From John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer to Tiger Woods (add: the Celebrity Apprentice biker guy who married Sandra Bullock), celebs set the pace for public confessions
BY SOULS CODE — Do you have something that you’d like to unload but you can’t quite face saying to the people right around you?
In the world of the web, this is instantly possible — and unlike the political and entertainment industry scandals, available to you under the cloak of anonymity. PostSecret is an online, bulletin-board for people all over the English-speaking world who post their denied-lives by mailing a postcard to the webmaster.
The site has won a ton of buzz and traffic and a quick look tells you why.
The confessions are slogans splayed across home-made postcards that the authors mail anonymously.
An example from this week’s harvest of postcards (new ones are posted each Sunday):
“I wished I fathered a child before I came out.”
Why do people do it, especially given that there’s no promise of a forgiving spiritual presence on the site who can potentially wipe your karmic slate clean?
It’s partly the lightness of being that comes from letting go of something that you’re hiding from others or yourself, partly the sense of connection that’s derived from seeing one’s creation accepted by a community.
Why do we read it, other than voyeurism? Perhaps a misery-loves-company style of reassurance.
As one postcard poster on PostSecret says this week:
“I don’t know why, but it gives me hope, hope that this something is more important than the sad things in my life, and that one day maybe those sad things won’t have such power over me anymore.”
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