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The Flavor of LiveJournal

Credit this one to dabroots who posted a piece titled: "We are not perky, here at Live Journal." The upshot is facebook is for the happy commentary and anything considered a "downer" there is quickly criticized. And that's not the flavor of LJ.

My quickie comment back was: I like to think we're "real" here at LiveJournal. Which, of course, means perky when that's appropriate, but basically not because it rarely is.

But it's a bit more than that, which is how this thinkpost came to be!



Of course, if you're looking at Facebook as the model, there is an obvious trait working: everyone from your past is there. All your grade school and high school and college classmates? They're there. Every family member who knows you or even met you at some obscure reunion? Front Row Seats. They're on your feed. And they're reading everything you post.

When THAT is going on, it becomes a completely different animal. You have to post about your life, yes, but you don't want to get too personal because Uncle Eyeball and Aunt Blab are reading, so you have to keep it light. You certainly can't talk about the trouble you're having at work because Billy the Bully from Junior High (who has somewhat matured over time) is going to remind you it's your own personality traits that are causing that problem and will use it as a chance to verbally bash you, again.

And don't even think about dropping someone you've met in real life! The Dramatic Fallout will resonate among all the people who might be linked on that spider's web and with that, more trouble in the short term and maybe more trouble in the long term.

Again, it's yet another problem with Facebook that makes it really sticky and sickening and another reason why I quit, although I hadn't really thought about it in those terms. Clearly needing to present the "best face" on everything that's going on in your life or needing to spin things for the benefit of the audience seems just the opposite of what a social media service was supposed to be about. So, just like twitter is the place to write for people who are not writers, Facebook is the place to blog for people who want nothing to do with blogging!

This is also, as I have previously stated, part of the reason the whole blogging "craze" went away in 2008. When the economy collapsed as badly as it did, a lot of folks just stopped wanting to talk about their lives in the same way as they had been. And the people who had been part of the fun just didn't want to hear about the sudden downturn. That would mean the party was over. And that's why, at least to my mind, LiveJournal took the brunt of that hit in the USA (and also why the Russian version was not only unaffected, but actually got boosted).

LiveJournal requires you to think. There are no "Like" buttons. And there shouldn't be! The point that must be hammered home is LiveJournal is different. LiveJournal doesn't require you to always be happy. Nobody is always happy anyhow, at least not anyone actually paying attention to the world.

Of course, the versatility of El Jay permits you to handle your journal like a twitter account or a facebook if you prefer, and that element is always available if that's your preference. But the attraction that I find with this particular social media site is that you actually do have to use your brain a little bit, here. You have to be a bit more thoughtful in your responses, be a bit more connected to what you're reading, and as a result, the people posting. There are demands that LJ puts upon every user that a lot of people may not be completely up to do.

LJ is the place for smart people, and for the people who want to hear from smart people. That's why I'm glad you're on my list. I might not always comment to your posts (I do when I feel I can contribute something!) but I'm reading. And, just like this thinkpost, your responses frequently inspire me to think and write as well.

To me, that's what a true community is all about.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
dabroots
Feb. 10th, 2014 03:47 pm (UTC)
Where's that "Like" button when I need it!?
penpusher
Feb. 11th, 2014 03:19 am (UTC)
I almost forgot we had one of these!
maidenmorticia
Feb. 10th, 2014 06:53 pm (UTC)
Spot on. Although I am not sure if I am on here as MM because I a smart. More like this LJ is my emo space!
penpusher
Feb. 11th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
And I didn't want to say that I was the smart one, but the point is, there is a level of intelligence that is required for use here, and I think anyone on my friendslist easily surpasses that level!

And for sure, the reading means a lot because it gets me thinking and then I can start examining things from a different POV. For a writer, that is truly worth its weight in gold.

But yes, LJ is what you make it to be, and that is a very useful and worthwhile choice! But even with the way you handle your LJ, it still requires the people you interact with to do something more than favorite or like your comments, and that's smart!
chelchik
Feb. 12th, 2014 03:29 am (UTC)
"I like to think we're "real" here at LiveJournal. Which, of course, means perky when that's appropriate, but basically not because it rarely is."

Absolutely! Lj is home.
penpusher
Feb. 12th, 2014 03:53 am (UTC)
And it certainly doesn't hurt to have a permanent account here now, either! I really was doubting my thinking when I bought mine, but now I couldn't be happier about it! De-Luxe LJ account for free!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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