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'Anti-Social' Real-Life Facebook Site Pencourage Reveals Marital Affairs And Lesbian Dreams (PICTURES)

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CONFESSION PENCOURAGE
What are you really thinking about when you post your latest Facebook update? | Alamy

On certain days, you might be forgiven for thinking the world was perfect. Holidays, humorous updates about animals and happy faces fill your facebook feed, denying the existence of money worries, misery or people who hate pets.

But would status updates remain quite so smug, if individuals posted anonymously?

At the start of 2013, a group of British investors set up Pencourage.com to bridge the gulf between what people say and what they really think (see example below).

pencourage

Post from Thoughts From Abroad, January 21


According to a spokesperson, the site has already had more than 10,000 visits, with 2,200 people signed up -- and users have plenty on their minds.

From everyday angst about relationships to more profound comments about life-changing dilemmas, it's an exploration of the real truth behind our facebook feeds.

pencourage

On the site, users are ensured absolute anonymity and each writer can upload 200 words per day (plus photos, pictures, videos and songs) to tell their story. Not even staff working on the site are able to see email addresses associated with usernames.

A brief search of the site reveals that the cloak of anonymity acts as a strong incentive to confess all.

'Reprobate' tells users that she's trying to piece together her marriage of 11 years after being caught sexting another man, while 'Little Red' reveals that she's developing serious feelings for her female friend.

pencourage gay

According to psychologist Lucy Beresford, author of Happy Relationships At Home, Work And Play, posting comments on anonymous sites, such as Pencourage, can feel very liberating, especially if we have something to say for which we expect disapproval.

"Facebook allows us to edit our profiles or biogs, photo-shop our photos, or cherry-pick our daily activities, we can create air-brushed versions of ourselves, which is pretty much the same as 'faking it'."

"But getting something off our chest can also feel immensely therapeutic. Instead of bottling up our secret we can share it, and in the sharing, the agony is diluted."

What would you share anonymously? Read Pencourage comments here.

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As yet, the site has attracted an almost entirely female audience, according to a Pencourage spokesperson.

"Women are historically regarded as the more emotionally communicative gender," TV psychologist Emma Kennedy told HuffPost UK Lifestyle.

"This isn't to suggest that men do not, more likely it's that they do it less openly speaking to a few close and trusted friends. Men are less likely to attend the GP's and are more likely to commit suicide and this often means they keep sensitive information to themselves."