Have you heard of emotionalbagcheck.com? If you haven’t, get ready to thank me, because I am going to let you onto a gem of a site.
Robyn Overstreet, a freelance web developer from New York City, started the site Emotional Bag Check. The website allows visitors to either “check” their baggage or “carry” someone else’s. The idea is that if you are feeling a bit sad or there’s something weighing heavy on your heart, you can get it off your chest by writing a quick blurb about it. Then, on the other hand, if your life is full of daisies and you’re so cheery that you have happiness to spare, you can carry someone else’s baggage for them.
“Being someone who tends to think in literal terms, I always picture someone carrying a big suitcase when I hear ‘emotional baggage,’” Overstreet wrote about why the website was created. “One day I amused myself with the concept of an emotional baggage check, like when you check in your luggage at a hotel and they give you a little ticket. As a web geek, when I think of a phrase I find funny, I often check to see if the domain name is taken. To my amazement, no one had snatched emotionalbagcheck.com.”
The best part about the site is that it is actually a music site.
When you check your emotional baggage, one of the happy folks of the world picks it up. When they do that, they suggest a song (using Grooveshark’s immense library) that makes your situation easier to handle. Their song suggestion, sometimes accompanied by an optional message, is sent to your email. Likewise, when you decide to carry someone’s baggage, you get to put your musical prowess to good use and suggest the perfect song to help someone in their time of need.
“To me, it’s the perfect tool to bridge the gap between the privacy/publicity extremes the internet creates,” Susannah Young of prefixmag.com wrote. “The delivery process infuses empathy into the too-often faceless, impersonal act of trading and sharing music online.”
With finals right around the corner, I’m sure everyone has a frustration or two they wouldn’t mind venting about. I know I do and I’ve taken full advantage of Emotional Bag Check. No matter how much we all wish our friends on Facebook and our followers on Twitter cared about our problems, the truth is that they usually don’t. However, there are people that take time out of their day to go to Emotional Bag Check and carry someone else’s baggage. It’s a step forward in online humanity that allows you to set your problems free and discover new music all at the same time.
Overstreet does acknowledge that the site isn’t perfect.
There have been instances where people have posted suicidal or other dangerous thoughts on the site, so Overstreet added a page with links to suicide prevention resources that people see after they check a “bag.” There is also the problem of people sending mean songs and messages to the person whose baggage they carried. As far as that goes, Overstreet wrote, “I have some tactics in place to combat abuse of the site, but unfortunately people are always going to find a way to be a--holes.”
Despite the few people that might use the site negatively, it is a refreshing way to utilize the web for personal gain or the gratification of knowing you helped someone’s day get a little brighter.
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