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G+ Has Changed My LIfe (For the Better)
+Rainer Rohde reasonably asked: How?

Here is my reply:

I have had some of my faith in humanity restored. The number of kindnesses I see displayed here daily is truly astounding. I'm giving and helping more too.

I am a hermit, and have been for over 13 years. I can count the number of people I interacted with regularly on the fingers of one hand, and have a couple to spare. I thought I preferred it that way, but the people I have met here have shown me that it isn't so - and that I can interact with them and still be a hermit ;)

Other social networks provided none of the interesting, intelligent, engaging topics I find and enjoy here - or the interesting, intelligent, and engaging people either for that matter.

G+ showed me that I am not alone in my world view or oddness. That there are people out there interested in what I have to say and how I say it. I've started writing again after decades away from it.

G+ has not only shown me things about the things I want to learn about, but has introduced me to topics and ideas I didn't know I wanted to learn about but do.

I'm taking photographs again. Once more, something I'd put aside decades ago.

I take strength, and inspiration, and hope from many of the people and things I read in my stream. Others inspire me to resist: to resist inhumanity, cynicism, sarcasm, doubt, and fear of my fellow man.

I am inspired, once more, to be more rather than simply maintaining. It's reminded me that I really do want a better world and to help to build it, one silly reshare after another.

There is so much more, but words are failing me.
Hope that gives you a sense of why and how.

(Image credit:
Paulissa Kipp (Certified Peer Specialist)'s profile photoDebra Roberts's profile photoTed Ewen's profile photoCharles Strebor (Rantz)'s profile photo
And the cool thing about G+ is that you could make a circle and have a COMMUNITY of hermits....
Yup, I've got one :D If you are a hermit, let me know!
Here Here!! Gosh, there's not a thing you said that I didn't agree with about 100% and you said it so much more eloquently than I ever could have. There is a certain sector who grew up feeling like social outcasts, or "duming" themselves down to fit in or get a date. never in my life have I felt so comfortable to just be me. +Ted Goff Also if you didn't see it, here is a link to how I feel about my g+ friends.
Ted Ewen
Being terribly blunt, +Rainer Rohde they are smarter. Much smarter. Certainly not everyone, but enough for me to say it as a generality. It's not just their intelligence - it's their passions and their willingness to just put them out there for the world to see and benefit from. Even I, Super-Hermit-Man went public with everything I did almost from the start. Such freedom!

As part of "Living the Rainbow" that is the Autistic Spectrum I have been tested, analysed, therapied, counselled, poked, and prodded ... well, my entire life. Though I've not really had much use for the process and the outcomes were always better for the Professional than for me; they at least got research out of it. What I got out of it is decades of IQ tests, which place me between the top 5% and 3% of IQ. I know that's a number that has limited utility, but it at least gives an internally consistent measure of something - rather like Klout now that I think about it ;)

I say that not to brag, but to say this: I am no longer the smartest person in the room. How incredibly liberating! I am being challenged, for the first time in my life in many ways. Even more, I know there are people that can help me dispel my ignorance of and confusion over practically any subject and that all I have to do is ask. Sure wish my school years had been like that ;)
+Dean Mosher I don't mind the talk about people, it's the "Me 'n Roy down the pub lolz" stuff on FB. Ugh.
Ted Ewen
I think I was concentrating too heavily on intelligence there. Its as much attitude and outlook.

I don't care how smart you are if you cause pain and misery.
I don't care if you have the IQ of broccoli if you are kind and trying the ways you can to make the world a better place - and not just for those who share your opinions or views.

As +Catherine Maguire, says, its also about mode. With only one or two exceptions, what would have been flamewars on private forums with handles and not names have been mostly amicable disagreements. None of them turned into vendettas or even blocks or ignores. We had our say, disagreed and that was pretty much it. There is a level of maturity, I want to say reasonableness but it's not really that... so I'll stick with maturity - independent of age to the way we discuss and learn here. Google got it right with real names. No moniker or pseudonym to hide behind and we become much more civil.

It's not an armed society which is the polite society it is the interconnected society. When you are known as you to a potential audience of millions of people you don't want to be known as an ass - at least I don't. The corollary to that is you can not pretend to be something you are not for long. The truth always outs.

I think it is possible to hold the view that, for us, G+ is superior to the other networks for the reasons we discussed without being elitist. I don't feel superior because I am vert smart. I live in envy and wonder at the myriad things people of all qualities create and which I am unable to. I have my strengths, and some of them are quite powerful. I have my weaknesses too.

I've been mulling over ideas for what I've been calling The Best Part Forward Foundation (crap name, suggestions welcomed) for a number of years now.

