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04 December 2010 @ 05:11 pm
all the sheeyit that's fit not to print  
I think I've become a lot more private and withdrawn both in person and online since I hit bottom at the end of 2008. The disaster that was 2009 just sealed in a new behavior pattern. I used to post about everything, talk about anything, but now I keep everything mostly to myself and a small circle I meet in person. Most of the stuff I do wind up posting nowadays is either just a photo or is under a friends lock.

It's funny that I can't quite seem to get into the newer systems, like Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare and whatever the hell the next thing will be called. In fact, my high point of internet participation occurred more than ten years ago. There was once an online forum that was built differently from the standard bulletin board, and I posted there quite regularly. When I wasn't, I was chatting away constantly on AIM. Sometimes I had more than eleven conversations going at once. I was a fairly popular participant, and the folks seemed to contact me naturally. At the time I thought it must be my "reputation," but I suspect it was actually because I was friendly with the creator/sysadmin, who regularly observed, patrolled and posted on his community. I was very actively concerned with maintaining this "reputation" as a fun, fun-loving intelligent person who was the ideal member. I chose my words carefully (most of the time), sought opinions on incomplete posts, talked to just about everyone who attempted to make contact, and always, always used punctuation. I pulled people in and made them feel good by quoting them in my profile, and I remembered all the little in-jokes, which I used to create drawings, posts and the like that made others feel pleased. In essence I was using these abilities to craft a circle of allies.

Since that board collapsed, I've steadily been pulling back. Over a decade later, it's just too much of a pain in the ass to log in on AIM unless Gmail does it for me.

Not too long after that community died, I switched to another anime-based message board, where I wound up finding some amount of success in the RPG section. This period is, in fact, where my journal name comes from. I worked my way into a main character in one of the main RPGs. Reading what I wrote back then makes me wonder why so few people ever told me I needed help. Did I really seem like I had it together? I talked all big about how role playing characters are really just a facet of their creator's personality, and while I applied that to myself to a degree, I steered far clear of ever realizing why I wrote such depressing drama crap so damn well. Looking back, I can see myself falling to pieces even then. It was no wonder I couldn't last, and I eventually wound up quitting. Still, I can see that during that time I maintained many of the same connection-building patterns, including allying myself with major players.

That was the last time I really pulled those skills together. When I joined Livejournal in 2001, I was riding on the crest of those efforts, as I brought or joined several RPG members here. As they fell away, and as I annoyed or bored people to death and they unfriended me, my connections on the internet began to fade considerably. Around this time I began attempts to promote my own websites via participation in communities, but compared to my past efforts, something wasn't there. I had a brief revival with Ragnarok Online, and then I seem to have stopped bothering.

My increasingly low output generates increasingly few responses, which in turn leaves me bored and even less prone to posting anything anywhere. If part of the allure of the internet is this potential for group-building via constant feedback, then I have all but checked out of the system. My email inboxes rarely contain anything other than spam from Jo-ann's, Barnes & Noble, Borders and so on. Few people comment on Livejournal. Few people use Facebook to actually reach me. I am no longer interested in being a major player online, so I have no presence built up anywhere but Livejournal. Early on in this journal's history, I wrote that I wanted to be big on the internet. That idea is horrifying to me now, but the desire for social connections remains.

Since Livejournal is my only constant, I have a tendency to focus on it when other people have moved on. The decline in responses has many factors, but one of the big ones is how Livejournal is no longer the thing, and many have migrated elsewhere (read: Facebook).

I've been trying to use Facebook more often, but it is difficult for me to get into it. The shorter/more frequent format is one part of the problem. I like thinking and reasoning things out, and I like typing about my thoughts, as though it will somehow help others understand how my mind works and therefore "get to know me." For me, going into detail is a pleasurable thing.

Facebook features the constant feed of information, which is both a punishment and a reward. I find this problematic, for by necessity, the more we update, the more diluted the content's value becomes. It grows duller. We call each other friends on Facebook, but knowing when someone else is in the grocery store, at the movies or even in the bathroom does not make me a friend. It makes me nothing more than an approved but inadvertent digital stalker.

