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it's my journal

So a few days ago, I posted an entry complaining about someone dropping me as a livejournal friend, and a few of you replied with the ever-present "It's your journal, who cares?" argument. Good argument. But I feel like discussing it further.

Spacefem's Guide To Why It's Not Really Her Journal
Life Is Compromise

Not really my journal. Not really your journal. Livejournal parallels life in many ways sometimes, whether we like it or not. One of these ways is in how we express ourselves. In online communication and in life, we are perfectly allowed to do what we want. But we also have to live with the consequences. For instance, we're totally allowed to treat everyone in our lives like crap. The issue comes into what we get back from it... if everyone hates us, and no one wants to spend any time with us, then it's not really worth it, is it?

Same with journalling. I've read tons of people say things like, "If this pisses you off, I'm sorry, it's my journal and no one is requiring you to read it." So true. But don't you want them to read it? Don't you want to get someone's attention? Aren't you always secretly hoping that you'll change someone's mind with that long, ranting post about political injustice or inappropriate social traditions?

Obviously, we don't write things just to satisfy the masses. That would be not only a lot of work, but it wouldn't be very satisfying. So there's line. There's always a line, between what you need for yourself, and what you have to do to keep everyone with you.

Journals and websites lives get pretty boring if everyone loses interest, just keep that in mind if you feel like going off on someone. There's always a relationship. Always a chance to change somebody's mind, if you're tactful about it. So really, the more you've got to say, the harder you'll have to work at being nice. If it was really your journal, it'd be done in pen, on a paper, on a book in your desk that nobody sees. When it's part of everyone else's life, they own a little piece of it too, just like they own a little piece of you.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 16th, 2003 07:48 pm (UTC)
k, i'll play the line here.
haven't you ever de-friended anyone? if so, then some of the answers you might be searching for you already know.
you have "friends only" post, right? well, that's kind of the same as de-friending someone. i mean, essentially you're keeping info from a specific person for some reason or another. it might be personal, or it could be b/c someone has too many people on their list, and just can't keep up w/ everyone.
you should write the person that de-friended you and ask them their reason. ya know, maybe they we're doing some spring cleaning and hit your name by accident.

w/ that said, thanks for giving me my starter code. you still rock the burbs harder then ben folds! :)
Mar. 16th, 2003 09:39 pm (UTC)
I think you've pretty succinctly defined the way something like LJ works in our lives, or at least in mine. I've lived most of my life laboring under the belief that people who craved attention and interaction were petty and weak, until just weeks ago when I had a major epiphany and realized that I have, in fact, always very much craved human attention and interaction, and my LJ is a perfect example of it. It's mine in the sense that I control what appears on it, but it belongs to the community to the extent that other people read it and, as you so accurately said, I share my rants and raves with the intention of soliciting attention; hoping that someone will either disagree vehemently with me or share my angst.

I haven't de-friended anyone or been de-friended, but I know it would be a blow to my ego if (or when, I guess) it happened/happens. One of the ways I've straddled the fine line of Mine vs. Yours on LJ has been escaping the compulsion to edit an entry after it's posted to remove something that might be too offensive to someone. To that extent, it is indeed mine, and I have to remind myself that this isn't a popularity contest, but at the same time I force myself to realize that I do want to make friends here; I want to fit in and belong and be liked. I imagine I'm not alone in feeling this way, but I can only be sure about myself.

I think the very existence of this community is proof of our need for each other. By sharing the minutia of my life with you, and reading yours, I realize I'm a lot more similar to you than different, and that realization somehow validates me as a person and generally makes me feel ... whole, I think.
Mar. 16th, 2003 10:26 pm (UTC)
A disagreement
Y'aKnow, Kim, I have to disagree with you. My journal is just that; Mine. You DON'T have to read it, and if I want people to comment, I'll usually adress the masses. Most of the time, my journal entries DON'T make sense to anyone else. That's because they're mine. I post here because it's a convinient way to keep track of my thoughts, and because I have a hard time writing things down on paper with my hands. I don't rant on Livejournal very much, and if I do, it's to myself. If I want to rant, I'll go find a public forum.

Course, that's just me. No one else that I know posts internal dialogues in Journals.

