[personal profile] the_elyan
Given my last post lacked somewhat for finesse, I guess I should try to explain a bit more clearly why I haven't written on here for a couple of months, and don't currently intend to again (though one says these things...). It is germane to what follows to issue the usual caveats, which should be taken as read throughout:
i) this is only my opinion, and
ii) where the response is "well, it's alright for you...", then my only answer is "yes, I guess you're right"

There are basically three types of blog post I find myself wanting to write:

i) funny blog posts, usually short
ii) personal blog posts, often angsty in nature
iii) blog posts about Stuff in the Outside World

I have found that the first of these can be shifted easily to Facebook, which is actually a more natural home for them, because the imperamnence of the medium suits the throwaway nature of the comment.
As for the angst, I have found actually myself happier since I stopped writing it. If I fight the feeling, more often than not I find it goes away, and/or I think of something funny to say instead. I have very little new to say about the aspects of my life that trouble me, and occasionally I have found myself getting into the highly unhealthy state of counting comments, and assuming that if there are no comments, that nobody cares. This is Really Bad For Me, so I needed to stop it
The comments on Stuff Outside are of course where it gets harder. The fundamental point was put well by people wiser than me - that it is often difficult to distinguish on the Internet between an attempt to shape an as yet tender view (which needs helpful and constructive moulding), and a request for Rigorous Debate. Beyond that, I just don't like argument particularly, and certainly not in a text-only medium, where it's so hard to keep a contriol on the emotion level. It isn't how I want to spend my leisure hours. I also feel that I do not want to get into a real-world-stuff disagreement with a friend if I think my friendship with them will be impaired. If I think that someone will always have in the back of their mind "but he thinks X, and I can't accept that", then I'd rather keep my mouth shut. I can generally compartmentalise these things, and am nervous of people who can't, or choose not to. This may sound cowardly, but I really don't care - it makes my life work better. Thus, if I decide to start posting about Real Stuff again, it will probably be in a different, and anonymous, blog.

When I joined Facebook about 18 months ago, I didn't like it at all - the lack of thoughtful content, and the breadth of my F'list there bothered me. As for many people, the great watershed was discovering how to hide game notifications (obviously the cow you've found in Farmville makes you happy, but I couldn't give a monkey's), but beyond that, I have learnt to appreciate FB for what it is, and the level I want to get into it.
First, the content. With LJ, I feel guilty if I don't keep up, that I might miss something important. With FB, on the other hand, I find it much easier to treat it like a river of stuff flowing by - I dip in when I feel like it, and if I miss something, I miss it. I find that healthier, because it has less of a grip on my life.
Second, the width of F'list. On LJ, my F'list is exclusively from what Smith would call "the other life, lived in computers". On FB, I have friends from school, University, several previous jobs, and the LJ group. At first, this scared me, because I felt I wouldn't be able to post about anything which the wider group wouldn't understand. Now, I find that constraint paradoxically liberating. My FB feed reminds me that there are people doing both better and worse than me, and that they can live their lives without my dole of angst. I am happier when I don't dwell on the parts of my interior life that cause me pain, and being happy (or not unhappy) is a prerequisite to my doing anything useful. Even the parade of baby photos from some quarters remind me that life goes on...

I'm 35, and I want to live more of my life outside computers - the lighter touch and wider remit of Facebook suits me for this. While the contrast between the me I am online and the me I am at work sometimes feels like a tear in my personality, having both sides is also useful to my existence - my online life reminds me that I don't have to believe The Man's bullshit in order to survive, but life outside reminds me that I am competent at some things, and a retreat into solipsism and angst isn't going to do me any good.

I am still reading what is on my Default View, and commenting from time to time (though I very rarely comment on things posted to DW, because I find OpenID unreliable and irritating).

And with that, a very Happy New Year to both my remaining readers.



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