Dear Diary, What Became of Secrets?

By Capitano, Laura | The Florida Times Union, January 14, 2007 | Go to article overview

Dear Diary, What Became of Secrets?


Capitano, Laura, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Laura Capitano

I came of age in the diary era. 'Twas a time when young girls kept hard-bound books, often with Hello Kitty or unicorns on their covers, in which they detailed the thoughts and activities they preferred to keep secret. Those confessions of love, hate, doom and glory were sure to be secure in Dear Diary and its trusty lock.

We've high-sped to the Internet era, one admittedly not as quaint-sounding as its predecessor. What I would consider Dear Diary information is the text and photos of MySpace and Facebook pages and personal blogs. With just a few clicks, anyone can view "The Top 50 Reasons Why Kevin Sux," the passed-out-in-the-bathtub pictures, shots of tattoos on what should be private body parts, weepy break-up sagas, "Gawd! I Hate My Mom" rants, same sex and opposite sex make-out photos, and details, details, details about crushes, sexual conquests, insecurities and aspirations.

It's as if having secrets has gone out of style.

Whether this should-be classified information is posted by the person it pertains to or by an online "friend" in a comment or reply doesn't really matter. The fact that it's routinely posted at all is what's revealing. Our reckless youth are cool and comfortable with their lives being an open book. A book open to a MySpace page, with plenty of cyberspace to self-promote.

When a young person's goal is satisfying his overblown need for affiliation, keeping secrets and maintaining privacy don't help the mission. Having a kickin' page or a thrilling blog is perceived as evidence of social accomplishment.

How great to be young and have an easy platform to present a life rich with drama. To filter out all the dull and boring in your life and highlight your hottest photos and most witty commentary.

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