… but a society of voyeurs
I recently read about a blog called PostSecret. The PostSecret Project is simple: anyone can send in (anonymously, of course) a postcard on which they write a secret that they are keeping. That’s it. It helps if the postcard has some interesting graphics on it, and has large, legible type, but otherwise, the blog consists simply of people’s confessed secrets. And it’s fascinating.
What’s the allure of these sites? For me, it’s the same reason I watch reality TV: they take me out of my own life and give me glimpses into the gritty, complicated, and real issues that other people are facing. Maybe they make me feel better about my own life and whatever issues I have; maybe they appeal to my compassionate side by allowing me to feel for these strangers that I will never meet.
I wouldn’t go so far as to call these “confessions” — they are more one-panel graphic adventures, blurring the line between objectivism and subjectivism. Many are relationship-oriented:
PostSecret and blogs like it reflect the noosphere through the mirror of the blogosphere in an approachable and pseudo-voyeuristic way.