I've often wondered why we bother checking in/posting every few minutes for every little thing or thought that happens in our lives. Instant communication by text, Facebook or whatever is instant gratification, especially when compared to old methods like letters. It also gives us a feeling of satisfaction to stay "on top" of all the updates by checking constantly, even if all the updates are just Farmville (or whatever the big thing is now) requests. At least we haven't missed anything.

The sysadmin I mentioned earlier kind of went nuts on me, and the damage to our friendship was unrepairable. We haven't spoken in years. He used to talk to me about all sorts of things, from anime to social interactions online to targeted advertising techniques. Sometimes I wonder what he would think about all this "social media" crap. Mostly, though, I simply read the news and then go offline, since I get about as much contact there and my back hurts less.
Current Mood: pensivepensive
LONym82lonym82 on December 5th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
A thing I find myself doing is wondering how did I ever have the time I did online to do the RP, write fiction, scan and post things to my friends... again, where did I ever find the time.

Also, a reason I post here more than Facebook is because Facebook doesn't seem to keep your journals. So your comment, as you went into, will just be a passing thing and nothing you can look back and reflect on as you can in livejournal. I like hearing detail messages and you can't do that with Facebook because of the word limit. Sometimes people have to 'reply' to their own responce becuase the ran out of room.

Don't get me wrong, I like Facebook, but I do know its fault. Another one of its faults is that...well your posts aren't exactly private. Unless you have settings, ANYONE can look you up (And this can be a positive too as I've seen friends who have not sceen eachother in 30 years meet up again through Facebook)

But yeah I don't post a lot but when I do, it's mostly here on livejournal.
One Who Wanders: ...abiona on December 5th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
Because the world is full of coincidences, I just discovered the word limit on Facebook today.

You're definitely onto something with the very temporary nature of Facebook (save for screencapping it, or something). The internet has a way of making all things seem even more temporary - and it's almost like Facebook has taken that way of existence and transformed it into a semi-permanent state. Did that make sense? Taking the temporariness and making that a non-temporary state of temporariness. ...

Though I can still access posts from nearly ten years ago (amazing, given the short lifespan of things on the internet), even aspects of Livejournal change.

I've been insulated from most of the crap that's gone down on Livejournal over the years because I purchased a permanent account a long long time ago. It used to have this idealistic feel to it that it shed slowly. I think many people skipped town over things like changes of ownership, ads and the like.

It's foolish to expect something to stay exactly the same all the time, especially if it is being run as a for-profit business. It has to adapt to survive. Yet we wish for the "old days" anyway.

Despite that, I never wound up making a blog anywhere else, not even on my own domains. There's something to be said for the power of continuity through use ... a.k.a., habit!
One Who Wanders: geekishabiona on December 5th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
Interestingly, even with my recent attempts, I've used Facebook so little, I can still access the oldest posts on my wall. 2006!
Fishkayay on December 15th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC)
Facebook for me is limited to time wasting casual gaming and sporadic short updates, but it's not unusual for me to go weeks without logging it.

Facebook, in my experience, isn't very user friendly when it comes to digging up old posts. This can be a pro and a con. On one hand, it's harder to dig up those skeletons in your virtual closet, but on the other, it's also hard to find old memories you'd like to revisit.

People also appear to be less willing to read anything in depth on FB, being accustomed to the short status updates, game posts, links to other sites, and assorted quizes instead. I tried using the "notes" system, but few people actually read it, and I decided it was pointless when i can just come here for discussion.

I think you can now set various posts to various filters now, by the way.
Kain aka That Evil Guynanikore on February 25th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
I hate Facebook because it invades my privacy. I have experimented with an email account where there is only ONE contact. Upon signing up, Facebook scanned my webmail account without my permission. I did not check the "scan my email account" (or something to that effect), yet Facebook showed that contact (as well as everyone she knows) as "people you might know".

So, even without me asking, people that I may or may not know would know that I have joined Facebook.

