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The pros and cons of LJ...

It's funny, the old LJ. The world of LJ is really rather small and I have been impressed by the power one person can have over a whole raft of other people. It's really fascinating to observe human behaviour in the LJ outlet, to see the comings and goings through comments and through behaviour of friending and unfriending. It's a whole new way of running relationships, and in some ways it's wonderful, and in other ways it stinks.

It's wonderful because you can get positive feedback for things, help for problems from all corners of the planet, you can stay in touch with good friends in different time zones without too much hassle, you can keep a log of your activities, you can find friends with interests in common, all that, and you can vent your anger at the 'real world', let it all out here when you can't let it out anywhere else and it's okay, we understand, we'll even sympathise! *g*. You can have a moan too, be a bit pathetic, and we'll sympathise with that too. Sometimes that's all people need, a little sympathy or TLC.

But LJ also stinks because you can drop a friend just like the snap of a finger. You can be dishonest, and sneak round with evil and abusive emails while appearing as a ministering angel on LJ. You can hurt people by pointedly refusing to comment on their LJs, or even unfriending them without a word as to why. You can make public fun of other people on your own LJ. There is room for mockery aplenty.

So LJ, good or bad? I think for good people, it's very good. For writers, great. For lonely and shut-in people, one anchor. For those with less pleasant intentions, it's a tool for joining in and then breaking up friendships. Words on LJ cross cultures and are frequently misunderstood and misinterpreted, and I've seen that happen a heap of times. And there seems to be a lack of forgiveness amongst many Net people that I have never encountered in 'real life'. Maybe it's because I move predominantly in vaguely Christian circles or maybe just circles of nice people, where forgiveness is paramount to enabling relationships to keep growing and moving forward, and those who are incapable of that gift, well, they really miss out by not taking that chance for reconciliation between friends, and there seem to be a bundle of those people on the Net. Then again, maybe that's why those ones are on the Net! Can't do it in real life... which is sad but acceptable *shrug*

At the same time, it's been so wonderful to meet you all, how could I really complain? You've been so kind.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
microjotz
Jul. 7th, 2007 10:03 am (UTC)
Maybe part of the problem with LJ is that it is impersonal and "anonymous" in so far as you do not see to whom you are "speaking".Therefore it is perhaps easier to be sharp and make cutting remarks if you are so inclined.Not seeing the person you are talking to means there is no eye contact and no sad face in front of you.Remarks are made and no gestures are visible,no facial expressions to show disapproval, or sadness, or wit or whatever. Some people dont seem to mind if they tread on others' feelings,but most do and I should think,if they stopped to re consider,they would be sad to hurt people.However, the influence of LJ seems to be such that some do still " gang up " against another in a rather sad and juvenile way.Maybe they lack perception and tolerance.
As you say, forgiveness plays a big part...and letting go.



natesmountain
Jul. 7th, 2007 11:15 am (UTC)
You speak wise words here, Phil, and thanks for sharing them. You're so right about the lack of facial interplay in exchanges, and it surely does make a difference.

-Some people dont seem to mind if they tread on others' feelings,but most do and I should think,if they stopped to re consider,they would be sad to hurt people
You are probably right, most people wouldn't want to make others sad, but some seem to steel themselves and shrug at others' sadness. I find that ...unusual!

-Maybe they lack perception and tolerance.
And yeah, you get the ganging up. I guess that's all part of the playground thing. I lost a few friends because of that!! Tolerance could well be the key there. And accepting one another as we change and mature and grow and adjust, all that is part of tolerance too. And accepting when we make mistakes and not blowing one another up over that. And the letting go... well, as you would well be aware, I'm working on that one LOL!
Yeah.
sashajwolf
Jul. 7th, 2007 10:30 am (UTC)
I think for good people, it's very good. [...] For those with less pleasant intentions, it's a tool for joining in and then breaking up friendships.

Like most things :-)

For my introverted, geeky, permanent outsider self, it's been a godsend, and I think I do mean that literally.
natesmountain
Jul. 7th, 2007 11:09 am (UTC)
-For my introverted, geeky, permanent outsider self, it's been a godsend,
Hee, I should have mentioned those selves *g*
I'm glad it helps.
ringbark
Jul. 7th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC)
I'd suggest it's not just LJ. It's a problem with all online communication, going back to the old email and usenet days.
Because it's just words on a page, people forget that another real live person is behind them. It's easy to ignore or laugh at words on a page, because the real person doesn't seem to be there.
But in fact, the real person is there, and might be hurting as a result of what has happened.
But as you say, it doesn't have to be like that. It can be the best of times or the worst of times. Real life can be like that too.
natesmountain
Jul. 8th, 2007 10:12 am (UTC)
-I'd suggest it's not just LJ. It's a problem with all online communication, going back to the old email and usenet days.
I'm sure you're right. I guess I hoped LJ could add a little something!!
-It's easy to ignore or laugh at words on a page, because the real person doesn't seem to be there.
But in fact, the real person is there, and might be hurting as a result of what has happened.

True. Very true, there are real people behind all these words. People with real feelings.

-It can be the best of times or the worst of times. Real life can be like that too.
True again.
hannahfmuk
Jul. 7th, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
I think you'll find this article interesting: http://www.rider.edu/%7Esuler/psycyber/disinhibit.html It's all about how the relative anonymity and the distance provided by cyberspace makes people relate to each other completely differently than how they would face to face.
natesmountain
Jul. 8th, 2007 10:20 am (UTC)
I enjoyed reading that. It sure explains how some people can behave so abominally, others so hesitantly, why others try so hard to preserve their anonymity and so forth.

That was very interesting. Thanks!

greenpizzazz6
Jul. 7th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
I think most internet blogging sites or anything like that has these sides to them. (That was a really bad sentence.)

It's always nice to have some place where you can go away from the regular world and just share your life and thoughts. But it's so easy for things to go kablooey and for things to be misunderstood.

I do agree with you, it's generally good, and I'm so glad I have this place as an outlet, and the friends I met here.

My sentence structure is leaving so much to be desired today...
natesmountain
Jul. 8th, 2007 10:23 am (UTC)
Hey, I love your sentence structure. I can always blame it on being American *g* we blame most things on you guys these days, have you noticed?!

-It's always nice to have some place where you can go away from the regular world and just share your life and thoughts. But it's so easy for things to go kablooey and for things to be misunderstood.
That is indeed true. And that's the only down side for me. Well, that and the massive amounts of rejection!!!

-I'm so glad I have this place as an outlet, and the friends I met here.
Me too *g*
greenpizzazz6
Jul. 8th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
we blame most things on you guys these days, have you noticed?!
Well, most everything is our fault!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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