsed, maybe disgusted by what you read, but I bet you won't be able to stop reading after just one page.

9 comments:

surviving myself said...

That guy has a book coming out now too.

London-Lass said...

I think I remember reading a few snippets from Postsecret a while ago .. not sure how I stumbled across the site .. but that's the beauty of the Internet : you can journey through so many sites and have no idea how you've managed to end up at something interesting (or, when you try and find the interesting stuff a few days later, how you can never find it again - gah!). The Net is constantly vilified for so many negative things .. for me this is definitely one of its positives (along with blogging, of course).

Skinny Girl said...

I love post secret, but forget to read it sometimes.

S X

Anonymous said...

I am a 48 yr old, happily married man and I cried when I read the mothers day secrets.

Got to go out of the office to sort myself out.

AFC 30K said...

I am a Postsecret addict.....

Reluctant Blogger said...

I don't think I dare dip into that - I would never surface again!

katesaltfleet said...

Post Secret - love it. It feels like a guilty secret though...

Time traveller said...

I've been reading post secret for about a year. It does make me very sad - I'm not sure why I read it.

nuttycow said...

Have you read http://dearlover.wordpress.com or www.grouphug.us

Now *those* are compulsive

 

Blog Template by YummyLolly.com - RSS icons by ComingUpForAir