Best eye-opening personal stories you've read online?
January 5, 2016 4:38 PM   Subscribe

Where you come away thinking 'huh, didn't know that things could feel like/could be like that' .

Not thinking articles, or at least not just, forums entries, blog posts, metafilter comments...

Particularly interested in people telling their 'identity' ('this is how I realised who I am / how things are'), but really anything where you feel like you've been given a slice of someone's life.

Bit of backstory: one of the things I think the internet does best is allowing people to share what their life is like. A digital walk in their shoes. For example, metafilter has helped me get a much better understanding of what women face daily, of what micro-aggressions feel like.

I realise this could come across as 'digital tourism' and apologises in advance if so, aim is just to better understand people.

Online only: no books, films or music.
posted by litleozy to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
Maria Catt's writing illuminated many gender-related and feminist things for me, her writing is interesting and the tone is also kind of funny, even though she's writing about serious things and telling stories about her life.

here's one to start with:
posted by zdravo at 5:10 PM on January 5, 2016 [5 favorites]

I feel weird linking to question I asked, but a bunch of people told me that they didn't realize what having Tourette Syndrome was like until they read this.
posted by Juliet Banana at 5:37 PM on January 5, 2016 [10 favorites]

I've said this elsewhere on Metafilter, but reading every single entry on Fosterhood and LAFosterblog in order - thousands of entries, from the very first post up through the present, was an intense an experience for me as reading the most exciting, most absorbing novel, and I still check the blogs, and think about the writers, almost every single day.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 5:46 PM on January 5, 2016 [7 favorites]

/r/AskReddit threads such as this are great for this sort of reading.
posted by Tanizaki at 5:46 PM on January 5, 2016

I don't know if it fits exactly what you are looking for, but this is an account of what it's like to find yourself a pedophile at 16, and what this one particular person did about it. It's a story that's not often told and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
posted by monologish at 7:45 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'll second Juliet Banana's post about Tourette Syndrome. It actually came to mind before I saw her answer. There's also her excellent XO Jane article.
posted by radioamy at 7:58 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Humans of New York (via Facebook) is exactly what you are looking for.
posted by JoannaC at 4:28 AM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

This article about sisters escaping from the Rwandan massacre and figuring out life in the US/figuring out their relationship to each other has stayed with me for months and months and months.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:22 AM on January 6, 2016

As seen on the Blue: "A tumor stole every memory I had. This is what happened when it all came back."
posted by yeahlikethat at 8:16 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Kayla Whaley's recent writing on The Toast is worth a look. She has a progressive disorder that's recently caused her to lose most of her ability to eat.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 8:38 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Allie Brosh's blog Hyperbole and a Half is exactly like this.

She is most noted for her posts about depression, which really explain to outsiders what it feels like inside.

But she also has posts that talk about what it's like to be a child or a person in a relationship or various other topics. When I first discovered her blog, I went back and read every single entry and loved every minute of it. She hasn't posted in a while, but there is a lot of history to discover there.
posted by CathyG at 9:42 AM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

Zoe Quinn's online interactive fiction game Depression Quest was eye-opening for me. You can play for free here.

A few bits of info from the link above:
Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression. You are given a series of everyday life events and have to attempt to manage your illness, relationships, job, and possible treatment. This game aims to show other sufferers of depression that they are not alone in their feelings, and to illustrate to people who may not understand the illness the depths of what it can do to people.

posted by duffell at 10:08 AM on January 6, 2016

I've learned a lot from listening to the podcast Another Round. It's by two young black women and it feels just like listening to a couple friends chat about many things, serious and not. They also have great interviews. I learned a lot from their episode about HBCUs (and the related BuzzFeed articles).
posted by radioamy at 2:58 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Two that come to mind:

Haben Girma is the first Deafblind graduate from Harvard Law School. That link tells some of her story, which includes her mother's immigration to the US from Eritrea during the civil war and why and how she took on the food service manager in college to obtain reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. She's got a website, and her TedX Talk was amazing.

Christine Miserandino is the author of The Spoon Theory (which might be the only place on the web aside from Metafilter where you want to read the comments!), a means for explaining chronic illness to healthy people. Christine is the creator of But You Don't Look Sick, the mission of which is "to help everyone with a chronic illness or invisible disability, in order for them to live their lives to the fullest and not feel isolated and alone."
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 4:35 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite] Has a lot of these kinds of stories.
posted by mulkey at 7:29 PM on January 6, 2016

This post on the blue was just referenced in a MeTa. Definitely eye-opening about the mindset of people in poverty.
posted by radioamy at 11:20 AM on January 7, 2016

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