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Jan 312003

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Jan 302003

So what is your live journal for?

I got in a conversation with a friend recently, who expressed to me that he thought Live Journal was one of the most evil creations on the face of the planet. He is not the first person I have seen express this opinion. The first time I heard this was at Dragon Con last year. A woman on the Live Journal panel named girlvinyl stated it pretty clearly. It’s all that is on her journal at this point, but if you don’t feel like clicking over I’ll repeat it here :

How would you conduct yourself, if there was no live journal? What things would you have been spared if you did not read or write in live journal? How much time would you reclaim from your life if you did not obsess over live journal? How many friendships would still be in tact if there were no live journal? How many misunderstandings would have been avoided if there were no live journal? How many trusts would have been kept, loyalties preserved and harmonies enjoyed were you not to live part of your life through this vengeful, gossipy, bullshit public forum? Friends lists, comments, posts, private, public, disallow comments, disallow anonymous, log ip addresses, backdate entry. Its disheartening to see a convenient technology be the means for broken relationships. Disagree with me if you like, but take a moment and really think about how its affected you, or the people you have relationships with. Intention is irrelevant in this medium, all that matters is perception. If you have something to say to someone… call them, write them, go fucking see them. Don’t hide behind a user pic, general disclaimers and an html generator. Grow a spine you weak fucks.

So my question is, are they right?

What are we here for?

I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit, and the closest I can relate it to is gun ownership. Guns aren’t evil. Guns don’t kill people. Guns can be good things. They can be fun. They can also be deadly, if put in the wrong hands.

I think Live Journals are the same way.

I’m not going to lie here, or pretend to be something I’m not. I’ve used my journal as a weapon. I’ve posted things here that hurt others. Things that should have remained private. I’ve put things in my journal that, if it got back to who it was written about, would cause serious repercussions in my life. I’ve done many of the things that could be considered “evil” in live journal land.

But it’s not all I do, and at the end of the day I’m not writing this for anyone but me. I had my journal for years before there was such a thing as Live Journal. I had mine when I had 60 hits, not 6000.

Do I want people to read my journal?

Of course I do.

If I didn’t, all of my posts would be private.

I’m an exhibitionist. I’m a showman. Ever since I was a child I wanted to be the center of attention. So in Live Journal I have found a way to do that. I put my thoughts, my feelings, my pointless drivel that I think sounds important but probably sounds really pathetic, and little glimpses of my life here. For myself. For my son. For my friends.

But I cannot ignore how “dangerous” that Live Journal can be. I cannot continue to mindlessly post things without thinking about who could see it. So if there are fewer posts about my relationships or people who get under my skin on my public journal, I do apologize for that. But I know what my intention was when I started this thing, and hurting people was never that intention.

What was yours?