Sharing Secrets: To Vent Is The New Trend
SHARING SECRETS: Frank Warren started the PostSecret project in 2004, when he spread out 3,000 postcards throughout his community.
Secrets have always been a fascination to Frank Warren, creator of PostSecret, an ongoing community art project, in which people anonymously mail in their untold truths on a homemade postcard.
He is “the most trusted man in America.” With an average of 1,000 secrets mailed to him weekly, it’s hard not to be.
Warren started the PostSecret project in 2004, when he spread out 3,000 postcards throughout his community.
“I got back about 100 postcards which is a pretty standard number,” Warren said. “When I started putting them up on the web, people started buying their own postcards and sending them in. After that, more and more postcards started coming in.”
Warren began posting the cards on his website, with updates made every Sunday. At first, only ten postcards were posted weekly, but now the numbers have grown to 20.
The website doesn’t have a weekly theme, but the secrets are set up in a certain way.
“I usually try to tell a story with the secrets posted online,” Warren said. “There is always a beginning, middle and end.”
Despite so many postcards being sent his way, Warren has managed to archive all of the secrets. That’s more or less 312,000 secrets.
“I think postcards are pretty special and they send a message of communication,” Warren said. “A postcard lets you craft your art and take ownership of your secret.”
Creating a postcard is very simple. The only thing you need is a 4-by-6 inch postcard, some creativity, and of course, a secret.
“When I was a kid I recognized secrets in my family, some that I knew and some that I didn’t know,” Warren said, acknowledging an early attraction to secrets.
He knows just how important someones secrets are and how much courage it takes to share them with the rest of the world.
“Sometimes, people really need to vent,” said Pietro Salazar, a television production major at the North Campus. “PostSecret is a great way to do that. What better way to share a secret than with a stranger?”
Warren said he will continue to encourage others to anonymously share their secrets.
“Your secret can be anything,” Warren said. “Regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession or childhood humiliation.”