This is a blatant privacy violation, one that Facebook and Zuckerberg (and probably the majority of Facebook users as well) probably couldn't care less about.

Certain things that Facebook does should be illegal.
ಠ_ರೃ Myzz Nerglznerglish on February 25th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
That explains why my mother had a FB account without actually signing up for it.
Kain aka That Evil Guynanikore on February 26th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
The other not-so-pleasant possibility is that someone somewhere who has your mother's email address (hopefully it's someone she knows...) attempted to search with that address on FB.

Any and every email address that FB gets a hold of by any means whatsoever, becomes more or less the permanent property of FB.
ಠ_ರೃ Myzz Nerglznerglish on February 26th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
Hmm that is rather unpleasant to think of.
(Deleted comment)
One Who Wandersabiona on December 5th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
big on teh intarwebz
Oh, the small scope of teenage ambition ...
Kain aka That Evil Guy: HA! HA!nanikore on February 25th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
I'm guilty of inanity on my El Jay because nowadays I just use it to keep track of stuff I've found online!
Emily: Change Myself Hinataetoileeyes on December 5th, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
I've been feeling the disconnect lately as well. I feel like all I get online to do is check facebook to see if anyone did anything interesting today, check my bills or email. I feel like all I do is waste time online lately and I do it far too often. I miss the days of spending my internet hours reading blogs, LJ's and fanfiction (or just fiction for that matter). I used to feel like I was learning things online, now I just feel like it's a time waster and with a 9 month old who's constantly needing something I don't like wasting time... I haven't figured out the answer to making the internet feel more fulfilling yet, but I'm trying to find an answer... Facebook isn't giving me what LJ used to which is piece of mind, I mean sure I get to share photos and updates on Ruby with distant family members, but it's not the same. Maybe I just need to journal again and forget the stupid updates on FB. I've found this disconnect happening in real life too, the inability to focus on one thing in order to get it done. I'm working on that too. Anyhow, enough about me, but your post really got me thinking about my feelings of late. Hugs for getting me thinking of what matters most!
One Who Wanders: contemplativeabiona on December 5th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
Journaling or blogging has at least one advantage in that you can look back over your entries later. As lonym82 said in a previous comment, Facebook doesn't allow access to old posts after a certain number of newer ones have been made.

... or maybe I just like having lots of icons? Hmmm ...

Ultimately, as a society, I know we won't get rid of the internet. The ease of access to information is too valuable. Yet I wonder if, at some point down the road, we'll realize that beyond checking for facts or finding interesting news out, there's actually no point to it at all. What if social media falls out of favor because suddenly, people realize that "social" tends to make us actually more connected when it's done by face-to-face, actual honest-to-God human contact?
Kain aka That Evil Guy: Analyze Thisnanikore on February 25th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately I do not think it would ever fall out of favor because even if people come to realize that "the internet is not good for them" they would still want it because they're acclimated and addicted.

Human nature, in the form of wants and desires often wins over sense and sensibility. It happens all too often.

p.s. I don't like looking at old posts because it just reminds me of how ridiculous I am. The only utility that comes with the feature of history is the utility of reference, as in looking up facts. To me, there is little, none, or even negative emotive utility in history.
ibowieh3ibowieh3 on December 5th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
I have to agree bloging is more my speed. FaceBook leaves a bad taste in my brain.
I have lost touch with so many of my friends who spend at lest 4 hour every night play WoW, only talk to each other with head sets and Tweeting and and texting everything else they do in a day. I am so relieved to find that my friend is still in their some where if I can get them to unplug an do things in real life.
All that and I have not been posting as much as I like or responding to others. I really hate to think the pattern my life has seidled in to is now my normal. I just barely got home from my last business trip in time to attend a wedding of a childhood/life long friend. I dot want to travel any more because of the neglect it in poses on the rest of my life.
One Who Wanders: thoughtfulabiona on December 5th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
It makes you wonder, what is "real life" nowadays?
hypertechiehypertechie on December 7th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
also makes me realize how old fashioned I am and how much I don't care. I just want to have my small farm and be a village medicine woman and grow healthy foods, not care about the newest phone app whatsit. Funny that most people do feel this way- obviously this type of interaction is not a substitute for face-to-face conversation or intimacy. Maybe it is all a government ploy to keep us distracted from what is really going on in our world, or what we are really eating as we dine in front of the computer.
One Who Wanders: trouble is afootabiona on December 8th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
Everything is made outta corn!
Kain aka That Evil Guynanikore on February 25th, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)
I work in one of those tech companies that is partially responsible for all those electronic junk, including what you're using to view this post right now.

