Postsecret Par Avion: An International Analysis of Anonymous Self-disclosure

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Diebolt, Maggie
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In an era in which individuals are essentially available at all hours of the day via personal communication devices and social networking sites, some are opting to share their secrets with complete strangers, rather than those listed on their speed dial. With hundreds of thousands of submissions and nearly 384,000,000 site visits since its inception in 2004, has transformed from a small community art project into an international medium for anonymous self-disclosure. This exploratory study compares personal and cultural themes presented by secrets displayed weekly on the American and French PostSecret blogs over the course of one year, along with the perceived efficacy of and interest in anonymous self-disclosure by monitoring the visitor tracking tool on each website. Content analysis results indicate a significant difference between American and French reactions to the PostSecret project through the number of secret submissions and site visits, though both sites exhibit shared secrecy themes.
Self-disclosure -- Social aspects; Secrecy; Secrecy in art; Blogs; Postcards.