Taking The Experience For GrantedYou don’t have to look very far these days to find a story about how disgusted people are with all of the changes on Ep. I think there is one every day in my activity feed. I feel kind of sorry for the people who are so unhappy. I feel so bad that I recently became a supporter. Here’s why.
I was trying to make a point, albeit subtly, that I believe a lot of people, especially longtime members, have kind of lost perspective. While we all have different reasons, different stories about how we ended up here, the basic theme that runs through all of them is that we were all looking for help. Maybe we could not articulate it at the time, exactly what kind of help we were in need of, but I think we can all admit that we got it in the form of support and acceptance and through friendships and just the simple act of interacting in a non-threatening way—anonymity can be a blessing depending on your intent and your needs. While we are all well aware of what is different about the look and feel of this place, I think in some ways what is still the same (and even better in some ways) has been lost to many.
* There are not many sites out there that encourage anonymity these days. Being honest about who you really are encourages good behavior and holds you accountable for your words. You often need to use your real name to sign up, something Ep does not require. While this explains a proliferation of blue head profiles and fakeness, it also encourages people who are frightened about being discovered and gives them a sense of security. If you are in the closet about something, that might mean something to you. Then this place may be a refuge. I met someone once here who was gay and a drug addict and hugely ashamed about both of those things. He found a way to heal here. I watched that person start out writing stories that were painful to read—to graduating to responding to others in similar situations and supporting them in a matter of weeks. Imagine that—how cool that is—no judging—just a place for support, which by the way was the original intent of this place and still is.
* There are very few places on the net where you can write so freely and actually have someone read what you are writing. There are many places to blog, but honestly, those sites make it difficult to comment and interact with other bloggers. They rely mostly on the writer’s linking to Facebook or Twitter followers to share what they have written. I don’t like Facebook and Twitter. Those places do not encourage interaction in the same way that Ep does. Here people are not looking to play games and fraudulently “like” stuff in the way those other sites encourage that kind of thing; here the focus is still on the story—the writing and the commenting. That is cool, and you will not find that anywhere else the way you will here.
* Consequently, it is not as easy to make friends elsewhere. I find the ease with which I come to know and understand people here one of the main reasons I will never leave. There is ALWAYS someone to talk to, something profound or hilarious to read, and although I think it has been overlooked—Ep has been struggling over the years to create ways to make that interacting easier for people. The changes have made the whole site run faster, but old timers have probably forgotten just how slow things used to be, how long it took things to load, how you had to go to someone’s profile to see what they were doing, as the shared feed was non-existent. While it may seem confusing now as we all adjust, the intent—to be able to see what other people are doing without leaving your page, is pretty cool when you think about it. Maybe it is too much information for some—Ep says they are always creating new filters—but when we didn’t have that information available to us we complained about that too.
* I don’t like the Questions and the Confessions area, have been vocal about that since the inception of that part of Ep, but if I don’t like it I don’t have to go there, and that is another thing that I find wonderful about this place, the sheer number of ways that they have created for people to interact. I don’t like it, but apparently just about everyone else here does judging from the activity over there. Even the much-maligned adult areas of this site serve a purpose and they are in keeping with Ep’s promise to not judge people ba
* Back to the stories. Ep allows you to em
* But maybe the reason so much of this—what Ep has to offer that is unique and special-- is overlooked is because people are too busy whining to their friends about how awful this place has become and how different it is from how it was when they all first met here three, four, maybe even five or six years ago.
You know—they are complaining to their GOOD friends whom they met…here at The Experience Project.
And that’s my point