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funny.

recently, I've been preparing myself for another reflective entry about my use of lj, and then my brother plops this in his journal.

I'm still planning on doing a reflective entry that's less structured, but this is a good prep, i think. sorry if the answers are a bit babbly - i'm tired.

1. Why did YOU join LiveJournal?

The first entry i made in both my public and private journal covers this somewhat, but i'm going to answer anyway in case it's changed at all without my knowing.

When email surveys were popular, i answered every one i received, treating them as a form of journal. Subtle differences in how i answered certain questions would speak worlds to me and to those who really knew me as to my mood. while i still answer any surveys i get (which is so rare these days), lj replaced that form of public thought sharing.

I've never been good at keeping personal journals. it's hard for me to invest time in projects that are just for myself. as an artist and a teacher, i like to express myself to others, for them to take if they want or not. I don't have the motivation to upkeep a journal where I know that I'm the only one who is going to read it. Yet at the time when i was thinking of starting an lj, there were a lot of thoughts and emotions running around in my brain that I felt like i needed to write down, but didn't have the avenue.

I mean, if i wanted to, i could turn to some close friends or loved ones or whoever and unload my thoughts on them, but that's given me mixed results. Aside from the fact that I feel guilty for burdening my troubles on people, some of those few that are unlucky enough to see my weak side don't always know how to handle it or make me feel better, which makes me feel more guilty because they want to help me but felt like they can't, and so on. Opening my Entire Self isn't something i do.

With an lj, it's slightly different. i'm not unloading on someone "against their will" per se. If people want to get to know me, they're free to do that, but no one is obligated to listen to my babble if they don't want to. they have more control over the process, which ends up making me feel less guilty and self-conscious about people getting close to me.

2. Do you feel obligated to add someone if they add you?

not really. i don't expect someone to add me just because i add them.

it's odd though... i'm starting to view the friends list a bit differently than i used to. I think it's because at first, i took the use of the word "friend" too literally. I don't think "friend" is really the right word to attach to that list. it's kind of a loaded word, which is why i sometimes still hesitate to add someone to my friends list. Now, though, i see it more as a manner of convenience, to keep track of certain people regardless of whether they're "friends" or not.

Case in point: fairly recently i added drinkycrow to my friends list because we both went to high school together, and then i was his instructor when i graduated and he was still in high school. At that time, we were friends. not close, but friends. But is he my friend now? i'm not sure how he *could* be yet, because I don't really know anything about him anymore. aside from the fact that we have a history together, i don't know if we have anything in common, if we think any similar thoughts... high school was a long time ago, and we've both changed a great deal. But that's the only reason i might not call him "friend." That doesn't mean that i'm not happy connecting with him, or that don't care about him or that I'm not interested in what he's up to.

i don't think i'm the most consistent about this philosophy, though. it's still stewing about in my brain, and it's energy i don't have right now.

3. Do you remove someone if you realize you just aren't much interested in what they write?

i don't have that many people on my friends list, so it's not that hard to keep up even if i'm not generally interested in what they write. It's still worth it to have them there, partially because i like to keep in touch with other people's every day life to gain as many perpsectives as i can, even if the entries are sometimes dull, and partially because sometimes amidst a whole slew of every day entries, there's those one or two gems where they go deeper, allow people to see something more than their every day life, and those entries are almost always worth it.

4. Do you feel your journal is less useful if you don't get (m)any comments?

not really, but i've definitely noticed a change in my style of LJ'ing ever since i developed an audience. i still see my journal as more personal than public, but my entries have become more mixed in their personal vs. public approach.

For example, there's no doubt that my recent entries the symbolism of shuffle on iTunes, more of my past creeping up on me, and weird are entries written to myself, and if people have something to say about them, that's fine. On the other hand, my recent entries flawed sexual analogy, an open random question, and huh? are entries intended for others to read and react to.

i think that overall, though, i see my LJ as more of a personal journal that's on display. If i felt like it was more of a public journal, i might feel obligated to explain what DDR is or what a tangent line is in case some people might not know. Or at least provide some helpful links that might explain what they are.

it's public enough, however, that i've become more conscious of what I decide to write about.

5. Do you wish your non-LJ friends would read your posts, or are you content to be ignored?

I've told a few non-lj people about my lj, and if they want to read it they can, but again, that's part of the reason it's an lj and not me just emailing or calling up those people with things on my mind. Every now and again, i'll say to someone, "if you get the chance, you should read this lj entry of mine", but that's rare, and i understand if they don't end up doing it. I'm not always good about that kind of stuff myself.

6. Do you ever feel guilty for just writing entries about what you did on a particular day, even when its more significant to you than anyone else?

i don't think so. if people want to read it, they can, but it's their choice if they want to or not. If i feel like writing about it, i'll write about it regardless of that fact.

Besides, while i don't *always* read the "today i did" entries people write, i do like to read them because i like hearing about people's lives, particularly if it's something that's significant to them, even if it's not significant to me.

7. Do you think your friends will consciously or unconsciously judge you as a person partially based upon the quality of your entries?

i'm not sure what is meant by "quality" of entries, but one thing that springs to mind is a few of my email friends who write to me in one big long paragraph, sometimes in incomplete sentences and disorganized stream of consciousness writing. i don't necessarily judge people negatively for things like that, particularly those i already know in person, because I theorize that with some of them it just has to do with their typing speed or their inability to not look at the keys when they type. But even though i don't necessarily regard it as a negative, i tend to pass by journals i find at random that have those sort of entries. It's too hard for me to read, and i'll only give it effort if i know the person already.

There are other things to say about the use of the word "quality", but this entry is already waaaaay longer than i thought it would be and i need to sleep soon. I'll be impressed if people who decided to tackle reading this entry are still reading.

8. Does the quality or frequency of your friends' entries significantly affect what you think of them? In what way?

quality and frequency affects what i think of them, but not as strong as the entry's content or... energy.

9. Would you be able to name the best entry (by anyone) you've ever read, or do you mostly read and forget quickly?

sometimse I read and forget, other times I don't. But when there are so many entries with a wide variety of topic, depth, emotion, etc., it's hard to make comparisons between them and quantify any one entry as being "best".

10. Do you feel LiveJournal's oft-dubious reputation is well-deserved?

i'm not sure what that reputation is supposed to be. but it seems to me that to stereotype lj into a specific "reputation" or impression isn't quite right. i don't put lj in the same place as "boy bands" as much as i place it in the same place as "music". boy bands are a kind of music, and a lot of teenage girls listen to them. But boy bands aren't a good overall representative of All Music. i see lj users being All Music that just happen to have a sub-category of boy bands.

I wonder if that made any sense at all. Maybe i'll try that one again when i'm less tired.

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