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LiveJournal Friends
cap, captain miss america
teaberryblue
I had a surprise visit on Monday. Well, it was sort of a surprise, as I'd known that it might potentially happen, but then I forgot about it. About 3:30 in the afternoon, emo_snal messaged me to see if he could stay at my place that night, and asking if it was whiskey night.

It was INDEED whiskey night, so I ran home after work, cleaned things up a bit, and left him a key so he could drop off his seabag before meeting up at Whiskey Monday. We had a beer and chatted and then went to do our whiskey tasting-- there were six different scotches up for tasting; my favorite was The Arran Malt finished in amarone casks, which had this delicate sort of black forest cake flavor to it that was really unique for a scotch and I loved it. Then we went back to my apartment and chatted a bit, and Kris went to catch his plane the next day, with some more-than-slight hiccups but he did make it, which is the important thing.

While we were sitting in the bar, we talked about a bunch of things. First off, having a real person to person conversation with a person who knows far more about bees than I do was so great, because I am usually the person in the room who knows the most about bees, and I am definitely a beginner. We talked about chickens, too! But one thing we talked about was LiveJournal as a delivery mechanism and form of communication and how we are both disappointed that many people have moved away. Now, I don't mean necessarily "moved to Dreamwidth" since most of those people are still crossposting here, but people who have refocused their communication in places like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

I love Twitter. Kris talked about how he didn't really like it, but I think it is great for a specific set of uses and I use it for those things. I don't think it takes the place of a space for journaling. I have never really gotten the hang of Tumblr. It frustrates me, because I want to have linear conversations with followable comment threads, and that does not seem to be the purpose of Tumblr, yet so many people are posting things that SHOULD provoke linear conversations with followable comment threads on that platform. Cool if that's their thing, I guess, but it makes me sad that it's not being posted here. I think especially with my particular flavor of dyslexia, Tumblr is almost impossible for me to parse. You try reading conversations that visually disjointed when you have visual cognition that already switches the placement of things relative to each other for you.

But anyway, I really dig LiveJournal. It's frustrating, though, when fewer and fewer people are using it. Sometimes I feel like it seems like a waste of time to write up something long and thoughtful that I can't even tell if anyone read, like when I wrote a really long post about my experiences with therapy in response to a lot of the posts I'd read on my friendslist lately. I'm not saying that in a "dammit why aren't you commenting?" or a plea for more comments way. It just seems like everyone's attention is elsewhere. But I still feel like this is the best platform I've encountered for that kind of discussion and that kind of writing. On top of that, I have met so many amazing people on LiveJournal and I don't really feel that those other platforms are as conducive to forming really strong personal bonds with people-- not the kinds that would morph into real life friendships, of which I have MANY that began on this site. Almost all of my closest friends are people I met on LiveJournal or through someone I know on LiveJournal, or on another community I discovered through LiveJournal. And then there are people like Kris, who I only see occasionally, but even after two years and relatively little communication between those years, feels like a familiar old friend. There are people I've only met once, in cities I'd never been to before and might not go to again, and still shared a connection with that I haven't really found from any of my other online interactions. So I feel like that's an important reason to keep writing here. It just...part of me feels sad that it might not continue to work like that.

But anyway, seeing emo_snal was awesome, I got free bee advice (which was also freebie advice), we talked about beer and distilling and the internet and all kinds of other things and it was quite excellent and I encourage you all to look me up if you are ever in New York, because I love to spend time with people whose words I've read.

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I still love Livejournal. I feel very self-conscious about posting here because of many reasons which do not apply to my facebook. I like tumblr a lot, but for actual human connection or for fanfiction purposes I prefer LJ any day, which is frustrating when everyone in the wider internet community considers it outmoded.

But I'm here reading and thinking. I have not abandoned it.

And I still don't get twitter.

It's interesting that you feel self-conscious about posting here versus Facebook. I would ask why but I figure you would have told me if you felt comfortable, so don't feel obliged. I must say though that I love reading your facebook. You talk about really interesting things on there that very few people use Facebook for.

Twitter, for me, is great for getting immediate feedback-- like, if you have a question, and need to send it to a wider net than your personal contacts. Or for planning things with a large group. Or sharing ideas. It's not great for meaningful communication, though some can happen.

Oh, no, it isn't private at all-- I'm just not sure I can articulate it. I guess the thing is facebook postings are intended to be short, and it's very difficult to get to embarrassing things I posted when I was a kid, and I'm so much more guaranteed an audience and feedback. I feel nervous about posting here because I don't want to publicize it and I still want it not to stagnate, whereas I feel like facebook publicizes itself. Meanwhile, I can't even use it in (internet) secret because some of my old friends still have me on alert and will maybe talk to me about stuff I don't necessarily want to talk to them about? Kind of the worst of both worlds, I guess.

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After nearly 11 years I honestly don't know what I'd do if LJ became totally defunct. While I have and look at Twitter and Tumblr, I'm used to sharing my thoughts with a cloud of people on here regularly. I'm not a DW fan really and I've never managed to upkeep any other non-LJ blog.

