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25 March 2004 @ 11:32 am
Live Journal as an information tool.  
Different people use Live Journal is different ways. Some for the sense of community, some as a communication tool, and some use it as a true journal.

I use it in the latter way – as a place to put down my thoughts and feelings, a place to put things which I find inspiring or which I find of note that I may wish to revisit later, and as a place to save things I do not want to lose. I have discussions with myself here (being able to reply to yourself or follow up at a later date is an advantage I see over paper journals). Sometimes I even use it to track things, such as weight, exercise times, etc. Only very occasionally do I use it with the express purpose of sharing information with someone. I also enjoy that my journal is a quiz-free zone *smile*

Yesterday I used it purely as an informational tool, and discovered that was a pretty powerful thing. I think that several people appreciated being able to keep up on althaea’s surgical progress. It was handy to have a tool with which I could efficiently convey the information I was able to gather to those concerned about her. I was certainly happy to do so, and I hope it gave them some measure of comfort. I wonder how many people stopped by for the updates?

I question, however, the side effects of such usage. It was very helpful in this instance, but I’ve witnessed more than a few situations where someone said ‘I wrote XYZ in my journal, why didn’t you read it?’ or people directing others to read their journal rather than spend time catching up ‘in person’. Convenience is nice, but I worry about the loss of human contact and interaction in the process. Could this sort of interaction lead a depersonalization of our society? How much is being able to keep up on the daily activities of a friend or sweety really worth? Is there a difference between keeping up with a casual friend and keeping up with a family member or mate?

Things that make you go hmmm…

-the redhead-
a knight in slightly tarnished armormusuko on March 25th, 2004 11:12 am (UTC)
i use my journal as a true journal, but sometimes the difference between journal and informational tool is a bit blurry. i got a journal initially at the insistance of several of my friends in texas when i moved to oregon. they wanted to be able to read whatever i was willing to share about my life here, and so we wouldn't loose contact, as is easy to do when your only means of communication would be phone, which is quite expensive. i get to go home around twice a year, tops, so reading about their lives, and them being able to read about mine, is much more communication than i would have otherwise. as far as friends up here, i almost always communicate face-to-face, and i wouldn't direct them to my journal, because ideas are expressed so much more clearly and have a greater depth in person, with expression that doesn't come through in writing. the only communicating i do on LJ with people here is that this is a place where i can voice my thoughts once i've had time to think them over, and people see another aspect of me that wouldn't come out in face-to-face communication, except with my closest friends.

anyway, i've rambled enough, i'm going to go meet my girlfriend for lunch in person (hehe).
-the redhead-theredhead on March 27th, 2004 08:02 am (UTC)
Thanks for bringing up some good points. I hope you had a nice lunch *smile*

-the redhead-
T'ai of the Sidhetaisidhe on March 25th, 2004 11:25 am (UTC)
*nods thoughtfully*
I know people who live in the same house who use their journals to keep in touch during the day... these folks work far enough apart that it would be a LD call and/or they don't have access to an IM program at their place of business.

That makes sense to me.

I use my own journal as all three. I see no reason to have a public journal if one is wanting privacy. When I need to post something that is private (such as a rant) I mark it private and no one but me has access. Then there are my custom filters that I use to discuss things in my personal life that I only allow trusted friends to read (and by "friends" I mean the real thing, not "readers" of my journal).

As for depersonalization... believe it or not, they said the same thing about the telephone. I think it actually brings people closer together as I have met some phenomenal people online that I would never have had the pleasure to meet f2f. Many live in other countries that I probably will never visit. It's eye opening to see/hear how the other half lives...

Good points.

-the redhead-theredhead on March 27th, 2004 08:19 am (UTC)
Re: *nods thoughtfully*
You are very right about interacting with people you wouldn't otherwise meet. That's been an important thing for me lately *smile*

-the redhead-
Musings from the CZ unitcz_unit on March 25th, 2004 11:28 am (UTC)
Hm. I've been annoyed at times when I ask someone how they are doing and the response is "read my journal". Especially if I am talking to them in person. Sometimes in addition to simply listening to someone's life you want to hear them speak to you. Then you can inter-relate...

LJ can also be excellent fodder for flame-wars. Especially if used as a back door for communication between two people (well, XYZ will read about it in my journal I guess). Takes the onus of communcation off the person with something to say and puts it on the person that is supposed to be communicated with.

And of course it's too easy to narrow things down to little word-bytes as opposed to looking at the big picture.

What is LJ good for? Putting my thoughts into writing. Speaking into the void, where sometimes the void will speak back to you.

-the redhead-theredhead on March 27th, 2004 08:22 am (UTC)
Yes, it's definitely important to talk to people.

-the redhead-
(Deleted comment)
-the redhead-theredhead on March 27th, 2004 08:35 am (UTC)
You are welcome - I was happy to keep up everyone updated as I heard from the OR.

How do you think LJ encourages you to get together with your friends more in real life?

-the redhead-