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October 19, 2017

Post Secret gone local: Silly, sad and serious secrets

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“I live on the second floor of a Southwest tower and my new past-time is getting myself off while watching people walk by. They can’t see what I’m doing but it makes me feel naughty!”

On Feb. 9, 2009, Craig Durham and Zach Cohn opened the Web site BuffSecrets.com to listen to the secrets of the Buffalo area. One year later, Durham and Cohn opened a similar site to the Amherst area, Amherstsecrets.com. As fans of the famous Post Secret blog, both men decided to create their own Web sites geared towards communities rather than the world.

Receiving over 7,000 secrets in one year on BuffSecrets.com, Durham and Cohn decided to create AmherstSecrets.com in hopes of receiving the same success. In just two weeks, the site has received over 100 secrets, and continues to grow each day.

The Web site consists of eight categories of secrets. While the student who pleasures herself to the crowds walking through Southwest was placed in the sex category, other secrets may fit into general, love, missed connections, friends, family, to you and serious. Amherst Secrets receives a “whole spectrum of emotions, some are very serious and some are lighthearted,” said Durham.

While scrolling through the hundreds of secrets posted on the web site, you can experience the spectrum of emotions that peers in your English class feel on a daily basis. Some secrets may have you bent over with laughter, while others might connect to issues or feelings you have about your own life. The beautiful thing about this site is that many people comment on the posts to share similar experiences or give advice.

In one secret Durham read, a girl was too afraid to talk to a boy who sat next to her in class. With support via comments made on her secret, the girl wrote back explaining that she had finally talked to him, and they were going out for coffee soon.

Unlike Post Secret, the Amherst edition allows you to either simply post a secret or upload pictures to essentially create an online postcard. Durham feels the “fact that you can do it while sitting in class allows you to vent.” As soon as you feel any type of emotion, you can immediately share it with the people around you. Instead of reading secrets from people across the country, you can read secrets posted from people in the Amherst community, and know that you share humor or anguish with the people you may walk past each day.

AmherstSecrets.com was created as an outlet for emotions, as well as a place to help others through their problems or share laughter; therefore, gossip or trash talking are not welcome. In fact, each secret is screened before it is posted in order to ensure that names or gossip have been left out.

For now, the site is strictly anonymous and in that, there is no way to directly meet with people that have shared their secrets. However, the comment box next to each secret has allowed people to share their similar stories, or give advice.

As the site grows each day, there are sure to be posts that will leave you with your mouth wide open in shock, your stomach in pain from laughing or a realization that you are not the only one who feels the way you do. Whatever mood you’re in the site has a place for you to go. Whether you simply want to read funny posts, tell a haunting secret or share how you got revenge on your ex-girlfriend after you “posted her number in the personal ads on Craigslist in New York, Chicago, Ill. and Boston,” AmherstSecrets.com is the place for you to go.

Kaitlyn Bigica can be reached at kbigica@student.umass.edu.

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