How do you feel about online confessional type websites?
All over the internet, websites are popping up which allow you to anonymously post your darkest secrets, drunken ramblings and salacious gossip for all the world to see. It is not all that surprising as the internet provides the opportunity to share so much information anonymously. The idea has a certain appeal to me, my blogs are, after all, quasi-anonymous. So, it with a definite sense of curiosity that I assembled a short list of such confessional websites:
- Texts from Last Night tends towards naughty confessions and TMI in abbreviated form. Think drunken frat boy shenanigans.
- F My Life is the place people go to share embarrassing incidents, which then get voted on (ie "you deserved that" or "your life sucks").
- Post Secret relies mainly on snail mail for its online content. People send homemade postcards bearing their secret confessions to Post Secret. Selected postcards are posted online. Some postcards even make it into the Post Secret book or one of the Post Secret museum exhibits.
- I just discovered Group Hug.US, which has actually been around since 2003. Group Hug is really just a straight up online confessional and also has a book: "Stoned, Naked and Looking in My Neighbor's Window: The best confessions from GroupHug.us"
Voyuristic insight into another persons deepest secrets? Morbid curiosity about the thoughts and feelings of someone who has been through some of the worst experiences life has to offer? The thrill of thinking you may get caught, or that you may catch someone...recognize the real person behind the anonymous post?
I find these confessions can elicit an whole range of emotions. Confessions can be profoundly depressing, sometimes life really does suck. On occasion you can feel like you are being played by an anonymous stranger, a liar fabricating a fantastical story to tug on your heart strings. For those tragedies that seem authentic, you feel deep empathy and pity for others who are going through a rough time. On the other hand, some offerings are down right hilarious, especially on texts from last night.
What prompts people to post?
I personally have never posted to one of these websites, and I am not sure that I would ever be willing to share certain parts of my life online. Other people seem to have a whole range of motivations, from a call for help that will never come to the the secret thrill of putting your secrets online. Some posts seem to be motivated by the desire to make someone laugh and others by a desire for karmic revenge...everyone online will know your ex-boyfriend is an asshole and will be "on your side..." they just will never know who your ex-boyfriend really is.