August 19, 2009

Anonymous social networks open the gates for digital therapy

Experience Project treats its members as individuals, not conditions

David SparkFeeling alone during a moment of crisis can compound the gravity of a situation. While it may not be possible for people to be physically by your side, social networks allow people to find you and communicate with you, making you feel less alone.

young woman lying on a sofa with a male psychiatrist taking notesSometimes you don’t want your friends to help you because you don’t want your friends to know your problems. That’s why we often divulge our darkest concerns to therapists and psychiatrists. Beyond having the training to help us, they’re morally and professionally bound to not repeat anything you say to them.

Problem is professional therapy costs money. But anonymous social networks don’t.

Experience Project (EP) is a unique social network in that it promotes anonymity. Most social networks focus on promoting yourself as a brand and connecting you to your friends by name. EP members are anonymous and are able to connect through each other’s stories. EP is not the first anonymous social network. It’s just the first one I know of that doesn’t have a predefined agenda. With other social networks joining them automatically identifies you as a rape survivor, someone suffering from MS, or some other ailment or a physical/emotional tragedy. While these social networks are all valid and helpful, people are first seen by their issue or ailment. It’s hard to break out of that image and when you overcome that issue, then there’s no reason to be on that specific social network.

I spoke to many members of Experience Project to learn how they came upon discovering EP and how the anonymous social network helped them cope with their concerns.

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