Maybe its because I’m nosey, maybe its the insight into human nature, or the sheer scope and variation of the human experience expressed, which actually shows us that we have more in common with each other than we might think, but I love PostSecret.
Beginning as a community art project created by Frank Warren in 2005, people were asked to send in their anonymous secrets on a postcard to be part of an art collection. PostSecret has since become a huge, global, community, with over 300 million people visiting the website in 2011 alone.
The postcards are showcased on the PostSecret website, updated every Sunday, printed in book collections, and presented at events and galleries. An iPhone app was also introduced but had to be taken down due to the volume of secrets being shared and uploaded and the inability, despite the best efforts of volunteers helping to run the app, to vet pornographic, abusive and sometimes horrific posts.
I first discovered PostSecret a few years ago when a friend found the PostSecret project whilst researching an art assignment. Safe to say I have been hooked ever since. I have acquired a few of the book collections over the years, getting lost in them for hours as soon as get them, and revisiting them from time to time. I check the website every Sunday, religiously. I also made my Mom download the app (I am too poor to own an iPhone myself) who also became addicted and very disappointed when the app was closed.
Sometimes touching, inspiring, funny, or enlightening, sometimes dark, tragic, upsetting and horrific (PostSecret has also teamed up with International Suicide Prevention Wiki, directing those who need help to multiple avenues of support), sometimes a complete and utter mystery, other times a bit embarrassing, each postcard has something to say which the anonymous individual behind it previously had no other forum in which they felt they could do so.
Everyone will find at least one secret that taps into something which they can relate to, or that impacts them in some way or other. Maybe profoundly or just feeling some sort of connection with another person’s experience. Which I think has been why PostSecret has built up such a community around it.
Below are some postcards showing the range of secret confided, and some of my favourites. Enjoy…