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The Lure of Microblogging

As I tried to explain to the White Rabbit at his Labor Day party, I have long gone through periods of faithful journal keeping, intercut with periods of no journal writing at all. Those periods tend to match up with life changes, and the recent lapse is no different.

Five years ago, I spent much of my time holding (and nursing) my growing baby. I bought a notebook computer, easily portable from room to room, finding moments of quiet to write and reflect.

These days, the time I once dubbed "baby boot camp" seems a dream. While all my days are not as busy as the one I wrote about yesterday, my weeks are crammed full of soccer and tumbling classes, swimming and piano lessons, my transcription work, putting together my literary magazine (http://www.wildviolet.net) and, for at least half the year, daily work for my volunteer position as the head of Otakon Press Relations (http://www.otakon.com). I rarely get time to work on my writing projects, let alone blog.

Thus, my movement to the Book of Face, as so many LJ friends still refer to it. FB is the Wal-Mart of social media: easy to deride but far too convenient to actually ignore.

Why should I labor on my LJ app, laboriously correcting all my spelling errors, while my son practices piano, when I could type a lazy sentence or two as my FB status and earn a dozen "likes" before he's done playing? There are times when I relish that immediate gratification, but I have to admit, it is a bit soul killing all the same.

My carefully phrased observations on KFP's development have been replaced by cutesie anecdotes and Instagram picspam. When I think deep thoughts about parenting, the words tend to bump around within my head, as I tell myself over and over, "I really ought to write about that."

I may not get as much instant feedback for posts like this one, but blogging my thoughts, or journaling in any way, has always been a valuable resource: aiding my memories, fueling future stories, and serving as a personal timeline. And as everyone knows, FB is a terrible way to track memories, since it is almost impossible to search for gems amid the detritus.

So here I am, on day two of flexing these atrophied muscles, and boy, does it feel good!

BTW, I also plan to start reading LJ again. While I may not be able to do so daily, I will try to catch up at least once a week with some of my FL, giving priority to those who comment.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 9th, 2015 09:48 pm (UTC)
You're on a roll! And I agree with everything you've suggested here. FB does not work for me and I'm constantly mining the thoughts of others to try and find a more crystal clear reason of why exactly it doesn't work. It's about the words. And the feedback. The dialogue. I cannot find any "conversation" on FB.

LJ is flexible and forgiving. I think it's perfectly suited to your desire to corral the wild thoughts.
Sep. 9th, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC)
True conversation is rare on Facebook, in part because you cannot comment on a post without then being subject to every comment that follows. They have improved it slightly with the recently added ability (or perhaps I just noticed it and it had been around) to reply directly to a specific comment. Still, I think it's very drive-by for most people: something to do while waiting in line at the post office or waiting for the morning coffee. Doesn't exactly allow for an involved discussion.

Not to mention the FB metrics which decide which posts you ought to be seeing. I like it an awful lot that, on LJ, I get to decide what I want to read and to see as much or as little of it as I want.

Honestly, when I first began journaling, I wrote it primarily for myself, with the back-of-the-brain thought it could also one day interest my children. So when I find myself recently obsessed with how many "likes" a given post receives, I have to admit that I'm using FB for entirely different reasons. Equally valid, I suppose, but only if I'm making sure I don't forget to step back and really reflect.

That, after all, has always been the best way I've found to truly appreciate my life and what I've learned from it so far.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

Edited at 2015-09-09 10:09 pm (UTC)
Sep. 9th, 2015 10:33 pm (UTC)
FB is the Wal-Mart of social media: easy to deride but far too convenient to actually ignore.</b> T
This is literally the best description of FB that I've ever read.
Sep. 9th, 2015 11:39 pm (UTC)
LOL, and it's true!
Sep. 10th, 2015 09:57 am (UTC)
Thank you! I hope I don't offend my very good friend who is a manager there, but that's how I see it.

Edited at 2015-09-10 09:57 am (UTC)
Sep. 10th, 2015 04:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, very much this!
Sep. 9th, 2015 11:44 pm (UTC)
A lot of my (former) LJ friends are using filters on FB similar to what's done here. Some of them are writing what I'd call "LJ type" entries on those filters. Many of them don't like doing it because it IS FB, after all, but they feel they have no choice because that's where everybody is now. Or, as one of them said to me, "It's great that you're still there but what about everybody else on my FList?"

I also blame the smartphone. Why bother to sit down at your desktop/laptop where you actually would have the time to craft a thoughtful entry and engage in thoughtful conversation when you can just hit "like" while you're waiting in line or watching TV? I find myself using both my phone and tablet more than my laptop nowadays. Unfortunately neither lends itself to long entries because of the swiping.
Sep. 10th, 2015 01:36 am (UTC)
So true about phones! I sometimes use the dictation feature om my Droid because I hate typing with my big clumsy thumbs.

Well, time to put KFP to bed!
Sep. 11th, 2015 01:28 am (UTC)
Fannish stuff has really made the jump to Tumblr in the past few years, so the traffic on LJ has really died down. I still love LJ and its commenting system and how I really feel like I get to know people via conversations. Just hitting "like" or reblogging a pic doesn't do it for me. Tho it's nice to amass some gifsets on my Tumblr, not gonna lie. I still feel like LJ is my home, and I do still update and try to checkout my flist.

Isn't it amazing how much things change with time?
Sep. 12th, 2015 12:40 pm (UTC)
It truly is! I think that's why I missed LJ so much. I originally joined it back when so many of my RL/Otakon friends were using it, but since those days I've connected with people all over the world that I really only know from here. It has a sense of community for me that other sites simply lack, and I feel good posting here again.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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