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Over the last seven years I've had a roller coaster of emotional experiences with communication with this online world.
Prior to here I worked in publishing, and the only experience you got was the occasional letter from "Mr Angry from Tunbridge Well" and a rare praising letter.
Before that I was in retail and you got a mixed bag. The worst being the occasional ranter who had no idea how to complain but stamp their feet and shout. Or the type who exposed their film twice through the camera by accident and then blamed the processing lab for developing both films on one. We rarely ever knew about personal problems, traumas, life events, health issues etc that can cause emotional roller-coaster.
Here on ePHOTOzine we have an incredibly open forum and very good community so you get to become part of the crowd. I should step back and edit but I get wrapped up in it all too, which I guess is a good point, in that ePHOTOzine is not a faceless site like many.
I get to hear about the joys of new born, the happiness that our site has been life-changing, weddings, meetings, life experiences, friendships, fun stuff etc. We see the forum posts, sense the smiles, and join in to enjoy the moments.
The downside is that I have to cope with someone who's so depressed they are threatening to take their life or to be called a Nazi because someone doesn't agree with decisions we make. We see all the ups and downs and irrational behaviour of those who's lives depend on anti depressant tablets. When things are great we get the elation, but when things are down we take the brunt of the problem. We see bullying, aggression, and many of the horrible sides to people's characters.
Do I care? Yes. That's why I'm wrapped up in it all - I get upset when someone I've grown to know leaves and delighted when they return. I get frustrated when we are trying to help but get attacked for whatever reason.
I also become emotionally affected. Several months ago I read that one of our members, who was a keen hiker, could no longer walk (through old age). He could barely sit at his computer so his ePHOTOzine experience had almost ended too. I do not know the person (apart from seeing pics on epz) but, as an occasional walker, it hurt to read.
I sometimes wish I could separate myself from it all. I'd have more time to write articles and share my knowledge. I made a concious effort to do just that at the beginning of this year...but by Jan 2nd I was engrossed in the forums dealing with some issue.
The blog takes us a stage further into the real world of ePHOTOzine - a community I'm very proud to be part of...most of the time.