Sending Messages in Digital Bottles
Full disclosure: I’m kind of obsessed with the second person voice, and I love the art of letter writing.
I’m especially enamored with the idea of writing letters to people who should never read them, and I enjoy reading letters never sent – it’s a juicy form of voyeurism.
Have you ever had so much to say to someone but couldn’t tell that person? Have you ever written a letter to someone and then ripped it into tiny pieces? Have you ever addressed another person in a diary or journal entry?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re in luck! The Internet makes it easy for you to write anonymous notes to people who will probably never guess you are writing about them.
I just want to complain about you to the anonymous masses in a place you’ll never see it. Is that too much to ask? Maybe I gotta take this complaining business underground. I need a Fight Club situation where me and a bunch of people can all go and complain about people without them ever finding out who did it.
Here are a few websites where you can post your own anonymous notes and read other letters-never-sent:
Dear Old Love: By e-mailing dearoldlove(at)gmail.com, readers can submit one -sentence notes intended for former lovers. Notes range from nostalgic to angry to heartbreaking and even demanding.
Every day, the editors post (and cleverly title) approximately 10 new notes. What I love about reading these short posts is the chance to “read between the lines” – what takes just seconds to read gives me fuel for my mind to wander for a few minutes. I like to imagine the people writing the notes and also the intended recipients. Sometimes, the notes even read like poems.
If you want to carry your voyeurism with you, you should know that some of the best posts from Dear Old Love have been compiled in a book of the same name.
Ex Boyfriend Dead Letter Office (mentioned in Shmitten Kitten post from above): Similar to Dear Old Love, Ex Boyfriend Dead Letter Office accepts short letters to ex-boyfriends. My favorite thing about this website is the editors post a picture of a stud-muffin celebrity namesake with each note.
Secret Tweet: Secret Tweet is unique because it functions as a blog and also as a Twitter account. You can submit a confession in 140 characters or less, and Secret Tweet will post the confession to the website and Twitter. Characterized by a number, each tweet is completely anonymous.
One has to wonder if bored Internet users are simply submitting ridiculous stories to be considered as Secret Tweets. However, that possibility is what makes the site interesting to me; you will never know if the tweet is true or false, and you can’t help but wonder about the people submitting them (crazy enough to perform some of these acts and possibly even crazier to imagine them).
Following the Secret Tweet account is fun because, every once in a while, a confession will appear in your Twitter stream and catch your attention – these tweets are usually very different from other things people are tweeting.
Letters to Dead People: Celine Song creates designs graphical, black and white letters to dead people, and she posts these letters on her tumblr. In a letter to the living people who read her blog, Celine writes, “It is also really fascinating to me how wildly misunderstood some of these letters are or how some people passionately disagree with me.”
By composing original letters to famous dead people like Shel Silverstein, Adolf Hitler, and James Joyce, Celine reveals more about herself than she does about the dead person. Obviously, everyone would have their own questions that they would want to ask a dead person, if they had the opportunity.
Do you know of any similar websites? Please share links in the comments.
(Photo by internets_dairy)