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The End of the Line? - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
The End of the Line?
My years on Live Journal have brought plenty of pleasure and pain, far more than I'd bargained for when I began to post, after many months of passively reading, in the hopes of putting my ideas about personal blogging to the test. Lately, though, as the active participants on my "Friends" list have dwindled and some of my long-time stalwarts have vanished, I've been finding it harder and harder to muster the enthusiasm to continue. I could go on a vacation, as I have advised others to do. But I'm fairly certain that, once I got out of the rhythm of posting regularly, I'd lose the sense of responsibility that motivates me to make personal blogging an integral component of my everyday life.

Friends have suggested that I seek out new folks for my "Friends" list in Live Journal communities. I've found a few I really like there over the years, so it's a good idea. I'm just not sure I have the mental strength to keep posting in a time of diminishing returns. I use Facebook now, which satisfies some of my need for socializing, on a daily basis. As much as I love to connect and reconnect there, however, the ephemeral and brief nature of most of the content people post can't replace the sense of continuity that Live Journal provided. I love the fact that I can go back in my archives and relive periods -- even ones that were largely negative -- through my entries about them. Facebook just doesn't offer that sense of historical depth. And that's what I want or maybe even need from the labor I expend in crafting posts. I don't know. Maybe I'm just being silly. Recent events have me feeling unsteady on my virtual feet. Perhaps I should just worry less and do more.

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Comments
ankh156 From: ankh156 Date: October 20th, 2009 05:04 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

It's true

All the heart & soul is just ebbing out of LJ. It seems a pity, but I guess we all must move on.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 20th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: It's true

That's how I feel, more often than not. But I have a close friend who has actually seen an upswing in positive interactions in recent months, thanks in part to her participation in communities. I guess I'm mourning the personal blogging, primarily, as opposed to conversations among people who share an interest.
e4q From: e4q Date: October 20th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: It's not true

make new friends, doofuses!

i have had a flurry of friending recently. it's lovely when the old ones pop up to say hello, though as you say, that is more likely to happen in fb now, but i have made some new lj friends lately, abenstille and two people through her, then the others are through the buddhism community.

what would you do in real life if a friend moved away? mope forever?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 22nd, 2009 02:35 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: It's not true

I'm sorry if I seemed to be moping. I think it goes deeper than that. It's not that I'm averse to finding new friends. But something inside me has shifted and I'm having a lot of difficulty interacting even with those I theoretically know well. I value continuity, but that's a strange thing to aspire to amid so much personal rubble.
e4q From: e4q Date: October 22nd, 2009 06:40 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: continuity

i would like some continuity, too. and i value it when i get it, but it seems to be an elusive quality. perhaps that's why i like the buddhists (irl) - the relationships are general rather than personal and so the sense is a continued one.

passionate friends are like lovers... the relationships seem to end. in my case, anyway.

strangely, the internet seems to be somewhere between the two. some passion, some constance, but a little less choppy than real life.
batdina From: batdina Date: October 20th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
if you think using a different journaling service, with a different base of people would help you in revitalising your personal journaling, I can get you set up with a dreamwidth account in a heartbeat. Everything that I post there gets duplicated here on LJ, but DW is what I consider my "home base" so to speak. it has a pretty active base of people using it, including a very active coding community, etc.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 20th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Maybe it's time. I think I should try that now, though it's hard for a Taurus like me to dislodge even slightly!
st_ranger From: st_ranger Date: October 20th, 2009 05:33 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Hah me too. Been here over 9 years, and I'll probably use the same service until it closes down.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 22nd, 2009 02:37 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Wow. I have a few friends who have been at it that long. I didn't start until 2003, though I was reading well before that. I don't know why starting somewhere else seems so onerous. I'm going to take baby steps with Dreamwidth first.
st_ranger From: st_ranger Date: October 22nd, 2009 02:47 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
For someone like me, with a 2.5 year period of amnesia that's partially covered here in livejournal's archives, livejournal is just invaluable.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 22nd, 2009 02:35 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm going to do it! Thank you.
e_compass_rosa From: e_compass_rosa Date: October 20th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I hope you don't go anywhere.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 22nd, 2009 02:38 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I hope I do! Seriously, thanks. It means a lot to hear that. But I need to dislodge myself somehow from this rut.
bitterlawngnome From: bitterlawngnome Date: October 20th, 2009 07:02 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I have 200 more readers than I did a year ago. So much for the "death" of LJ.

LJ is like a giant cocktail party, people come and go, the conversation gets boring in the lounge so you move into the kitchen ...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 20th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yes, you're one of the people I think of when I say, "It's not LJ. It's my LJ." I seem to fall in between the cracks, right now, in terms of my circles of acquaintance.
(Deleted comment)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 22nd, 2009 02:43 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Knowing that people like you are out there reading helps me get over many mental hurdles. I just wish LJ were more consistently engaging than it has been. I get depressed when very few of my friends are posting.

I'm going to try Dreamwidth, BTW. Maybe doubling up -- I'll mirror here -- will help.
alsoname From: alsoname Date: October 20th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I know what you mean. I hate writing something I think is good and getting few or no replies (this especially happens with longer pieces; I'd like to shoot whoever coined "tl;dr"). I say that I only keep an online journal for myself, and that's true -- but one reason I do it for "myself" is because "myself" enjoys the interaction with other people. That's what makes it completely different, and potentially way more satisfying, than keeping a paper journal.

I've been making a conscious effort to comment on more people's entries, but I'm not sure whether or not the comments I'm leaving are always particularly interesting. Then again, if I'm not receiving interesting comments I at least want to have evidence that other people are listening! Awww.
quuf From: quuf Date: October 20th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Perhaps I should just worry less and do more.

Yes.
leela_cat From: leela_cat Date: October 20th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm on and around here and there, but not posting or replying as much as I used to. And that's a big mea culpa, I think. Less personal blogging, and more fannish, I think, and I tend to keep the fannish stuff to a smaller filter, because not everyone on my f-list is interested in it.

But I'd miss you very much if you stopped posting.
violetselkie From: violetselkie Date: October 21st, 2009 03:19 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I go through phases of feeling at peace with LJ and phases of not. Invariably, when I look back at times when I didn't use it very much, I feel that there are weird gaps in my personal history that aren't really supplemented by my own memory or by my paper journal. There's something *different* for me about writing informally for an audience, even an audience as fickle and frustrating as LJ friends, that I would miss if I stopped doing it. And I would miss your journal if you stopped doing it, too.

Yet I, too, wonder why posting a silly quiz on Facebook seemingly garners more attention than a thoughtful entry here. Perhaps I don't ultimately find that kind of shallow social interaction satisfying in the short-term "what will my friends have to say about what I have to say way," or in the long-term reflective way.

And, like alsoname above, I kind of get comment anxiety when I try to reciprocate or get more comment action going with others.

Meh. I don't have answers. But I do read and think about your entries, if that helps.

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