I could tell you with reasonable confidence that all this is not a government scheme- It is simple capitalistic expansion. All the publically-traded companies want to grow, because the prices of their stocks depend on the speed of their growth. If a company is perceived to be not growing fast enough or growing at all, then its stock price would either stagnate or go down.

It is only companies that could constantly spit out new wowwie-zowwie stuff like Apple, that gets to have their stocks shoot up crazily the way they do.

Stock traders won't buy and stock holders won't stay unless they perceive growth, and this in turn drive all the tech companies to constantly "innovate".

It's greed.
ಠ_ರೃ Myzz Nerglznerglish on December 5th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
A lot about this post resonates with me too! Sometimes I wonder if I'm just getting older and the hyper-communicative nature of social networking is dulled to me now. I think I hit that point about 2007 or 2008 too. I lack any desire to feverishly update LJ, FB, Twitter, etc, which just increases a sense of isolation. I remember telling an online friend that their life seems fun and exciting which surprised them. I realize it's because they update a lot, not about exciting events, just lots of updates which I interpreted as a better quality of life. Haha, that's some weird logic.
One Who Wanders: alisabiona on December 5th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)
There's probably some sort of ancient connection in our brains, where the existence of new information is just really really interesting, regardless of what it contains. If there's a strong, positive reaction to the mere existence of something new, it isn't surprising at all that you'd associate it with something exciting. If "it" is always making new things, it must be doing new things, which is usually exciting. New = exciting. Or else, why bother posting?

... that made sense to me. Hopefully you'll be able to translate it.
hypertechiehypertechie on December 7th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
Have you ever read the "earth's children" series that starts with clan of the cave bear? if not, I think you would find them interesting.
ಠ_ರೃ Myzz Nerglznerglish on December 7th, 2010 12:30 pm (UTC)
Yes that makes sense to me! I often decide not to post because I have little new to report as my life seems to have settled into a routine.
Kain aka That Evil Guynanikore on February 25th, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
Some random person has decided to reply to your old reply by posting these comic images, for obscure reasons that they may have something to do with what you've written:

exibit A

exibit B
ಠ_ರೃ Myzz Nerglznerglish on February 25th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Haha nice comic. Thanks late-comment-dude!
David: Desperate to codewhowantscookies on December 6th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)
Glad to see you made it to Sara/Rob's house. I trust your father's surprise stay was.... fun?
One Who Wanders: it's all goodabiona on December 8th, 2010 01:20 am (UTC)
Their house is actually not too far from mine. As commutes/drive times in this area go, it's practically next door!

My father's visit was surprisingly calm. I credit the antihistamines, or the turkey, or both.
hypertechiehypertechie on December 7th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
That is why I resorted to snail mail
sometimes a little letter in a mailbox is the best way to let someone know you are thinking of them. I am funny with LJ too, I haven't posted on it in years, but I still check my friends page at least once a week out of routine and comment when I have something to say. I am not that big on facebook either, but it is a convenient way to check pictures from the family and talk to my classmates, but I too feel that I got alone fine in the past without knowing the minutia of people's day and could be perfectly content to not know now. I am looking forward to less credits next semester so that I can be more social again. I will certainly add you to my pen-pal list if you would like.
One Who Wanders: oh yeahabiona on December 8th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
Re: That is why I resorted to snail mail
Sure ya can add me - just be warned, I'm slow in replying. I don't have a whole lot of time these days, so it usually takes me a few weeks to write a letter, then a few weeks to mail it. Alas. How did people write such long letters so frequently in times before our own?
hypertechiehypertechie on December 8th, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)
Re: That is why I resorted to snail mail
when they had no other way to communicate, I guess they made time. Also they had that whole no manual labor on sundays rule.
Silvermask: Kiba - Lying in the Snowsilvermask on December 9th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
I'm not sure where I'm going with this. Imagine that!
"kind of went nuts," heh.

