Online Confessions: Cure-all or Schadenfreude 2.0?

Whether is be about sex, neurotic tendencies, or something else, there is something cathartic about reading someone’s anonymous confession to a lustful moment, anger, insecurity, or just about any feeling you may have felt or may be feeling as well.

Or, could indulging in the habit of reading others’ confessions be good old-fashioned Schadenfreude? According to Merriam-Webster, Schadenfreude is “enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.”

In January 2009, Science Daily published a story that touched on some of the emotional benefits of new mothers communicating to each other in an online forum.

One of the main conclusions was that, “the opportunity to share experiences with like-minded, local women can stop pregnant women and mothers from feeling isolated and worrying about giving birth and parenting.”

You may not be giving birth or a parent at the moment, but perhaps one thing you can take away from this study is, the opportunity to share experiences with like-minded people can help you (us) from feeling isolated and worried. The Internet, offers us many opportunities to connect with like-minded people on subjects like education, entertainment, pleasure, and more.

Anonymous confession boards are one way of connecting. Not just for the people confessing, but for those reading as well. The first place I discovered this was at the website Group Hug.

Group Hug was started in 2003, and in it you could find confessions about cheating, crappy parents (or parenting), friendship betrayal, school mishaps, dating mistakes, tales of lust, and more. Like the following:

i always say “dont fake it”, but damn. i’m the biggest fake around. i cant help it if i prefer peace over honesty. the latter’s just too messy.


so yeah. even if i still talk to you and act like it’s all ok, it still doesnt change that fact.

that you’re a slut who loves attention.

i mean what kinda friend are you if you take such pleasure getting every guy your friend(s) want just to prove you can get them?

Simply because the site has become very popular, the quality of confessions has lowered. But don’t let that deter you from browsing.

There are also specialized confession sites, like I Am Neurotic. At this site, users divulge their real or imagined neurotic tendencies.

Whenever I have gum in my mouth and want to spit it out, I will never spit it outside on the ground for others to see. I think someone will get upset, trace my DNA from the gum and figure out who I am.

or this one

I cannot touch food that is cold if it is supposed to be hot. If I am reheating something, I have to ask someone else to put their finger in it to see if its hot because I’m scared that if i touch it, it will still be cold. I also can’t eat things like macaroni salad, because noodles are meant to be hot, not cold.

If those don’t fill your plate there are plenty of other confession sites to choose from.



Post Secret

Truu Confessions (The mom confessions channel of this site spawned a book.)

I’ve Screwed Up

And for those who feel the need to read or confess in 140 characters or less (yes, a Twitter reference), there are two anonymous confessions sites that may fill your need.

Kvetch! and SecretTweet

Whether online confession sites hurt or help us more is a question for the ages; in the meantime — let it all out.