>Also available on The National Post’s The Ampersand

Ever since Facebook entered the mainstream last year our lives have never been the same. Work productivity is down, vampire and zombie bites are way up, long lost friends have been discovered and embarrassing relationship ruining pictures have been tagged.

Needless to say we have put up with a lot. But this past Sunday Facebook and Post Secret took a step towards the giant poke that might end it all. The creators and administrators of the popular Post Secret community have decided to create a Fan Page on Facebook and share even more secrets by posting the postcards as images. The problem with this? Now thousands of people can leave their comments about the secrets for the entire world to see. And you don’t have to be a Degrassi fan to know how dangerous (and annoying) that can be.

It’s really a marriage that really makes no sense. Facebook is all about breaking down those walls we like to call “privacy”. Hours are wasted snooping through others people’s lives. We know about their trips, their friends, their favorite TV shows even though most of the time we don’t them. Post Secret on the other is all about your secret identity. Every Sunday morning, thousands of people go to the Post Secret website to laugh, cry, and gasp at the secrets of the brave strangers that submit the Post Cards that often reveal their deepest darkest secrets.

There is no doubt that Post Secret is a powerful forum for people to express themselves. However now that people’s secrets are exposed for anyone to comment on, I can’t help but feel that this changes the social experiment completely. Not to mention the fact that people’s Facebook comments are always annoying anyway. Did I really need to know that Justin Cole (Clemson network) hasn’t had sex in a year? I feel awkward knowing that Sarah Vosdale from Hartford is afraid to let people know the real her and that she hates the identity she does show. Am I supposed to care that Heather McKee Parker from St. Catherine/Niagra couldn’t laugh after her BF left her? Okay maybe I should, but I got enough problems on my own, I don’t need to start worrying about complete strangers.

The other problem with this Facebook Fan Page for Post Secret is that often the post cards have pictures of different people. By using Facebook and navigating the comments it doesn’t take Veronica Mars to figure out whose secret has just been spilt. Not to mention the embarrassment if the secret that everyone is now seeing was about you! Wouldn’t that be awkward to see your baby picture with the caption: “I switched them at birth. I wanted him to have blue eyes”. It would certainly make for an interesting Christmas dinner or one hell of a Facebook status “Michael is starting to realize it all makes sense!!”

I fully support the Post Secret Fan Page. I think it’s a social experiment that really can change lives or at the very least show teenagers that not being cool in high school is not the end of the world. I do however have a problem with how hard it is to control Facebook and how quickly comments, rumors, lies and jokes can get out of control. The internet is relentless but it’s usually anonymous, let’s just hope that the nation’s psychiatrists, therapists and guidance counselors are ready for the onslaught.

***On a completely unrelated and absolutely selfish note, don’t forget to join Mike’s Bloggity Blog Blob Fan Page!***

Mike Morrison