Anyway. I've obviously drifted away from LJ as well, although I must admit that I have become quite the Facebook whore. I think part of the whole deal with Facebook is that it depends on the friends that you have--a lot of my friends and school acquaintances that I actually get to see on a regular basis use Facebook extensively, so naturally it becomes the de facto method of online communication. Facebook is also better suited to meeting new people and keeping in touch with acquaintances that you don't need to contact very often. But back when most of my friends were Internet People, it was all about AIM and Livejournal.

It's interesting to think back on how very involved we both were with That Website. It's almost hard for me to believe that an anime website was that central to my life. I think it was largely a mixture of teenage obsession and loneliness--but it was a special place too. Because it encouraged meaningful participation, it was a lot easier for people like us to get attached.

Through there, and other websites, I had a lengthy list of AIM contacts, and--like you--I would stay in touch with several people at once. And now, I have a lengthy list of people I used to talk to on AIM, and a handful of people I talk to regularly--most of whom I've met in the last few years. Half of the names I don't recognize--the other half, most of what I remember is the name. Every now and then, AIM will tell me that EPrincess is online. I think she had an icon of Sasami from Tenchi Muyo, and that's all I remember. I don't remember if we ever talked often on AIM, nor what we talked about.

I noticed that, as I got older and as I had more offline stuff to do, I felt less of a desire to write about myself online. Especially when Livejournal was largely a collection of old friends and acquaintances from long-dead websites. If there was something I wanted to share publicly, I would either have to do it elsewhere, or actually direct people to my LJ (a scary thought).

When Myspace and Facebook began to get popular, some people used those platforms for blogging--but I never really wanted to. For things that are at all personal, things like Facebook are too public.

I wonder... Did we change, or did the nature of online communities change? It's been a long time since I've actually gone and looked for and actively participated in an online community. Part of it is because I'm busy doing Other Things, but it's also because I just haven't felt the need to.

One irony: after all the time in my teenage years that I spent in AIM chats and IRC chats with various groups of people from different websites, something similar has resurfaced in recent weeks. Facebook groups now have a chat feature--one of my friends made a group for the UAH choir, and now the chat automatically pops up whenever it's active.

The main reason I still (occasionally) write on LJ is, like you said, to have a record. Gone are the days when my inbox was full of LJ comments, or when I posted in a variety of communities.
Fishkayay on December 15th, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
Re: I'm not sure where I'm going with this. Imagine that!
"It's interesting to think back on how very involved we both were with That Website. It's almost hard for me to believe that an anime website was that central to my life. I think it was largely a mixture of teenage obsession and loneliness--but it was a special place too. Because it encouraged meaningful participation, it was a lot easier for people like us to get attached. "

Were you one of the RPG crowd too? what was your screenname there, if you don't mind me asking. Mine was the same as my name here.

After that site pretty much died -- I blame the long periods of closed registration and am still bitter about a few things that happened in the RPG forums -- I tried to find other forums with that same feel, with no luck. It had its share of drama and bickering and its clowns and snarkers, but I felt it was an overall good place with good conversations and good writing.

"And now, I have a lengthy list of people I used to talk to on AIM, and a handful of people I talk to regularly--most of whom I've met in the last few years. Half of the names I don't recognize--the other half, most of what I remember is the name."

Same here.

But some friendships from there did last. There's a few I still talk to (and game with online) regularly from that old place, and one or two I've visited in person who I consider among my closest friends despite the distance between us. Others, however, turned out in unfortunately unexpected ways as they changed in ways that didn't mesh with me. But that happens. Maybe one day we'll reconnect.
One Who Wanders: determinedabiona on December 31st, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm not sure where I'm going with this. Imagine that!
Due to December-related ditziness, I totally forgot to respond to this.

