Ever had one of those days when you’ve slept through the alarm, rushed to a morning meeting, only to see your car’s rear bumper face the recklessness of an irate driver during Sheikh Zayed Road gridlock?
If your story reads like a typical Dubai day, your options are to either explode at all those who dare cross your path or you can choose to let off some steam by simply writing about it.
Secretvent.com is the brainchild of one such ‘Expat Mummy’ of three who can relate only too well to the daily dramas of living in a big city. Her website allows Dubai’s denizens to vent their frustrations safely and anonymously, without letting the steam burn all those in the vicinity when the pressure cooker erupts.
“Basically, we all love a good moan and people just like to get stuff off their chests, sometimes before they explode,” said Expat Mummy, who, like her website, preferred to keep her anonymity intact, “so as not to cause problems with friends, spouses etc.”
She further confessed: “My best friend was away and I had no one to moan to. I had talked to my brother in UK about it and he’s the computer whizz so we designed the website.”
Visitors to the site are strictly not allowed to reveal names of those they are raging against, with Expat Mummy saying: “We don’t want it getting nasty; you can however put your name if you don’t want to be anonymous.”
This can be a fine line between simply letting off some steam and airing someone’s dirty laundry, but she isn’t worried.
“I vet everything that gets posted; it comes via me first as an anonymous vent so I don’t get to see who sent it (and I’m not collecting a database!),” she explained.
“It truly is 100 per cent anonymous. Also, I will not post anything that is personal, nasty or goes against the political, cultural and religious beliefs of this country,” she reiterated. “I just wanted to help people with their everyday vents.”
So if you are angry about that 4WD that has tailgated you halfway through Abu Dhabi; angry with the boss for promoting another over you without naming names; or simply have drama with the in-laws, then Secretvent works as your sounding board, without the judgement.
The site went live in October 2012, with the country’s denizens clearly having a lot of frustration pent up considering her website has garnered 20,000 visitors in a few months alone.
She said: “I like the fact that people can relate to the posts and know they are normal. I’m getting the majority of vents from the UAE but have had a few from the US, UK and Australia so the word is spreading.”
Talking about the stresses that plague society today, she further explained: “Today’s modern life is very stressful. We are all trying to juggle too many things and be super humans. Everyone is trying to earn more, to buy more, to keep up and it’s actually quite sad I think.
“We will race through life and arrive at the end thinking, wow that went quick, instead of saying ‘what a great time I had’. I think people need to laugh more and let off steam in a therapeutic manner.”
The common thread that seems to have united the country’s residents in their list of complaints on the website thus far include work-related issues, family drama, traffic woes and bad drivers.
Spouses do get the short end of the stick, with one such post, ‘Welcome to my World of Kids’ allows one frustrated wife and mother vent against her lazy spouse after a day at the beach.
It reads: ‘Beach is no longer a relaxing place for adults with kids… As we begin to unpack and bring stuff in I notice that I am no longer passing my husband on the trips back and forth to the car.
‘I look for said hubby who is lying on couch, knackered! Conclusion: females are definitely the stronger species.’
Expat Mummy says that she finds herself relating to a lot of the vents, adding: “I now use this to calm myself down. I think it’s very important for you to know what you should personally do to calm down.
“My husband likes to be left alone to snap out of it or play rugby. I like to put great music on, cuddle my kids, call a good friend or write and have a laugh.
“Getting things off your chest really helps. I’m currently studying psychology and it has opened my eyes to a lot of things.”
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