It would be a place for all of the fringies to finally be able to contribute, where the hermits can help, where the aged and the infirm can accomplish and share a community, where anyone can come forward with their strengths forward, not worrying about their weaknesses because others have their strengths forward too. Each provides and receives the support they need from the people who can, and will help. I reckon we could pull ourselves to the Moon by our bootstraps that way.

Problem is, I don't think small and I know where my strengths lie; most of them are not in the areas which would allow me to take that idea from "just another dream" to a reality. I've got a lot of ideas like that.

And so, we come back to G+. This community has me dusting off some of the largest and the grandest of those ideas and to consider that it might just be accomplish them.

I'm tired of opposing idiots and bigots, I want to build with people who want to build a better world.
Thanks, Catherine I reckoned I'd scared y'all off :D
Thanks, Paulissa :D
beautiful written... it's nice to "find" a "place" that you feel good about... there are so many times that I said I want to be a hermit, but honestly I THRIVE on energy from other people, physically as well as mentally that I would nuts without a variety of contact (even when they drive me crazy too.) G+ is a nice balance :)
Thanks for sharing that +Ted Ewen. This post clearly is one of the most thoughtful and compelling Google+ testimonials i've ever read.
+Ted Ewen Absolutely love this piece and think you should maybe add it to your profile:

I don't care how smart you are if you cause pain and misery.
I don't care if you have the IQ of broccoli if you are kind and trying the ways you can to make the world a better place - and not just for those who share your opinions or views.

Beautifully stated.

I am excited about the idea for your foundation. I would love to share that part of this thread with my circles, with your permission of course and tag in people like +Colby Brown and others with experience in setting up charitable organizations who might be able to help you achieve this vision. +Jason Kowing +Alan Shapiro +miriam dunn +Olav Folland +Gord Birch this idea sounds like something that might be dear your hearts as well.
+Ted Ewen +Paulissa Kipp This is the part that resonated with me most:

"I'm tired of opposing idiots and bigots, I want to build with people who want to build a better world."

Mabuhay ka, Ted! (Viva, Ted!)
Rae O.
+Ted Ewen This is the kind of post that makes me so glad I'm on G+. I behave on G+ as I do in real life. I work a full time job, have outside interests, but realize that anyone anytime can search my name and see what I post. Off the top of my head I can think of 50 people I've interacted with here that I would hang out with in person and I'm going to tag (a few of) them because I believe they would like to comment too. Thanks Ted! +stephanie wanamaker +Steve Hall +Suzy Jenkins +Dan McDermott +Kelly Hogaboom +DeAno Jackson +Jesse Wojdylo and thank +M Sinclair Stevens for sharing it in the stream.
I feel the same way +Ted Ewen! Facebook, Twitter and all the other garbage sites make me run away from socializing. I want to social here on Google+ even though I am really an anti-social type person.
Liz C
G+ has changed my life in so many wonderful ways +Ted Ewen Thank you for this eloquent post, from a semi-hermit :-)
Once again +Ted Ewen, in many ways you have expressed the unvoiced words of my own opinion. G+ plus has given me a hope for the future of mankind. G+ is a social revolution that has the potential to seriously rock this world. Suddenly dreams are possible again.
Ted Ewen
Just came on to 'quickly check my stream' after fighting a scanner that didn't want to work to a deadline for several hours and, well, I don't know what to say, it's like a surprise party :D

I'm moved more than I can express- So much good advice, so many encouraging words, offers of help, and calls for assistance, to be very cliche for just a second, Where have you been all my life, you beautiful people you?

And for the record, Big Burly Slightly Odd men do cry, but they are big burly manly tears.

I just keep coming back to: Wow. Over and over again.

Thank you all.

Now, I'm going to bed as it's almost 6am, and savouring this. Seriously. Wow.
+Rae Ouzts sent me over here (THANK YOU, RAE!), and I have to agree with every word, Ted. So very, very well stated.

Pretty sure I have never responded to anything on Facebook with "Cool!" or "That's awesome!" (disclosure: I spend <5 min/week there), but I do so daily here on G+. And guess what? ^^ Up there is another awesome post!
And now another comment, after reading all the comments here. I want to touch on the bit about plussers being smarter. I know you backtracked on that, +Ted Ewen, and did so very eloquently. In my view here, the folks I interact with regularly, or those I follow but don't interact with directly, are, generally speaking, wiser than the average.

