Check Yourself

By Jessica

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I consider myself a fairly private person; I don’t tweet much about anything personal and post on Facebook even less, I recently created a Linkedin account but the whole thing is vaguely funny to me, and I don’t think I’ve ever written a personal post on Tumblr. Oh wait, I did one time but it was because an episode of Bones had me all torn up and it seemed like only those people truly understood. If you haven’t seen season 6 episode 9 The Doctor in the Photo then you just won’t get it.

In the same way that I was able to express my feelings to my tumblr followers there are places on the web where you can vent anonymously. As an example, offers anonymity for anyone seeking advice or comfort on something that is burdening them. When ~checking baggage you are asked simply for an email address and given 1000 characters to write about whatever is stressing you out. The site also asks that when ~carrying someone’s baggage for them you respond with a song link and a personal message. The flexibility of the response is relaxed and I like that music is involved too.

These types of sites differ from the useful fluff of social networking where complaining is ignored or commented on very briefly. Certain users approach the site looking to only carry the baggage so I’d assume each response is thoughtful.

While researching I responded to two pieces of baggage. One was about a person’s body insecurities, that they felt uncomfortable with their appearance and their weight specifically. And the other person described how stressed they felt because of family’s pressures to succeed personally, academically, and athletically. Both gave me pause before I answered because I wanted to make sure the receiver of my message understood that I took their problem seriously and that there is someone who understands. The strongest part of my responses was definitely my song choices which is why I’m so enthusiastically happy with that feature of the site!!! (I know I don’t need to explain to any of you how important music is – especially in times of emotional distress)

The last thing I’ll say about my personal experience with is that the responses are completely anonymous too. No name or email is required unless you put it yourself in your 1000 character box. Definitely refreshing that the website doesn’t even have the capabilities to login via Facebook or Twitter.

Originally I saw the site on a tumblr post about mental health and dealing with stress via the internet. It’s good to know that this site exists and that other places like it do as well. Also important to note that Emotional Baggage Check encourages anyone with a “heavy bag” to speak with a professional; the American Psychological Association, Love is Louder, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you live outside the U.S. (like me) other links are just a google search away.

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