Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire


editorial: Livejournals suck. Add me as a Friend?

Confession: I have a Livejournal.

I’m not proud of my Livejournal. I don’t parade my Livejournal about town as the Livejournal to read, full of top-notch writing and scandalous facts. I just have one.

Lots of people have Livejournals, so I’m surprised that I have such trouble admitting that I am one of the many. I have no qualms admitting that I am one of the many who has a car, or a record player, or a “Gilmore Girls” collection. Well, I have a little trouble with that last one. But I digress.
I am not the only one ashamed of her Livejournal. When I bring mine up in casual conversation a common response is, “Oh my God. You have one of those things?” followed by a look of utter disgust, a brief pause and finally, “You should add me to your list of Friends.”

The fact is this: We narcissistically want other people to read our diaries.

For example, when I began documenting my inner thoughts at the age of 11 in a paperback journal, I fantasized about my future children reading all about my life and thinking I was cool. I imagined my sister pulling it from its obvious hiding place under my bed and poring over the emotional conflicts I had with my chemistry teacher.

Years later, I got a Livejournal, which really helped. Now I not only had the assurance that my intelligent thoughts were available to the vast electronic void of the Internet, but people could even leave comments, telling me exactly how they felt about my hopes and despairs. Delicious.
I have gotten very vain about my Livejournal: the background image is a Photoshop creation of several round pictures of myself looking hot. I like to post more flattering pictures of myself and my friends and my pets and my family and my boyfriend, all with accompanying captions. I always spellcheck, never post while drunk or otherwise inebriated and frequently delete posts I feel are overly-dramatic.

But I’m not proud of any of that. I know my ex-boyfriends read my Livejournal: I want them to know how I continue to be cute and funny and better-off-without-them. I know my arch nemesis Megan Nonsan from high school reads it, too, and I want her to see how successful I have become. She has not become successful, I know from reading her Livejournal: She has just become fat.

I recognize my vanity and narcissism and I frequently consider taking my Livejournal down, but I can never bring myself to do it.
Although I’m posting less and less these days.

I remember a time when I would post two or three times a day, and then I’d call my best friend demanding, “Have you read my Livejournal yet today? It’s really funny. I talk about you in it.”

Which brings me to another reason people have Livejournals: to read about themselves. There are people who pull up their friends’ Livejournals and then run a search for their own names.

Of course, that’s an over-simplification, because more common than the desire to read about oneself is the desire to read about the lives of those one envies or despises.

Because people often post on Livejournal looking for a little support in their oh-so-depressing lives, reading the Livejournals of ex-boyfriends can be extremely satisfying. Take, for instance, this entry from an ex-boyfriend of mine: “I’m depressed and if I can’t get the counseling I need things will be getting much worse before they get better.”

I, at least, get a perverse pleasure out of this kind of thing.

I guess, when it comes down to it, I can’t really see how Livejournal could possibly be used for good. Occasionally, I post entries in which I list all of my friends by name and then a few things I love about them. But I really only do that to get Brownie points from those I’ve lost touch with. There’s nothing noble about it.

Livejournal is just the fattening food and Us Weekly’s of the new millennium. It’s unhealthy as fuck: but God, does it ever feel good.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *