How do you vent/gush about exciting info privately?
July 14, 2021 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend. Periodically they receive BIG and mind-blowing news. This news has to be kept secret from specific family. They have tried journaling to keep a lid on the excitement, but they still end up oversharing later and this causes them trouble. Family in this case can't be avoided for now. Are there methods that work better than journaling? Are there fairly anonymous services you can call to share about things? Thanks for any tips.
posted by circular to Society & Culture (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Just to add some factors/complications: They don't want to share with friends or anyone if at all possible, but they realize they have to share with someone. Info won't stay in easily, but could cause them trouble if it got out.

Mostly the oversharing problem happens in the moment, like let's say this huge news comes direct to their phone in the evening when they are around family, and family are like, WTF is wrong with you, is this BIG NEWS about X? Because they always try to guess and play detective.

But this person has to be there for the news to arrive, they can't just not look at their phone. They also already have a therapeutic resource, available and useful, but only for pre-scheduled calls, but it's this issue of an unplanned moment of incoming info-dump.
posted by circular at 4:52 PM on July 14, 2021

Best answer: They can join a forum or a discord for some community they can be interested in.
posted by pyro979 at 4:59 PM on July 14, 2021 [7 favorites]

Yeah, I use Discord for this. Find a server for some hobby they're already interested in, spend regular time there, share whenever something exciting happens--they don't even have to share the details, just being able to be excited without having someone try and guess what it is would probably help.
posted by brook horse at 5:12 PM on July 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

Reddit is another fairly anonymous place to yay!!
posted by freethefeet at 5:22 PM on July 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

I enjoy screaming into a very loud box fan.
posted by mochapickle at 5:24 PM on July 14, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: they realize they have to share with someone. Info won't stay in easily, but could cause them trouble if it got out.

Are they sure that sharing with one person will be enough? I have a hard time not sharing exciting news, too, and sometimes it's easier for me not to know something too far in advance. So the first thing I will say is this: is there any way they can limit getting this information before it can be shared? You didn't offer context, so maybe this isn't possible, but if they are somehow getting an early scoop they don't need, then they should really try to limit what they hear. It'll make life much easier.

Next, I don't think the answer is in sharing with *someone* because that still seems to be in violation of whatever embargo is on this information. They are basically asking someone else to do what they can't: keep a really good secret.

I think it might be more fruitful for them to try to cultivate more distance from the thrill of sharing the information. There are people who keep all sorts of secrets about classified information. Maybe they should read about/channel those folks?

Now, if this is the kind of thing where they can share, just not with a few specific people... then how about a Twitter or Reddit account where they create a totally new profile not connected to them? They could set up a new email address just for this to make sure it doesn't leak back.
posted by bluedaisy at 5:26 PM on July 14, 2021 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Just read your follow-up. If this is work-related and they're getting this stuff after hours, can they mute alerts or notifications from the source in off-work hours?
posted by bluedaisy at 5:28 PM on July 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Reddit /r/offmychest

Some sort of Discord channel
posted by kschang at 5:36 PM on July 14, 2021 [3 favorites]

They can keep a list of discussion topics, as a distraction when questioned. Italy beat England; I have feelings. %SportsStar did a thing. Bitcoin is up/down. Ideally, things that the family will pick up and discuss.
They should have notifications for messenger turned off, or have a separate account to be used for Breaking News. Then they can get and react to the Breaking News in private. They should be able to have a notification for you have a message from %ImportantSource.
And they should subscribe to some other news feed and have notifications on the lock screen, so they can react regularly to some other form of news; Google, Apple, MSoft and others have news feeds. Then they can look at the phone, and it can be the news that some vote went a certain way, vaccination rates hit some goal, or whatever. This is a form of crying wolf to decrease invasiveness and interest. And it dilutes real Big News messages. Distraction and misdirection are what magicians use, quite effectively.

for sharing actual secrets, they should have a special email account where they can sign in and share the news, mailing it to the same account. Or isn't there a messaging service where messages only last a short time? And don't leave this sort of account logged in, don't let the phone store the password. Or share excitement with the sender of the message, co-worker, fellow secret-knower. Pretend to be a spy and practice a straight face.

There's probably some joy in knowing secrets and sharing them, and they need ways to get beyond that with family.
posted by theora55 at 5:57 PM on July 14, 2021 [4 favorites]

Could find a therapist or lawyer willing to be paid to listen to this great news under client confidentiality privilege.
posted by Spokane at 5:59 PM on July 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

I will accept Venmo for taking calls from strangers who want to vent their excitement- DM me. :)
posted by tristeza at 6:48 PM on July 14, 2021 [10 favorites]

Best answer: If your friend is around said specific family when they receive their Secret Exciting News, however they receive it, I wouldn't count on being able to make an in-the-moment voice-based phone call without the Secret Exciting News getting out to the very people they're trying to hide it from.

I would focus on managing how and when and where I am getting said Secret Exciting News. Does it always come in via a specific method? Work Slack channel? Specific email address? Specific text thread? Phone call? Figure out how to NOT get these notifications when around said family (or around people who would talk to said family), and schedule times to check in on these specific channels when there is no danger of said family overhearing. Make sure when checking that there's time to do whatever processing is necessary while still in a secure private situation to get their yayas out.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 8:29 PM on July 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

I will offer the same deal as tristeza for 5% less. Sorry tristeza, but business is business. Also, OP, now I'm DYING to know what it is, so maybe I'll take the first call for free :P

Unless the big news is that they won the lottery.
posted by adekllny at 11:46 AM on July 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for those helpful and also amusing replies. The responses also raised the possibility of ways to immediately get out of the family situation or context, which is probably going to be helpful as well.

The friend is in a more vulnerable position than it sounds, so they are very appreciative.
posted by circular at 1:39 PM on July 15, 2021

They also already have a therapeutic resource, available and useful, but only for pre-scheduled calls, but it's this issue of an unplanned moment of incoming info-dump.

Mentally or physically compose an email to the resource, but save it in drafts; talk about the news during the scheduled call.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:33 PM on July 15, 2021

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