I don't even want to think about it. XD

I completely agree with everything you touched on here. I love 'meeting' people on Livejournal and getting entrance to that personal level that you don't get from facebook/twitter/tumblr/etc. I makes me sad when I read a post where someone says they don't think they have time for LJ anymore, or worse, when I find myself going weeks without posting. Though I do still read every day.

If/when I make another trip to NYC I will definitely call you up! I've never met someone I met through LJ, and I think I need to be less afraid of doing just that.

Dang it HAD been two years hadn't it. Man time flies (:

I know, crazy, right? It didn't feel like it.

I definitely agree - I love LJ and the platform, and I just don't find that element of connection with other people through Twitter or Tumblr as I do here. The other two are both just so disjointed and Facebook is basically all about people presenting the best version of themselves rather than actually telling the truth on how they're feeling, which I feel is what LJ is more about.

I've noticed the decline in posts too, both individual and through communities and it's so sad! I wish more people realised what a good thing LJ is, even if it's got a tendency to make lots of annoying changes. The essence of it is still here, after all.

The thing is that most of those "annoying" changes turn out to be good in the long run, or don't even interfere with anything I use the service for. So it doesn't bug me too much.

And yeah, I feel like Facebook is not a place to communicate about how your life is going, or what you're thinking about. I mainly use it to post information about events or political stuff. It's great for contacting people you know from real life whose email addresses you don't have, but that's the main thing I like to use it for.

Did you read that article about how behavioral studies show that Facebook may make people depressed because it makes you feel inadequate all the time?

I haven't, but I'm not surprised at all - I frequently find myself morose after looking at Facebook because it's now wedding season and the sheer amount of my friends (and the most unlikely friends too!) getting engaged or married is genuinely quite depressing. Sometimes I need to really limit my time on there, or remind myself that in ten years time half of them will be getting divorced anyway.

Facebook makes it so easy to make your life sound amazing - a few photos of a hot holiday, followed by a status update or two how amazing your significant other is, followed by a pretty wedding day photo or something, and everyone else reading thinks you have the most charmed life ever. No one hears about your crappy commute, or mouldy bread on the side or newest obscene tax bill, because who posts about dull stuff like that?

Hahaha, I ONLY post political stuff to Facebook.

I know how you feel. I have zippo interest in getting married-- marriage bothers me for a whole slew of reasons-- but I do want kids, and I'm 34 and haven't had any kind of relationship in 8 years,and now all my friends are posting baby pictures and I desperately want children and have for quite some time. It's especially upsetting when it's people whom I know didn't want kids, or whom I know are terrible parents. Obviously that's a small percentage of the folks over there, but it still galls me.

I believe the part about FB can make you depressed..

Oh man- I had no idea Kris was in NY!

I just happen to be visiting LJ today and see this thoughtful post about--among other things--LJ defectors like me. I, too, have been thinking about this very issue lately; it's summer, and that means my attention can be more readily focused on the various social/blogging platforms I use.

To what do you attribute the migration? My sense is that it comes from a variety of quarters, but the result is that this place feels like a ghost town. Tumblr appeals to me because of its pace, but I hate the feeling the loss of conversation threads all in one place; tracking down the origins of a tumblr conversation can sometimes drive you to drinking. I want something between tumblr and LJ, but I'm not quite sure what that looks like. Community on tumblr is tough because you have to find it through reblogs and tags. It's like fast food community or something, and while I can sorta find what I'm looking for, it's never quite as good as what you can get in an LJ community dedicated to a topic of interest. Hmmmm.

Anyway--good thinking. I'm going to try to hang around LJ more frequently, but I make no promises.

I agree with all of this. That's why I'm forcing myself to home game LJI - it means I post something once a week (and I'm trying to force myself to be more responsive to posts).

Part of the problem is LJ is blocked from work (this was more of an issue when I was working the insane schedule of doom that I do in the non-summer) and I can read on my Android but I HATE trying to post from it, especially post comments from it. So there's this weird "yeah I read this and don't remember at all what I was gonna say about it!" thing that happens.

And Facebook is such a mixed bag for me. It's why I was able to communicate with Eldridth in her last few days alive at all, and that was SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT to me because it's the first time I've had decent closure around a death of a loved one who was not Very Very Old at the time of death. It's why I have my godkids back, but it's also why they get to drive me up the damn wall sometimes. It's also where I have to co-exist in a space with my mother and with the college circle of friends who know where all the skeletons in my closet are...AWKWARD.

Yeah, I have difficulty with facebook because it's somewhere where I can't be completely honest. I do love being able to know what my extended family is up to, and stuff like that, but I can't just say whatever I am thinking or feeling.

Oh yeah I'm not leaving LJ until I get forced out. (Everything gets changed to Russian, Facebook style TOS, etc). I'm still here! :)

I dunno! I like Facebook because I can connect to my school friends and family. Tumblr I just use to look at art, I don't post. LJ, I dunno. I still post when I need to think stuff through, or when I want independent opinions on stuff, and when I want to write fiction, but I dunno. I sort of hated LJI because I never had the time to sit there and post stuff, so I always felt left out. Making friends on LJ is like, 1 million times harder for me than in real life, so I focus most of my time on Facebook or AIM.

