I’m sure you’ve all heard of PostSecret by now. (If not, click the link and read the wiki entry.) And I’m sure you’ve also heard that the new PostSecret iPhone app is the top selling app in America, only days from its release on September 1.
I know, it’s baffling. So what’s all the fuss about? You upload some crap/stock pictures and blurt out your deepest, wildest secrets for all to read. On the one hand, it makes the whole PostSecret experience much more accessible to the artistically challenged. On the other hand, it leaves the whole thing wide open for every Thomas, Richard and Harold to post whatever they feel like, whether it’s in the PostSecret “spirit” or not.
Revealing your deepest secrets to a group of strangers can be quite liberating and cathartic. There’s no fear of judgement, and there’s even a hope that someone, somewhere will be able to understand and relate. This is the dynamic that PostSecret was built on. A safe way for people to unburden themselves, and maybe even find some help and advice.
There is also the artistic aspect of the whole thing. With the postcards of the original movement, people lovingly created a work of art to express their innermost secrets. While the new app has made the experience more accessible, the art is frequently lost. People use stock photos or irrelevant background images to portray their secrets. I know, not all of us are artistically gifted, but the artwork was part of the reason the PostSecret movement took off.
And then you get garbage like this:
It’s true, you can’t escape this kind of thing online, no matter what you do. It’s just a shame when the garbage begins to overshadow the real artistic efforts. The app has only been live for 5 days (as of this writing) and I already have a slew of screencaps of worthless trash people have posted. Fortunately, PostSecret has made its community guidelines readily accessible, and flagging inappropriate material is as easy as two taps of a finger.
I love PostSecret, and I love the idea of this app, I just fear that it will become like any other social networking app with innumerable idiots vying for attention.
I’ll leave you with this secret to finalize my point.
Someone out there evidently feels the same as me.