Silvermask and I actually met a couple years before my RPG era on a different message board called AnimeGrapevine, which was a custom community programmed from scratch by the sysadmin I mentioned in the post. After it died, I hopped over to Animeboards, but Silvermask did not. (Frighteningly, we've more or less kept touch for about ten years now with AIM and Gmail.)

In regards to the RPG one - my username was Sakaki. I played: super-depressed, justifiably paranoid Abiona Apara and the supposed-to-be-sassy-but-I-can't-write-it Essa Jissu in the FF RPG; Nadine in the Escaflowne RPG; Emma-Wren Lane in the Factory Default RPG.

I would have used "sakaki" as my LJ name, but at the time, someone in Russia had claimed it already. So I used "abiona" for LJ instead, and have since come to appreciate alphabetical order.

I do wonder what would have occurred had I managed to stick with the FF RPG. I made a brief start in the Escaflowne RPG as well with Nadine, but was never as attached to my character there.
Kain aka That Evil Guynanikore on February 25th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm not sure where I'm going with this. Imagine that!
Wow. I have completely forgotten about AIM. Maybe it still exists. It doesn't matter.

I remember people from That Website as well, and also as icons from that site and not much more. I think people can get more attached to that kind of setting because it's more intimate, kind of like those old BBSes that we have to dial up on our modems (remember those? I used to be active on some of those before this "world wide web" came along...)

Nowadays I'm active on my company's internal message boards. I guess you just move on to the next bus when the one that you're on runs out of gas.

I was never an extremely social person and may never will be. I could be very friendly with certain groups of people but at the same time not all that outgoing. When I got married a coupla years ago some my wife's friends kind of became my friends. She is much more outgoing than I am, and besides Facebook she couldn't really stand to be stuck in front of a computer for very long. I think I should thank God for her, otherwise I still wouldn't have much of a social circle to speak of. I have two college buddies that I was close with, but now we've kind of drifted apart. One of them recently moved back into town so maybe I'll call him up more often. Still, the relationship is a bit different from before; It's just the way things are.
Fishkayay on December 15th, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
I can't get into Facebook for long either, as I mentioned in an earlier comment. I like my words too much, and for short thoughts I have Twitter. Not many friend I know are on Facebook, though I know some coworkers are, but I'd rather not mix those two worlds. So for me FB hasn't a place in my online life... for now. It might in the future.

"Reading what I wrote back then makes me wonder why so few people ever told me I needed help. Did I really seem like I had it together? I talked all big about how role playing characters are really just a facet of their creator's personality, and while I applied that to myself to a degree, I steered far clear of ever realizing why I wrote such depressing drama crap so damn well. Looking back, I can see myself falling to pieces even then."

I got into the RPG on that messageboard quite a bit after you, and I never quiet felt I was fully one of the group when it came to that one particular RPG. Not to say that I felt an outsider or anyone was egotistical about it-- except for maybe one or two -- but the original players who started that game were kinda "the elite core". I was one of the second generation to join, so I didn't get the chance to interact with you and the others as much, and I didn't feel I had the right to criticize the posts of those core players.

"The sysadmin I mentioned earlier kind of went nuts on me, and the damage to our friendship was unrepairable. We haven't spoken in years. He used to talk to me about all sorts of things, from anime to social interactions online to targeted advertising techniques. "

Sounds kinda like what happened to me with someone else from that site.

Now and then I visit that place for old times sake, and I wonder what the admin is up to; he always seemed kinda elusive to me. I honestly view our time there as The Golden Age of that place, so it makes me a little sad too to see that place so quiet.
Kain aka That Evil Guy: i am borednanikore on February 25th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
Sorry about the extreme late response to this post. I haven't read any friend's posts in a very long while (yeah, some people may find that mildly offensive while others probably don't care).

Anyways, I'm going to spam your email inbox with responses to this thread because somehow I like it a lot. Sorry about that in advance.