I’ve been on Livejournal since 2001. In internet terms, Livejournal is practically ancient, but I’ve stuck around throughout it’s changes, both for the better & for the worse. I still love it there, & find new & fascinating people all the time.
Livejournal was around before “social networking” became everyone’s favorite time waster. It’s always been one (a time waster, that is), but I’ve formed connections there that I hope will last throughout my life. If it wasn’t for Livejournal, I probably wouldn’t have gone to see Serenity, introducing me to the Jossverse & ultimately to one of my favoritest people ever, Buffy Summers.
This actually isn’t an advertisement for Livejournal. But it is an introduction to something rather crazy that this twenty-something has done: I’ve deleted most of my social networking accounts.
See, in the early 00′s, social networks started popping up. Myspace, Facebook, YouTube. Friendster. De.icio.us. Flickr. Then came Vox, Twitter, & most recently Dreamwidth. I created accounts on almost all of them, & most I completely ignored. I’ve found account emails from places like Inksome, Spark People, Webshots… I’m sure there are more I’ve forgotten about.
I’m tired of them. Although I think they’re great in theory, & I did get to see what many of my classmates did after we graduated, I can’t keep up. I don’t understand why people I didn’t like/didn’t like me in high school ask to be friends with me. I don’t need the nagging guilt that I haven’t updated in awhile – after all, there are only so many ways I can say “it’s dull & dreary in NE Ohio today; someone make it stop.”
I’m delighted that many people find these tools useful. But I guess I just… don’t. Perhaps I’ve become more introverted in my old age, but the idea of my name being attached to so many webpages & companies rather bothers me. But I think what it truly comes down to is that I yearn to know more about someone than what is possible in a 140 character tweet. I want real, meaningful relationships with people; I want to get to know people by sharing a pot of tea, playing Monopoly into the wee hours of the night, & actually talking to them. I’m definitely in the camp of people who thinks that with all our text messaging & websites that are supposed to connect us, we’ve never been further apart. I constantly see people distracted from experiencing life thanks to all these technologies – teens texting away while rollerskating; two people on laptops at a coffeeshop on Facebook.
But as I’ve said before, I love Livejournal, & I’ll probably stick around there as long as the site exists. Although I’ve withdrawn & deleted probably a dozen accounts at various places, I have saved a few. Obviously, you’ll still find me here. Livejournal is still around, & I’ll be keeping my Flickr account if for no other reason than it’s a great place to store photos, but I don’t honestly use that for the social networking components anyways. When I’m at home, I’d rather read, watch television, or be out in the world doing something.
I’d been thinking about doing at least some of this anyways, but when I really got to thinking about all the places I’d signed up for accounts… I knew it had to be done. So my advice to you is this: delete all but a few of the accounts you actually use. I did this two or so weeks ago, & I feel not the least bit of guilt. The freedom is rather exhilarating.