Friday, January 28, 2011

Semi-Annual Blog Post!

I should really update this thing more, right?

Well, this is something I wrote a little bit ago on my livejournal, but didn't think to post here. A friend of mine suggested I tighten it up/alter it slightly and submit it somewhere, but that would require tightening it up/altering it and thinking of someplace to submit it. So instead, I'll just post it here, since I'm the editor-in-chief of this bitch. :D

Surprise Social Media Ramble

If anything, one of the things I want from my life is to be less engaged with social media, not more.

I don't know how to talk about what's going on in my life anymore - to paraphrase my friend Cera, my attitudes toward sharing the details of my life have changed dramatically in the past few years, and while the world barrels toward living more publicly, I find myself creeping inward and clinging to my privacy, whatever that even means anymore.

They tell me Google watches me even when I sleep.

But rather than get into some paranoid dystopian rant in which I start drawing parallels to the marvels of modern technology to vague and half-remembered bits of 1984 (not because I don't think it's true or valid, but because I'm certain it's been done many times before, and better, and, as I said, I don't remember enough details for it to be any good right now), I suppose I'll just lament not the loss of privacy on the internet, but rather the loss of intimacy.

It used to be intimate. Do you remember?

I haven't looked back at my old livejournal entries in a long time, but I do remember when I wrote nearly every day. I remember writing paragraphs upon paragraphs about my feelings, or the events of my life, or just random thoughts on what was. It was messy and it was self-indulgent, but I certainly felt the sense that there was a tiny group of people with whom I was sharing something special; we saw parts of each other that few people in our "real" lives got to see, and for some reason, despite the illusion those circumstances allowed, it felt safer and a lot more honest in that space, on the internet in general, than it does now.

I remember when the internet was just a bunch of socially maladjusted freaks, ugly people, weird people, creepy people. Nerds, geeks, and weirdos, if you will. I think it was considered more sinister back then - we were all more careful with our personal information back then: our real names, where we lived, even what we did for a living or where we went to school.

And now there's foursquare.

It's hard to believe things have changed so much in just fifteen years, but I guess that's like, 95 years in Internet time. Or something.

Even so, I still miss that connection, that sense of community and being able to share things safely. I miss my rambling livejournal entries and those of my friends. I miss the anonymity of the internet, and the sense that it was the one place where the people on the margins could live peacefully and undetected. Now my mom is on facebook, and the internet is a place where everybody knows your name - and that's in no way comforting to me. In fact, it's a little sad.