Here’s the problem. You want to tell somebody a secret. Not anybody though. Just a few select bodies. But you don’t want them to know that you actually really want them to know. Because you don’t want to
be appear too emotionally needy. Or too pretentious. Or too indulgent.
Here’s the (uniquely WordPress) solution. You lock your post with a password that you hope people will ask for so that they can read it. That filters out the people who don’t care enough to ask, or the people who are too distant to dare to ask. And it makes you seem like they want to know of their own accord, rather than you actually wanting them to know.
Of course, there’s the new problem of having the wrong people ask, and the right people not asking. But between the old and the new problem, at least you managed to express yourself. That’s gotta hit like the top tier of Maslow’s hierarchy or something.
There’s the gamut of other solutions of course, to express yourself without really expressing yourself – letting text mask the tone, backdating posts, using cryptic metaphors, being sardonic and sarcastic etc.
Back in RJ, we had a run of PostSecret. It’s a fascinating idea. Though I’m not sure if it does more good than harm. It did make me take out my colouring pencils that I hadn’t used in a long long time. I wish I took a photo of the postcard I sent in. It was nice, I think =)
Should we ask each other about such posts? Unequivocally, yes. Is it an intrusion into privacy? Oh, yes. Will it be awkward because the topic is so sensitive? Probably.
But that’s the whole point of writing the post at all. It’s an invitation – to find out more, to enter into private space, to move beyond the awkwardness barrier.
Sometimes, we keep secrets. Not because we want things to be hidden, but because we want to reveal them to the right people.
Sometimes, we lock doors. Not because we want to keep people out, but because we want to let people with the right key in.