That's interesting, because making friends face to face is like a million times harder for me than making friends on LJ!

Facebook is definitely great for keeping in touch with people you already know, but it's not a good forum for meeting new people you wouldn't meet otherwise.

Yeah, we've talked about that before- but I usually made friends on other platforms and then got to see their livejournals. I dunno, it works for me in a way LJ doesn't, because almost everyone has it. FB is good for keeping relationships going.

With LJ, it's just challenging because you can't have real time contact with someone, can't see who's on, can't have a lot of one on one conversations. And it's time intenstive for me to sit and contribute to stuff. But I like it for conversations like this, or when you need people to sit back and think about what they say. But the other drawback I find is that there is a lot of ~drama~ that doesn't happen in real life too, because of the whole anonymous thing. And I don't like that.

I like LJ too! I'm happy I came back to it recently, and I agree I like the journaling format. It feels more personal than FB -- which I mostly just use to quickly get in touch with people.

Tumblr and Twitter I also love but I sort of think of Tumblr as the Twitter of blogging -- I use it mostly to reblog gifs about what I am watching, what makes me and laugh, and uh...Chris Hemsworth.

I've been thinking recently about how I post less. I still read a bunch, but I don't comment and don't post a ton. I'd be heartbroken if LJ went away, though.

I feel like I sort of "have to" Facebook--it's where my family is, especially my mom. I know that I can contact them in other ways... but FB is easy. Not just that it's easy to have contact with lots of people from my past and present, but that I can post quick sentences in the midst of baby care and not feel like my content is lacking.

When I'm online lately, I've been focusing a lot of my energy into genealogy research. I'm learning a lot, not just about my family, but about US/colonial history and whatnot. It feels satisfying and productive and it brings a lot of happiness to my family as well, because they find my discoveries interesting and exciting. I've also been playing Mass Effect, which has been fun--it's the first time I've played a video game that wasn't minesweeper or The Sims in aaaaaages. Most of the time I don't really feel like I have much to post about--or I'm not ready to post about it. (A week or two ago I started writing a post about my father, but it was too much for me and I deleted it).

I feel like part of the reason I post less is because others are posting less. I also don't comment as much as I used to. It's like,if you go to a venue or event regularly but then your other regular friends stop showing up and new ones don't come in to replace them, you're probably less likely to go. And I suspect that is true for a lot of us. We're all using it less, but we'd really miss it if it stopped entirely.

I would love to hear more about your genealogy research. I think it would be interesting to people even who aren't related to you.

I definitely understand what you mean about Facebook-- it is how I use Facebook and Twitter, and especially now that all my cousins are grown up and living our own lives, and aren't forced to come to massive family holiday gatherings anymore, we still keep in touch in a way we wouldn't otherwise.

Deeply personal posts are always hard and I think they always will be. I have started writing them in Google Docs so I can write a tiny bit at a time and not delete them. Sometimes I don't post them but I find that is a good way to get the words down and not feel the intensity of having to write it all at once. But it's nice to know that LJ is waiting for you when you want it.

This morning I checked my email when I got up and was like "why didn't Tea reply to my comment yet?" And then noticed I'd never posted it. Good job, Destiny. It was still sitting in the box all typed up, but I think I'd had to wander off to stop a wandering baby and forgot the critical final step of clicking a button.

I guess that I just have a hard time finding the energy to write a lot of the time these days. I have thoughts and ideas, but coinciding time and energy are often lacking. My genealogy research has made me want to journal even more, from the perspective of creating some real chronicles and reflections for posterity, stuff about my values, beliefs, important events, family anecdotes. But, it just doesn't seem to come out.

Overall I think that being on antidepressants has helped me to do more, but not always the more I expected to be doing. (Not that that's bad--I've been helping to weed the garden, which I find satisfying, trying to exercise more, becoming a good researcher...)


I've been on LJ for years and Facebook for 6, but somehow it feels like I've been on LJ for a lot longer. I was a kid when I started using LJ, and I think the basic idea of it has changed a lot less than Facebook, which is totally different from the college-student-only network I joined the day I got my college e-mail account as an incoming first-year. I really like LJ and love reading what my friendslist - all of whom I've known since before I got Facebook - are up to, and it's disappointing to see people migrating away from it.

But I definitely use Facebook more because it's a way of keeping in touch with pretty much everyone I've met since I was 18, plus some high school classmates and my sister, who never responds to e-mail. When I joined it was college students only and I don't want people from work on there, nor any family members who aren't around my age. Now that I don't use my real last name on there, fewer people can find me without me expressly telling them how to, and that eliminates one of the main problems with Facebook. I get how Facebook could make someone depressed. What gets me is seeing other Americans from my program who are here to 'learn Spanish' tagged in pictures with all their Catalan friends when I find it impossible to make friends in Barcelona precisely because I want to be able to socialize in Catalan, not Spanish.

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