Confessions Vs. Experience Group Stories

Lately it seems like there are a lot of confessions being posted on the Experience Project. 

Far more than I think I've ever seen before in the year or so that I've been a member of the site.

I'd like EVERYONE HERE to *THINK*, just for a *MOMENT*! as to  what the *primary purpose* of this site is...

Is it:

a) To share experiences, connect with, and by extension, support and help, other people?

or

b) To promote one's own experience(s) over those of others?

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Because I'm getting the impression these days that people don't seem to be sharing stories, or putting things out there in a way that seems to be helping their fellow users here on the Experience Project as much as they used to.

Confessions are, it seems to me, relatively one-sided in nature.  It's hard to escape it. 

Don't get me wrong, they DO have their place. 

But I get the impression they are being a bit overused, if not abused.

The person making the confession has a one-way soapbox they can use to either make a relatively brief statement, either openly or anonymously, which, by its very nature, limits the comments on such confessions to being *very* one-sided, in most cases.

The EP Founders' original goal for the site was (paraphrasing) "to help to provide a supportive place for those people suffering from medical or other challenging conditions."

Over the past couple of years, that mandate has grown to include support for anyone - which is great.

Everyone should have a chance to say what they want in the applicable and relevant Story Groups, with a forum for open discussion by *ALL*  users. 

While I am not focusing on anyone or anything specific, I would ask everyone here to merely ask themselves the following questions the next time they post a story, comment, or confession:

1. Is the topic I wish to write about a one-way message, or a mutiple-way one, which I would like to open up to a much broader range of people and viewpoints?

a) If it is one-way, then confess.
b) If it is a two-or-more-way one, then write a story, and open it up for discussion.

2. Have I read other people's stories and experiences connected to the topic or issues in question?

3. Does this story, comment, or confession address the concerns of others, as opposed to just promoting or self-perpetuating stories solely about me?

4. Am I just commenting on things my friends would like, or what I think others might think is popular?

5. Am I being fair to all points of view regarding this topic, or am I merely soap-boxing to the detriment of others here?

6. Is the content of the post (what I am saying) truly HELPFUL, or DETRIMENTAL to OTHERS here? 

7. Am I looking to stir up TROUBLE, or just be CLEVER, rather than to GENUINELY HELP or ASSIST OTHERS?

8. Does caring about others or opening things up to a broader discussion cut down on my FUN?

(as to that last question - I sure HOPE NOT! :) )

All I am asking is that people look at THEMSELVES very clearly before they post, and ask a few questions about the content they are posting and the intentions behind it.

Believe me, I've made more than my share of mistakes in this regard.

So yeah, I'm far from perfect, but I would like to LIGHTEN THINGS UP a little around here, and have a bit more FUN! 

And I don't see that as being incompatible with RESPECTING other people here...

More specifically, if we could all just GET on with it, and DO it, rather than yammer and soapbox about it, so much the better...:)

If I'm WRONG, and I've missed the boat, or if I need directions to the fun stories, here, then PLEASE, TELL ME WHERE TO GO, and I will start adding and contributing, ASAP!

Thank you all for reading my story.

Sincerely,

marcus101

marcus101 marcus101
36-40, M
10 Responses Mar 5, 2009

Sometimes I question if I should put things as a story or confess. you made it easier. Thank you. and also I belive you are right and said it very well. Good job.

urbrandofheroin:<br />
<br />
Exactly. If members used and followed EP group paths a bit more closely, then maybe we might have more stories, more interesting things to look at and comment on, and less dead air and relatively narrowly-used space like one might tend to see on misappropriated or badly created/used confessions.<br />
<br />
Many confessions, particularly those over the past few days, are very good, very appropriate, and are often very humorous, so there is hardly a set rule about it...<br />
<br />
But guidelines, TOCIC, well, they can be good things...<br />
<br />
:)

I was just thinking of this!<br />
<br />
Everytime I go onto the confessions I see private conversations/arguments between members, someone ranting about their sister, asking for advice on things... Even some girl telling what she just ate for dinner.<br />
<br />
Those are not confessions. If they want to talk to or argue with each other they should take it to PMs or whiteboard comments. If someone wants to rant about her sister she should join the group, "I love the ranting room". If someone needs to ask a question then they should go to the questions section.

Well, actually, that wasn't really what I was aiming at. <br />
<br />
I'd much rather that people take everyone's thoughts and feelings into consideration before posting (be it stories, comments, or confessions) and/or going down roads that require more drastic actions...<br />
<br />
I would agree that the majority of us here at EP do bring wonderful things to the table, but misunderstandings, and hurt will occur if people allow such things to happen. <br />
<br />
It's not that easy or simple, of course, but self-checks and awareness can only help, I would guess....

When there are others who are abusive, then yes they need to be removed! That I think is more of the focal point you are getting at! It seemed more broader than it was! The majority of the great ep community know what to bring to the table, and those who are hurtful, this is definitely not your forum.

AC: <br />
<br />
Funny, I wasn't aware of any bad vibes I had brought into it, other than me making the observation that confessions had the *potential* for being abused...

Maybe so, but who are we to judge individually, unless we are the moderator. I don't feel that there is a problem, as it is a group of people who have made this site a special place. Let's not bring bad vibes into it, if we can please!

I truly believe that everyone here on EP has an open heart and mind, snowbunny...it just manifests itself in very different ways at times...<br />
<br />
:)

Hey, SS:<br />
<br />
I'm not asking that people STOP confessing, merely that they STOP using confessions as a vehicle for doing something OTHER than what it was intended for.<br />
<br />
We all see it, we all know it. I'd like it to at least decrease a little, at least relative to STORY output, which is the PRIMARY reason (I hope) why most of us are here...<br />
<br />
:)

Great story Marcus101. I hope all who read this will do this with an open heart and mind. Let's not forget the real reason we are all here =)