Well, aren’t I a lemming? I finally started my own LiveJournal. I hadn’t really paid much attention to them until the last week, and then I found reading them all too addictive.
I’ve long said that the web is the world’s biggest vanity press, and I guess LJ is a logical step when you look at it that way. People can bare their souls here without ever having to think about creating a website—it’s just there!
Some of the things some people tell, though—well, they fall into a category that’s well beyond TMI as far as I’m concerned. They’re way over into BUS (as in “not only did I not want to go there, I didn’t want to know that the bus goes there.”)
Then again, as far as some folks (like, oh, my family of origin) are concerned, the idea of anybody publishing anything about themselves on the web, here or elsewhere, or even discussing any aspect of their lives on a mailing list or newsgroup is so completely foreign that they can’t conceive of it. It’s darn near a fetish, a form of exhibitionism, and anybody who’d read that stuff is a voyeur.
I don’t think it’s an issue of age — my siblings are younger than I am and share my parents’ view. Maybe it’s one of those areas where those who are heavy internet users are just going to be completely divided from those who do nothing more than sending emails to family and friends. They’re very Reality-centric. The idea of communicating with anyone you don’t know and see regularly in the flesh is simply foreign to them. Considering someone you met online a friend is just — out there. Not done. Weird.
But I’m used to being The Weird One in my family. I love them, but we have so very little in common that I often wonder where I came from. I know that one of the biggest reasons for those differences is my love of reading. As soon as I could read, I was reading everything I could get my hands on, and it opened new worlds to me. It exposed me to ideas that my parents and siblings didn’t encounter during their formative years, and to which they’d never give a moment’s thought now.
Anyway, I plan to use my LJ for doing some “thinking out loud.” I can’t see myself giving out incredibly intimate details of my life, but my definition of that probably differs from some people’s definitions. On one hand, I’d say that my musings are unlikely to be of any interest to most people, but then again—I spent a whole lot of time reading through entries made by people I don’t know and with whom I’m unlikely to ever correspond, so maybe that streak of voyeurism is more common than any of us like to admit.