Secrets and Semantics

All the rage about Secret on Twitter, coupled with my silly curiosity made me download the App a few weeks back. I call my pre-Secret curiosity ‘silly’ because, obviously, I knew what I am going to see there long before I actually did. Of course it was going to be about the ‘Repressed – aggressive’ kinds, about the ‘Sex-On-My-Mind’ types, about the ‘Eternally-Sad’ folks and finally, about those who are ‘Confused-And-Seeking-Advice’. Everybody knew that, right?

But I did not know the sheer impact of it until I downloaded the App and read the posts, over the first week. It started with me shaking my head in a “this Friend of Friend is hilarious” way and feeling weird about a “Friend” who claimed to have ended her/his affair with the boss. Anonymity is strangely empowering, I know that. But in the world where Social Media over-sharing is normal, the taste of anonymity is addictive.

I am not saying that it is all bad. It basically depends on your Contact List, you know? And whether you find solace in this, or shudder at the thought, is not relevant. People are just being themselves, and in some cases, they are not being themselves and just having fun by posting insane stuff. What’s important, though, is the fact that an alarming number of posts that I see on my feed, seem to be talking about women from Twitter – and dissecting them, character-assassinating them based on their tweets and the pictures they post. Funny? I think not.

It might be harmless fun for the anonymous ‘Friend Of Friend’ who posts ‘Let’s See Who We Want To Sleep With From Twitter And Why?”, and it might be cool for others to ‘anonymously’ post hundred of replies to it with twitter handles of girls (and a few guys, to be fair) and then taking it down to details, but, and I think I speak for a majority of women online, it is NOT fun to be talked about in such a way. 

“Oh, did someone name you?” People will ask. 
“Aww, I think no one mentioned you!” Few others may derive.
“But it’s harmless!!” Most will say. 

And this is what my issue with Secret, and other Apps like it, is.
It shouldn’t matter if I am on that list or not.
People you think I have issues because I might not be on that list are half of the problem itself.
And no, it is NOT harmless.

Social Media is a small world and the names and Twitter handles mentioned on this particular post, and a million others of the same nature, will eventually be accessible to the women in question, or – and this is why it is not harmless at all – to their families, friends, colleagues, husbands / partner. It leads to involuntary forming of impressions. It is a human thing. Once we read that Person X from Twitter is on someone’s to-sleep-with list and achieving it might not be tough at all because she is “easy” – it stays in our mind and can affect our view of Person X.

Am I saying that we should be concerned about what a bunch of anonymous shit-heads say about us based on some silly posts on an App? No. I am not.

I am saying that we should be careful about what we post online, even anonymously, because what might be ‘harmless fun’ for us, might be neither harmless nor even remotely funny for the other person. Some might call is online harassment, but I call it irresponsible. And how!

And, I am saying that – and always remember this – nothing is a secret on the Internet. Nothing.

That’s the end of my issue with anonymity and the questionable attitude it gives to people that I know directly or indirectly. Six degrees of separation is scary, no?

As for me, I’ve posted two secrets so far. I got caught by almost everyone for the first. Turns out, I can’t even keep a secret identity on Secret. Damn. I think the inclusion of the words “Hee Hee” gave me away and I’m working on it. (Notice that the words in question are no where in this post.)

The second is not really so much of a secret, but it has gotten over 230 hearts. I think my work on Secret is done, hee hee.

Here’s a quick round up about my time on Secret:

Friends I’ve found on Secret: 28

I’ve been on Secret for: 3 weeks

Currently I am: Questioning my Contact List on Phone

Curiosity level on Week 1 of Downloading Secret App: Maximum

Curiosity level today of Downloading Secret App: Meh

Type of Posts from Friends: Sex, Bitching. 

Theme of Posts from ‘Friends of Friends’: Sex, Bitching and Loneliness

One word to describe my friends on Secret: Suspicious.

Second word: WHY?

Is the App addictive? : Not any More.

 So, all I’m saying is, Secret away, but be responsible. 🙂

Post Author: Aditi Mathur Kumar

Author of 2 books. TEDx Speaker. Travel Writer. Blogger. Addicted to Travel & Books. Digital Media Strategist. Social Media Girl. Army Wife. Mom. Curious. Crazy.

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