Sunday, December 2, 2007

PostSecret


Today is Sunday, which means that it's a new PostSecret day. Every Sunday since I've discovered the site I have eagerly anticipated Sunday because of the new PostSecret. I stare at the pictures, thinking deeply about the person who wrote them, why, what they look like, where they live, etc. I really enjoy it. It's more of a tradition to me than going to Church (which I still do seldomly), writing on this blog (which I do seldomly as well), and other such things that I should do more often than I do. My question today is why? Why do I enjoy having a false sense of intimacy with strangers? Further, why is PostSecret so popular? What is it about the site that attracts millions of hits?

I know that for a lot of people it makes them feel better to know that they aren't alone. Lots of people are hiding their own secrets, afraid to let anyone know. PostSecret is an opportunity for such people to know that others are the same way. The viewer isn't an outcast, and often times the secrets that others are harboring are much worse than the secret of the person viewing the site. It's a comforting notion, and on some level I participate in it, though I don't think that is the main reason that I enjoy the site.

There is a certain shock value that the site has which I enjoy. It's interesting to see the things that the human race is capable of. These things aren't just stories you read in a book somewhere. They're sent in by real people who are our next door neighbors, our dentists, our lawyers, standing with us in the line at Wal-Mart. That is very interesting to me. I tend to think that I'm living an absurd life among people who have a perfect, cookie-cutter, story book life. PostSecret reminds me that that simply isn't so. It gives me an access into the absurdity that others around me experience and carry around with them for years to come.

I think that more than anything PostSecret is an exercise in sympathy for me. Because PostSecret reminds me that all of us are carrying around baggage and are suffering in some way, I'm compelled to be more caring and sensitive to those around me. In meditating on the pictures and thinking deeply about the people who wrote the secret and why, I experience a deep sense of compassion for those people which spills over into my everyday life. I think that's why I read it. It reminds me that we're all human, we're all suffering in some way, and we all need each other.

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Now playing: System Of A Down - Ego Brain
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

Common ties said...

Mark,

Since youlike PostSecret you might wish to try CommonTies.com.

Regards,
David