posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 10:18 PM
When these threads pop up, several times per year, I often find myself chuckling just a bit because everyone seems to externalize to an extreme with
this issue. Rarely does anyone talk about personal influence or the power of perception. I'd like to take a moment to do so now.
Has ATS changed since I first arrived here? Honestly, to me, not really that much. it's bigger now and sees a lot more traffic. Many of the names
have changed but many are still the same. The T&C's have had a couple of fairly minor revisions in my time here - but not really anything that I find
personally problematic or disturbing. I signed onto a site that held manners and decorum to a higher standard than the other sites did ( which is why
I chose ATS to begin with ) and the rules almost all exist to create a polite environment. Frankly put, if I wish to see gore, outrageous and
slanderous posts, drug talk, nudity, profanity, etc... I can simply toss on TOR and go to other sites. I think it is a beautiful thing that this is a
one way road though, as I have no desire to have that sort of filth in the place where I eat, metaphorically speaking.
Generally, however, ATS is much the same place it was when I first found it. What has actually changed is me.
When I first got here I was astounded at the amount of information available for perusal. Subjects I'd never even dreamt of were right there at my
finger tips. ATS was new, exciting, shiny, and seemed like an endless source of new information. It was magical and very heady.
The honeymoon phase lasted for quite awhile really. But all good things must end, and so this did. One day I found myself reading thread titles and
realizing that I'd read it all before. In fact I got a bit offended because I saw new threads appearing that covered subjects I'd learned of from
other threads. I began to become a bit embittered that my addiction was not being satisfied. I wanted new and exciting - but for the most part found
it increasingly difficult to reproduce that sense of wonder I'd felt in the beginning.
Here, on ATS, we tend to end up with what I might call "unofficial graduating classes"... those members who seem to be at the same point their own
journey - regardless of actual join date - as we happen to be at any given time. My first real "class" was a group of people who had all become a
bit jaded and who spent most of their time in ATS chat. We had some truly legendary members in that group... some who have gone silent, some who are
now banned, some who rarely post, and a few of us who have managed to find ways to keep it fresh and interesting.
Sadly, I've watched some very close friends fall prey to their egos, to burn-out, to any number of other things... and fall by the wayside.
I truly do think that the difference between them and me is that I always understood the above... the process of becoming jaded and being able to
recognize it, and that I always had the ability to take a step back when things here got too real or frustrating. The friends I have here now, from
all over the world and from all 'stages" of ATS seem to know my habits... if I don't post much - it's a sure sign that the burn-out is clawing at
my mind again, and I've taken a step back to refocus and put everything back into perspective.
I realize that my honest opinions might be decried as "shilling" by some... or at the least as "towing the party line". All i can say is that
there is no "party line" for me to tow here. Every single word I have typed comes from my own mind and my own heart.
ATS has changed to a degree. IMO this is less "change" as it is an evolution along the lines that were already extant when I joined. Fine tuning as
stories and situations come along, grow, and evolve. I can still get my "fix" here by watching for that next HUGE story to come along. Sometimes it
takes months for this to happen... sometimes many such stories will come out so fast that it leaves us all spinning and playing catch-up.
The thing I know for sure, however, is that my own perception of ATS has evolved and changed at a much faster rate than ATS itself has.
The journey from discovery, to familiarity, to jaded disinterest and resentment is a very natural one. Even in marriages the term "seven year itch"
is used to describe the same phenomenon. Some will reach that point and choose any of several options - and that is OK. Nobody held guns to our heads
to make us join.... they certainly are not going to do so to try and convince us to stay. To those who are bitter, I simply ask...
How much of the change you see is projected from within and not actually external?
Just my humble thoughts on the subject.