The modern era of emotional escapism

By | Health & Wellness
Pencourage is a new social media site that acts like an online journal: Credit@Pencourage.com

“I was reading my horoscope the other day and it said a relationship could start with someone with a name beginning with T. I laughed to myself because ironically, I met someone a few months ago called Tatsuya. As I sat there and read this I’m sure I freaked people out with my freaky grin (I seriously thought this was hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing afterward). I just thought it was a little strange since he’s the only one I know with a T name.”

This passage is the type of entry you may find in a personal diary. In fact it is from a personal diary. The question is, would you read a disclosed passage like this if the opportunity arose? And would it be a case of cheeky deviance, general nosiness or true interest?

A new social experiment has revealed that 60% of people would have a snoop at a journal or diary if they had the chance. The study was conducted at a busy coffee shop in Central London. From observation, participants became engrossed in the genuine, handwritten diary entries. The majority of which dealt with a wide range of deeply personal subjects, including parental issues and sex fantasies.

The interest in overlooking other’s deepest emotional thoughts has sparked a new and trending social media site named Pencourage. In a nation where soap operas prove to be the highest-rated TV shows, the social network that features over 23,000 real-life diary entries from real people has proven a huge hit with British woman.

Dubbed ‘real-life Facebook’ for its salacious tradition of anonymous truth-telling; Pencourage acts like an online journal, allowing subscribers to create an authentic, permanent and detailed account of their lives. Usernames and emails are private to everyone, including the website’s staff.

The site demonstrates the importance of recording our daily lives in an honest way and shows that even with the most sentimental or explicit users’ stories there are thousands of people with likeminded thoughts. Every day the writer can upload 200 words to tell their story whilst pinning relevant websites to each entry and attaching appropriate pictures, songs or videos to help tell the story.

Have a peek at the video: http://vimeo.com/100297986

This articles opening paragraph is an extraction from the website Pencourage and was titled ‘Love is in the air?’. It is one of many exciting, intriguing and controversial entries that the site offers. Here are a couple other examples:

“You’re tall, very tall. You’re in good shape too, especially for your age. You’re successful, educated, cultured, witty and yes, totally perverted. I first saw you over a year ago and was struck by how perfect you are. You’re confident, you know what you like and feel comfortable with it. I admit I’m more than a little intimidated by you.”

“I had a diary when I was a kid. I have kept them and I know that now, if I were to read them, I would laugh lots at how naive I was. Will I look back at these posts and feel amused in ten years time? Probably. I wish to learn about myself with these posts. I wish to hear other’s voices and benefit from their knowledge and most of all, I wish to enjoy a bit of camaraderie.”

The recent explosion in anonymous apps prove the desire for escapism from the everyday world. Perhaps Pencourage is a reflection of the modern day necessity to release emotions free from judgement? Or is it an indication of the growing changes in the traditional methods of social interaction?

What is your opinion on the development of social media sites?

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