It’s that time of the year again – when most of San Francisco goes to burn. See the full Burning Man Collection here.
Thank you for the laughter, you will be sorely missed.
If you need to reach out to someone, there are resources available.
On this day, 34 years ago, the boy wizard Harry Potter was born. To celebrate this magical day we’ve put together a collection of Harry Potter secrets.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Today’s post comes from Blue Monkey. See the full Parenthood collection here.
One of these things is not like the other – my Instagram post this morning of my beaming children in my newly remodeled kitchen, and my Secret post (also from this morning) about how I cried in the back of a cab as I headed off to my third business trip in two months.
My posts have nothing in common except for the fact that I authored them. I am one mother on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and I’m the real me on Secret. Secret has shown me that none of us are being honest about our parenting lives, online.
On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even in person, I present the glorious side of my life as a mom – and yes, it can be glorious. The sweet smiles first thing in the morning, the first steps, the first day of preschool – all of it is well documented on my social profiles. The other side – the tears, sleepless nights, confusion, anxiety, – is absent. Well, it was absent – until I started using Secret.
I would never, ever tell you the truth on Twitter about my never ending fears of miscarrying during both of my pregnancies, and I suspect my husband wouldn’t share this type of thought with his network either:
I would never post to my Facebook friends about the endless tears I have shed, wishing I could stay at home with my kids. What if my employees, or my company’s board knew how I felt? I can’t imagine what would happen to my career:
And while this post doesn’t describe my husband (most days), I couldn’t help but identify with it completely:
The thing is, parenting is hard work and it’s embarrassing to admit none of us know what we’re doing, or that there are days we wish we didn’t have to do it at all. Secret has made it easier for me to share what I’m feeling, and even better, see that so many others are freaking out too. No one’s perfect after all.
If you’d like to share your Secret Story and be featured on our blog, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This week on Honest Conversations we reveal what you’re really thinking when you’re in an Uber. See the full collection here.
Tristan gave me no real answers as to why he left me, no real explanations.
For that, I turned — ever the cliche Silicon Valley single girl — to the anonymous app Secret. The app connects to users’ cell phone contacts, and people post their inner thoughts “anonymishly.” A post is flagged “friend” or “friend of friend,” so with enough sleuthing work you can guess who wrote it. In other words, the app is crack for someone who just got dumped.
Secret had been skyrocketing in hype in recent months, but I hadn’t spent much time with it. Before Tristan and I broke up, I didn’t need a place to share secrets and confessions. I had him for that.
He used Secret long before me, ever the early adopter. He posted a message the night he met me, ‘I wanted you the moment you walked in the door.’ Much to his annoyance, I hadn’t seen it — he had to tell me about it later.
Naturally, when things fell apart, I turned to Secret for answers. I hoped he’d leave clues to answer the ever pressing question: What the fuck happened?
Combing an app for reasons why your boyfriend dumped you isn’t exactly behavior I’m proud of. But hey — I grew up in the Facebook generation. Using social networking to live in the past instead of the present is kind of my jam.
Secret was simply the newest, most intriguing technology to allow me to do so. For those of you who haven’t tried it, let me forewarn you. The app encompasses what everyone hates about social networking: The narcissism, the fake performances, the sharing of the banal and mundane. But it encompasses the best of it too. It meets the fundamental human need to express your story and hear the stories of others.
Or at least, that’s what I told myself. I needed some rationalization for spending hours of my life surfing the app for Tristan-related secrets.
The James Vincent McMorrow song lyric, “I remember my first love,” posted a week after our breakup, was the first crumb he left for me. It was flagged, in Secret’s subtle little text, as written by a “friend.” In all my naivety I read it as an apology when it was actually a good-bye. Soon afterwards, another woman appeared on his Instagram and Facebook feeds, surrounded in emoticon hearts.
In a warped way, the app became more important then. I screenshotted secrets about relationships, wondering whether they were from him, returning to them like wimpy talismans against loneliness. A detective on the hunt. I found scraps and tidbits.
There was the post with the all red background, “Can’t wait to see her again. As a friend.” A comment under a post, “I’m not the one that’s going to take care of her the way she needed and deserved to be treated.” A third, “I truly miss you. Our story sucks and I apologize for making it so.” Were these meant for me?
My obsessive behavior sounds crazy, and it was. It sounds obsessive, and it was. It sounds stupid and embarrassing and undignified and it was. In fact, it was something I’d rather not admit to. My Secret stalking addiction was a secret.
But anyone who has had their heart broken quickly and without explanation can understand the need for answers. Without answers as to why, how can you ensure it won’t happen again?
