So here we are on this new site and it's got all sorts of wonderful bells and whistles, truly! But suddenly those of us who had a daily connection here feel like that has all evaporated. Rather instantly at that. And it's not entirely due to the fact that we don't yet have a grasp on how to get around our new home here. The intimacy of the group seems to be gone and we're now thrust into a major "social network" kind of scenario which doesn't allow us to connect easily one-on-one as we did previously and were used to. As a matter of fact it makes it more difficult to connect in such a way by setting limitations on the connection. Both parties have to be "following" one another. I can understand the thinking behind it to protect from spammers, but it's really not about that, I believe. I think it has more to do with the fact that this site has now been moved into a larger social network type of community. And opening it thus, more protections are necessary.
My fear about the limitations of our personal connections on Jive (no wall board available) is that the "magic" of EX as we knew it will be lost. For I believe it is from that easy personal, yet open, connection that bonds were formed. It's a dichotomy really. And intimacy but one that all could see. Different from personal messages. We could see what someone else posted on a message board and not only learn about the connection between those two people, but learn, by the responses given, things we might not have known otherwise. And reach out. And offer support.
We took for granted that that availability would transfer to this new platform. Or some equivalency. I did, anyway. And it's shocking to be left bereft, frankly. There's a great sense of loss - for all the gains of the new platform.
Those deep bonds formed BECAUSE of that "open intimacy" I guess I'll term it. And those bonds are what caused the desire to meet each other in the flesh. "Avatars come to life." Those bonds are what created the first EX reunion. And they have gone on ever since. We're on EX Reunion number 5 presently. I wonder if we'll all have that same "heart connection" now that we are unable to connect in the same way. And what will future Reunions be like? Will there even be any?
I'm not a Facebook user, so am unfamiliar with that kind of social networking platform. From the little I know about it, it's rather shallow emotionally. Our connections here were not. And I worry too about the entire "gaming" concept. All the "liking" and points stuff. Because that seems to cheapen the value of the place and make it like too many others and terribly un-unique. We're here to support quitters and help them become free of this addiction, not win points and gain badges. But hey, if it entices new users to new quitting heights - GREAT!
So what's my point after this long rant? Let us find that means of connecting back to each other in a similar fashion. There are a lot of great minds on here. Let's figure it out, not just rue the loss of what we had. Lets find work-arounds. We are only limited by the site parameters, not our imaginations. This is too important to let go of without a fight.