Of course there are thousands of mental midgets, social misfits, and others here—after all, G+ is a broad cross-section of society from many, many countries. But in general, those types are relatively easy to avoid, while folks like those posting in this thread are pretty easy to find.
Best Foot Forward? I've always loved how that rolls of the tongue.
Thanks for sharing... for putting into words what many feel. What resonated in me was "I'm not the most intelligent person in the room... so liberating!" And the kindness, the collaboration, the conversations, and the bridge-building of this community is...lots-of-lovely-words... to behold. :D
Wow +Ted Ewen I love this post - or I LOVE this post

My wife (From former USSR) says to her (+Ola Birch) this is much like the Canada of Social Networks

Canada was always known as the polite, but not snooty, friendly, but not marrying their cousins, happy country - lots to see, lots to talk about - lots of room for you to fit in somewhere, and people will help you in celebrating your culture, not destroying it :)

I love G, I love the people of G - I love everything about G - and I do think it is 'better' people by that way, not being elitist, but truthful
Hi All ,
Sorry I've not been more vocal the last day or so, I'm still pretty overwhelmed by your responses. I genuinely believed I was just gonna put it out there and get the same old, same old... you know how a dog cocks his head when he hears something you can't? That look.

I want to reply in detail to each of you, and haven't sorted it all out in my head yet... but you have all , well, yeah, too busy choking up to type, and couldn't see the keys even if I weren't...BBMT's though, I assure you.

I did consider Best Foot Forward, but I know people without 'em. Best face? I know people whose face is a liability (pa dum pssssh) who through accident or genetics were not the most pleasant to look at but whose souls were beautiful to behold. Thanks for the suggestion though, Daniella :D We'll find something better or not, it's the doing not the calling right?

I just wanted to let you know that I wasn't ignoring you and that you've gone a very long way toward proving me myself. Thanks.
hehehehee... I cry girlie tears, 'cause I can, and 'cause my empathy levels have gone sky high these past years... but it's all good. :)

I liked BFF 'cause the initials are also cool, and because it evokes walking forward, step by step... and because I was envisioning a long line all stepping out, arm-in-arm and can-can style, LOL... I dunno, it seemed to "go". But hey, I'm sure there's many good names to be had, whatever works. :) (we could be super PC and call it BMFF, Best Metaphorical Foot Forward... hehehehehehehe... ok, enough, I'm cracking myself up)
Thanks for the giggles you silly person you :D
Could go all redneck and call it Stick Your'n In!
hmmm. maybe not ;)
Hehehehehehee... you could say it wasn't redneck, but mathematical, Stick Your n In...
Oh my god, math jokes. swoon
That phrase just begs for some rap, though... stick your n in... hmmmmm.... :P
believe me, you do not want to see me try to rap... you know "Roses are red. Bacon is red too. Poems are hard. Bacon._ that's Shakespeare compared to my rapping. Vogons cry when I rap.
Hehehehehehe... you can do the chorus... you know, BFF and stick-you-n-in and all that. :)
... I don't even do the chorus, btw... I only sing in the shower, under the hairdryer (because it sounds funny) and to my kids, because they love me despite it all and I don't care if I mess up their musical education, they can get it back later. :P
oooh I can do back up! yeah! word! is that the word? no, wait, bird is the word. gimme a sec.... ;)
We need the rap lyricist first, you have plenty of time to get your bird on... or whatevs. :D
This is definitely turning into one of those wonderful G+ party threads ... +Ted Ewen I hope you are not overwhelmed by all of us crashing in on your hermitage. Blame it on +Daniela Huguet Taylor and her contagious charm and humor :)
I'm overjoyed, just a bit slow taking it all on...unexpected is hardly the word for it - and I think I'll thank Daniela instead, I don't want to blame anymore ;)

Pleasure to meet you, +Armida Evony :D
Hi All :D

Feeling much more energised today. Realised I was working myself into a tizzy for no good reason, that none of this will be done tomorrow, and that I should take the same advice I give so often: Take a deep breath and pace yourself. It's a long road.

+Niamh Brown is my better half, and she is doing a wonderful job of making sense of a lot of the chaos for me, making sure I don't miss or forget anyone, reminding me to breathe, hugging me when I get too crazy.... you know ;)

I'll be putting out some posts in the near future about this and other facets of the larger dream. I look forward to the discussions I hope they will inspire, to hearing your ideas and insights, your criticisms and your experiences, and to making some of the changes we devise happen.

I know one thing for certain: I'm not going to be bored :D
mmmmm huuuuugs
hugs just plain rock.
I can't say any more than what's already been said here - but +Ted Ewen your words have deeply touched me. I feel like a hermit more often than not too and G+ has given me a renewed sense of the potential of humanity not just the negativity of it.

Your post & the responses to your post have given me a biggest warm fuzzy feeling! There really is hope. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you +Debra Roberts - I'm truly glad this helped. Just added you to my circles, feel free to call on me if you need to chat, or just want some banter.
Well, at least you found it ;) 
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