Post Secret Goes Social Networking

28 May

I think my love of Post Secret is pretty obvious.  There are times when I simply post a postcard from Post Secret because they are so moving, so completely human, and frail and real in all their honesty.  The strength of Post Secret is in its anonymity; postcards are sent to Frank Warren who started the whole art project and he posts them, with no identifying information.  Nothing to say that the sender, the creator, is your next door neighbor or your school teacher or your husband.  There are no comments, no discussions, no reactions save for a few times when the reactions re-double the strength and the universality of what, for the sender, must seem like a secret only they hold.

The point of Post Secret seems pretty clear.  We all have secrets.  We all have shames and happinesses we can’t share for fear of reprisal/mocking/death even.  Sharing them, even anonymously, is an act of courage that proves to the lonely that they are not alone.  That the site reminds us of its strong connection to a suicide hotline is not a mistake.  Secrets like these, kept over time, can drive any sane person to an insane act.  Every Sunday when postcards are posted Post Secret used to include information and a direct link to a suicide hotline.

I say used to because lately the information on suicide prevention hasn’t been up.  And Frank started a Facebook page where he posts some “extra” postcards that people comment on.  And people are mean.  They lash out and call the postcard owner an idiot or a slut.  It ruins everything beautiful about the website.  I don’t know… it is a weird thing, to socially network something that is predicated on anonymity.  I can’t help but think of all those people who sent the cards in, reading the comments and how it ruins all their bravery for them.  I know, Pollyanna.  But still, you would think people could see that this was different.  This isn’t some starlet with a coke problem.  Anonymous confession is what they signed up for.  It seems like not getting beaten up in the process should be part and parcel of that.

One Response to “Post Secret Goes Social Networking”

  1. Shannin May 31, 2008 at 7:18 am #

    I haven’t seen the Facebook stuff, but that’s one thing I like about the original site – it’s just there for you to think about. Some hit closer to home than others, and it’s up to you do something about it.

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