Today I would like to discuss a very interesting form of life narratives brought out from Post Secret, created by a man named Frank Warren. The main idea behind Post Secret, is that people create a post card with a secret about themselves and anonymously mail it to Germantown, Maryland. From there, a couple dozen post cards are picked on a weekly basis to be featured on the post secret website linked at the beginning of this post. There are also several books full of these everyday secrets.
It may be difficult to see these secrets as life narratives as each contain very limited words and often a stirring message that leaves no explanation, but these are indeed little glimpses into identities of unknown people. They range from confessing love (or lack thereof), observations, and a smorgasbord of other themes. These few words paint a story that leaves much of to the imagination of the viewer, and many of these secrets have invoked plenty of commentary.
I want to take a moment to discuss the relevance behind this ongoing project. For the people who write these intimate narratives, a healing process can begin as it is a means to express themselves and this can release the negative energy from holding that secret to themselves. It can also benefit the viewers as there are many who could relate to the topics at hand which allows them to understand that they aren’t alone and feel a bond with the faceless artifacts. Also, many of Frank’s weekly posts are themed to an issue or event going on such as the suicide prevention week, substance abuse awareness, or other themes. This allows a lot of discussion for those who have relative stories and just feel like talking about it and getting support from commenting on the posts.
However, there has also been a lot of controversy on the anonymity of the posts as some have entailed very dark confessions that have blown up into big issues. In these cases though, there is not much that can be done because the messages cannot be traced back to the sender and therefore Frank has been involved with lots of criticism and is forced in some cases to assess these and hold them back from the general public.
So there you have it, a little sneak peak into the world of Post Secret. I highly encourage you to check in at the site every so often and think about the micro life narratives presented.
If you like, think a little about these questions:
To what extent do these secrets represent the people who shared them?
Do you think that this has a deeper meaning and purpose than simply telling secrets? What else can come of the experience?
Thanks for reading! Happy days everyone,