Sunday, December 10, 2006

Postsecret

I may have already shared with you my love for Postsecret. I have had a link to it along the side --> for about as long as this blog has existed but I don't know whether it has received any introduction.

It began as an art project by Frank Warren, of Germantown, Maryland, USA. He distributed 3000 blank postcards to people in all manner of ways. Each invited the person to share their deepest secrets anonymously on the back of the postcard. A simple, yet hugely effective project. I seem to recall hearing about it through the BBC. As of the time of writing, the site (which posts a new collection of postcards each Sunday) has received 54574779 hits. In case you have trouble figuging it out without some commas in there, that is OVER 54 MILLION hits. Needless to say, that's more than my blog by a few orders of magnitude. Postcards arrive from around the world. This though, was not some effort at fame. Frank has conciously chosen not to allow advertising on the site, which surely would bring in quite a sum of money. Still, money is important, though in this case, not specifically for Frank and his family. Instead, any requests for support have been in support of Hopeline, a US-based suicide prevention call centre. It is obvious through both the postcards and responses that this endeavour has benefited many people and likely helped them choose to avoid such an end.

Even when it is not touching on issues of such import, Postsecret serves as an outlet for thousands and for those that choose not to send their secrets, an opportunity to realize that their secret does not make them an outsider. Instead, they can see through the secrets of others, that they are part of a large international community.

Speaking of community, a secret was posted last week by someone who found solace going alone to movie theatres but held out hope and the belief that they would connect with another person sharing their experience. An e-mail response was posted not long after from someone who said that they would be at the movies that night and would love to meet. As neither knew which city (or even country) the other was in, the e-mailer signed their message "waiting with a white hat". This inspired others to attend movies with a white hat to represent their openness to connecting with others there. It even inspired the development of a blog White Hat Stories. In just over a week it has garnered responses from around the world and already seems to have inspired many. While so many sad things happen in this world, efforts like this are a wonderful reminder of the caring that exists in so many people's hearts.

Also note that there are two (with a third on the way) Postsecret books. A poigniant holiday gift, perhaps? Everyone has or has had secrets. Maybe something like this might be just the inspiration necessary to let it go.

1 comment:

kendra said...

Thanks for the link to PostSecret. I've seen it before, but it was great to read the secrets again.