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My E-Minds Story

meena jagannath (spark45)

Someone once told me there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I didn't know whether or not to believe that, so I shrugged and said okay. As a young teenager, stumbling, groping, trying to find my way through the dark, any light I find holds particular significance. Electric Minds has been such a light for me, and though I have tried to proceed on, I've found that I cannot help but return to the light and the feelings that arise for me there.

This past January, my wintertime melancholy seemed more pronounced than usual. Pressures at school and home had me confused. One day, to fight off depression, I switched on my computer to surf the web, something I had previously found uninteresting. I recalled a site I had seen reviewed in some old issue of Time Magazine. The review had interested me, since I enjoy participating in forums, and the magazine had complimented the site on its structure and format. Now I decided to check it out, and entered the URL "" Registration form completed, I anxiously awaited the email allowing me to enter Electric Minds as a registered member of the community. Next day, sure enough, there was email that confirmed my registration.

Having participated in the AOL chatrooms, I expected something similar -- a chance to encounter other teenagers who perhaps shared similar interests and ideas. I recalled that these chatrooms' main purpose appeared to be to find yourself a girlfriend or boyfriend. There, people would do periodic age/sex checks to see if anyone's qualifications fit. If yours didn't fit theirs, you would lie (I never lied about my age, however) and make yourself fit.

E-Minds turned out to be different; unlike on AOL, where the conversation remains at a social, superficial level, I found that conversation on Electric Minds was intellectually stimulating as well as lighthearted. Perusing this enormous site, I found that I was one of the youngest members of the community. Initially I chose not to reveal my age, for fear of belittlement and because I thought people wouldn't take me seriously because I was young. Still, I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

As I logged in for my next visit, I anxiously wondered how people would have responded to my posts. The anxiety was partially due to the nature of the posts, some of which dealt with my depression. Over the course of time, my posts began to appear increasingly happy, largely due to the concerned responses I received; my self-consciousness disappeared. I soon discovered the "profile," where you can provide extra information about yourself. Gaining courage from regular participation, I decided to include the fact that I was a sophomore in high school. Surprisingly, the attitude toward my posts did not change for the most part.

kokapelli by Bill W.Although I am not the only teenager on E-Minds, it seems the majority of regular participants are much older. But this was fine with me, because through Electric Minds, I developed a better understanding of older people and developed a greater respect for the adults of today. Excluding teachers and family members, my contact with adults had been limited, especially when it came to serious conversation. I realized I had been pretty much closed to the older society. Through E-Minds, I made a connection to that society, discovering new things about people and fostering new ideas and impressions of people. I used to think that adults viewed me as an inferior because of my age. Now, when I go out and see these people I look at them anew, thinking that they perhaps are not so bad after all.

I have always had respect for elders, but unfortunately, the elders in my life could not provide an adequate example of typical American life due to their Indian background. Brought up with the traditions of India, I had little experience with American life outside of school. The generation gap as well as the differences between India and America made it hard to identify with my parents and elders because their ideals differed so greatly from those I saw around me. I know it must be hard for my parents to understand how life is for a teenager in America, but it is equally difficult for me to understand where they are coming from as well. The answer to this, unfortunately, does not lie in E-Minds, but at least the site has provided me a place to listen and be heard upon the matter.


windwalker said:

I am once again a very small child exploring the paths through the Montana woods and find a place of total enchantment where there lived a very wise old man who taught me to talk to the fairies on their huge sunflower telephones and walk down a magic path to where the trout filled pond lay glistening in the sun. An old dead tree stump, carved with nitches here and there and a crow's nest sat atop it waiting for its owner to come cawing back, while I, in awe and wonder, saw a Fairy Post Office which held from time to time, a pack of Wrigleys Juicy Fruit gum, a string of pearls or a nail set to fix my nails. How I loved that gentle soul and often wished his tale be told. His name was Hawkins and the place was Absarokee, Montana

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An Electric collage. Courtesy of maddog

at the edge,
just before the fall begins, a friend appears and offers
a little
red parachute.
Take it.
But push him off
with you.
The fall together
is a climax.
The death together is
a birth
and the little

red parachutes
are just words
to ease
the pain.

Courtesy of jukka

Kokopelli image courtesy of billw

Also in Flash!:

My E-Minds Story
High school sophomore and community member Meena Jagannath offers up a Flash! perspective on the meaning of Minds.

Stolen Treasures: New Revisions
Hitler's dream of a great art museum in Linz, Austria has spawned many unexpected results through an engaging web-based collaborative art project in this Flash! from Toronto's Mark Jones.

"Youth, Lightness, and Good Spirits": le Festival du Voyageur
The frozen winters of Manitoba provide historically entertaining possibilities providing you work with what you've got, which is what Grant Czerepak shows us in Flash!

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