After awhile, it didn’t matter whether the Secrets and comments posted were from him. Without any way to know, I could own all the vaguely worded apologies to past lovers. I licked my wounds with the reassurances of strangers. Heartbreak in the social anonymity age.
Eventually, the inevitable happened. I got over him. I stopped looking for explanations and let the Secret feed slide by me, using it for procrastination or amusement when the mood struck. I started dating again. I drank less. I went running and ate my vegetables. I pondered signing up for something exotic like bellydancing or sailing class. I didn’t actually sign up of course, that would be a little too Eat-Pray-Love for my cynical sensibilities.
But I didn’t forget him entirely. On Secret, I posted little breadcrumbs for him too, in case he was watching. I said things like, ‘Heartbreak has been great for my health.’ I flirted with the anonymous commenters who asked me on dates. I shamelessly performed the same social networking rituals that I had on places like Facebook and Instagram in previous eras of my life. I flaunted my newfound confidence and self-esteem, with one eye peeking to see if he was watching. Classy? Nope. Something I’m proud of? Nada. I suppose it’s a phase one must go through before truly sticking the past where it belongs.
Then, finally, I arrived where I am today. Largely unconcerned about Tristan’s existence and whereabouts. Posting secrets on the app for myself. Not because I hope he’ll see them. I spend a hell of a lot less time with Secret now. It’s healthier behavior.
I look forward to the day Tristan and I reconnect in person. Maybe then I can ask him out of curiosity, without desperation: Did you ever post any more secrets about me?
This is the first post in Secret Stories – first person accounts from our community, told anonymously of course. Today’s post comes from Red Heart.
If you’d like to share your Secret Story and be featured on our blog, please email email@example.com
We’re delighted to introduce Honest Conversations — a collection of trending secrets from around the world. This week’s installment gives us a unique insight into the lives of the people living in the war on Gaza. See the full collection here
This guest post was written by Alexis Ohanian, reddit cofounder and investor in Secret. Anonymous publishing isn’t new, but now it’s in everyone’s hands.
Garry Tan and I were the first money into Secret. We’d known the founders well (I’d even invested in Chrys’ previous company, which folded, but demonstrated he had a talent for making beautiful products) and even though their early alpha of Secret only had a hundred or so users, it was giving me that tingling feeling I’ve only gotten on a few occasions: reddit, hipmunk, and now Secret.
Here was a mobile platform to share intimate, anonymous secrets and connect with friends (behind veils, of course) or strangers from around the world. It’s been 9 years since Steve Huffman and I launched reddit, a pseudonymous platform for online communities to share links & discussions.
The platform has half a million communities, each generates amazing content (more than half on reddit itself, in self posts, as opposed to linking elsewhere). There’s an entire community of people on /r/doesanybodyelse finding commonality with others over mundane, silly, and sometimes bizarre things. e.g., “[Does Anybody Else] sing to their cat by replacing some lyrics with their cat’s name or a word/words for cat, e.g cat, kitty, kitten e.t.c.”
I just randomly looked on the front page while writing this article and found that; as it turns out, yes, I do indeed sing to my cat this way.
Well before we built reddit, there have long been mass communication platforms, all of which had a valuable opportunity for anonymity. We’ve been here before. The problem is not anonymity.
Anonymous printing made sure Thomas Paine (the original T. Paine!) didn’t die for his traitorous pamphleteering and instead the United States of America would be born. Pseudonymity allowed us to read the genius of the Brontë sisters at a time when only men were getting published. The solution is not to eliminate anonymity, which is a dangerous idea, because of the disenfranchised voices it would squelch. Facebook ID beside everything you publish? Absolutely not. I’ll admit, most of the time it’s silly.
You wouldn’t want your boss to read this.
But perhaps you just don’t want the world to find out with a change to the “Interested In” section of your profile.
Or maybe you’re just looking for comfort and there are some things you need to share that don’t work with a “like” button beside them.
I’d advise against posting this on your Facebook wall if you call Russia home.
Like all tools, this new publishing technology comes down to how we as individuals use it, but I’m heartened by every post I see that allows someone to share something about themselves that they’d never have been able to with their name attached. These are just a few examples, but anonymity enables us to be truly honest, creative, and open.
And it’s here to stay. It’s been here all along.
Anonymity has and always will be a vital piece of publishing. The data from the 110M people who use reddit every month certainly shows this; it’s almost all benign or positive content. The reasonable people never make headlines. While a few bad actors get all the public attention, everyone else continues to be a silent vast majority of reasonable people using anonymity as it has been used for generations — to be a little more human.