But yes, Kim. When it comes down to it, your Journal is just that. YOURS. You may post to change people, and you may not, but that doesn't change the fact that the words are those spoken by the Spacefem deKimmy. You get the folks that turn it into a shouting Arena, and yes, I'm guilty...but it's still your Journal.

As a parting shot, I do thinmk it's kinda a Chickenshit thing to do, taking PotShots at folks and then saying, "Hey, you don't have to read it," knowing damn good and well theyr'e gonna. Make that shit private or take your juvenile ass off of my monitor.

End of Speech.
Mar. 17th, 2003 10:48 am (UTC)
further disagreement
If I want to rant, I'll go find a public forum
News flash kiddo, unless you lock people out of the enteries, THIS IS A PUBLIC FORUM.

And I have posted discussions with myself also... I just make them private entries because usually they contain something I don't want someone to read, or they wouldn't be of any interest to anyone else. So you're not the only psycho on LJ talking to himself, your just the only one doing it publicly :-)

To say that somebody cannot disagree with you in your own journal is the most trite form of BS. If you are posting publicly, or semi-publicly, your views - then they are open to the scrutany of that group or readers. Period. To tell them they have no right to disagree with you, or even to say they have no right to voice disagreements they have with you, is foolishness. If you don't want disagreements, then disable comments or lock out people from that post - that is your right. It is afterall, your journal. But once it is out there for the world to think about and comment on - then it is free game.
Mar. 16th, 2003 10:44 pm (UTC)
i agree that it's true about when you share your journal it becomes a little bit everyone else's. but you still control it. only; if you still want everyone else to read it, you do have to be nice. bastards. lol don't worry... if you're generally cool (which you are), you'll stay on even if we disagree a few times. not everyone can have the same oppinion. the key is to figure out how to get along. lol
Mar. 17th, 2003 05:56 am (UTC)
Just a couple thoughts
I'm keeping my on-line journal as an experiment in "the hazards of making your thoughts public". I haven't always kept up my end of the deal, and I realize that not everybody wants to see what I write. But this is a touchpoint for a lot of my friends who are far away, and the cost of phone calls (in time and money) is creeping up for me.

On the subject of attention, I used to be a total comment-whore. I really wanted people to comment on things, to satisfy my own ego. I don't do that so much anymore - at this point, rarely on purpose. I'd really like to believe that whatever I write down, people will want to read it - because it's honest, and not because it's mine.

I really don't believe that I can change anyone's mind about anything - but I also feel that I have the duty to expound on the things that are important to me. If my writing changes somebody's mind, I don't believe it was any of my doing.
Mar. 17th, 2003 08:04 am (UTC)
You see, I don't necessarily believe in the "Tough, it's my journal!" arguement, either. I think you are allowed to say what you want, but you have to take responsibility for what you write. If someone is going to go off on someone or something, they are going to be held responsible for what they say. To me, the printed word is not much different from the oral version. You're voicing your opinion. Yes, you have that right. But, just because it's 'your journal' doesn't mean you can ignore all blame. I think a lot of people see it differently, but that's life I guess.
Mar. 17th, 2003 02:17 pm (UTC)
I think everyone pretty much knows my feelings on this. If anyone is curious, check out my profile. I've spelled it out.

I love you, Space, but I heartily disagree. My journal is mine. I started it before I knew anyone else had it, I don't have any private entries because I use it as I would a hard-bound journal. The only subject matter I don't post regards areas of my relationship simply out of respect for him. Because I love him. Otherwise, I'd write that in black and white like I do everything else.

Truth, I do believe in the "It's my journal, you don't have to read it" philosophy. I'm not holding a gun to anybody's head to make them read it. If they comment, great. If they don't, fine. I write in the journal to explore myself, not to keep people informed on every detail of my life. I imagine half the stuff I write no one cares about anyway, and that suits me alright because the journal is for me.

I view journals like on-line houses; when someone reads your journal, or steps into your house, they're playing by your rules. In your house, you can do whatever you want. If you want to call someone a bitch or a loser, you can. If you want to do it in your journal, you can. It's not very nice or respectful, but who are we to tell you what you can and can't say? I agree with the points made by Mike, though--while I believe everyone has the right to post in their journal whatever they want, they'd better be prepared for the consequences. However, the right to say whatever you want extends only to one's own journal. Comments that are left should be respectful, regardless of the material contained in the journal.

Free speech is a sketchy area. But that's how I interpret it.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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