For those of you that don't know, LJ finally has a decent phone app, which makes it so much easier to keep up with things here, 'cos I can just check it like Twitter or Facebook whenever I have time to kill.
I downloaded the Android version for free from Google Play last year and am really happy with it. There were a couple of limitations on it at first, but after it was updated, I haven't been able to find anything I can't do on the app that I can online. I'm assuming it's at the App store for iPhone users too, so I recommend checking it out. Sorry for sounding like a commercial, lol, but it really is handy.
The article itself was a nice piece of nostalgia, although a lot of it I didn't connect to - I wasn't a teenager when I started using LJ, and I was always more focussed on Oz stuff rather than personal stuff - but the ending is a heartstring-tugger, talking about the people she met here:
And it just hit me right in the gut, I suppose. I wish the dick moves by the previous site owners hadn't destroyed this place. I suppose it would have lost out to shiny new platforms anyway, but that mass exodus after all the censorship fuckery and pointless site updates makes me feel like I got cheated out of a place that truly built a sense of community, in a way that Tumblr just isn't conducive to without a decent comment function. Twitter is good for quick quips, but shit for anything meaningful. Facebook is full of RL people which means I don't feel free to actually be myself there. I guess I just miss having a place where I could post literally anything without judgement.
But I realised I still do. This place is still here, sleepy and quiet though it is. And maybe no-one is reading this. Maybe a couple of people are, but they won't bother commenting. But I think I'm okay with that. Of all the 'me's online, this place was always the 'me'-est me, and I don't want to let it go, even if it isn't what it once was. If other people want to share in that, great. If not, oh well - I've still got most of my main LJ peeps on Twitter, so it's not like I never 'see' them.
And what led to this realisation? It was the comments section on that article. They really got to me. So many people were overome with feels at the memory of LJ and what it meant to them. I had to share a few gems that really resonated with me:
"People laugh about LiveJournal but the one thing I miss the most is that every step away from that format has had more of an expectation of an audience and feels more performative, less intimate. Communities on the internet seem less tightly-knit now...I used to write about serious difficult things to nobody on LJ, and, somehow, a few people found them, and that more or less implied friendship. Now I say nothing to my actual friends on Facebook."
"I lived in the tiniest rural Belgian town and 'knowing' all these people was amazing to me. Everyone's lives were fascinating to me and somehow my posts about myself seemed interesting to them."
"LJ was so important to me and to fandom and oh god I miss it so much. And I miss my friends--not that I don't still interact with them, which I do, but there was a sense of being involved in their lives in a deep and tangible way. "
"I love the immediacy of Twitter, the chattiness of Facebook, the prettiness of Tumblr, but none of them really allow for the slow development of real friendships in the way that LJ has."
"But last fall I was going through a thing and went and poured my heart out on LJ and it felt so good, even though there were only 4-5 people still around to read it. I definitely no longer have the interest/energy to keep up with it the way I did back in 2003, with as many as 5 posts a day, but I mourn that sense of community it fostered. So many of my closest friends are LJ friends from back in the day. I wonder how different my life would be, and how different a person I would be, if I had never stumbled on LJ and the amazing group of women I found there."
"Certainly as there are more platforms to share your life - instagram, tumblr, they don't feel like safe spaces in the way LJ did. It was a like one big sleepover, to this lonely girl living in rural Ireland - friends in large cities, all over the world. I miss it!"
"I actually still use LJ, but instead of whispering at a slumber party, it's more like shouting into a void most days. "
"I've found that even though all but...maybe three? of my friends have stopped posting, there are a lot of us who still read our (barren) friends pages. And you'll see occasional posts asking if anyone is still out there reading, and they are! They're just not writing. It's like we're all just waiting and hoping for it to become what it once was, but are too scared/apathetic/who knows to actually try to make it happen ourselves."
I guess this is my attempt at 'making it happen'. Like I said, I don't expect anyone to join me, as our lives are so different and busy these days. This is mostly just for me. And in small part to honour the friends I made here - those who are still around, those who are long gone, those who disappeared into the void, and those who are no longer of this Earth (of which there are far, FAR too many - FUCK CANCER). I thank the universe for having known each and every one of you.
And if you'd like to be able to touch base with me elsewhere online, I'm on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, although I mainly use them for following other people, rather than posting stuff of my own.
Quick update on me: Still jobless and living with my parents, although the stupid employment agency I've been forced to see for the past 2 years (if I don't go to my appointments, they cut off my dole payments), did manage to finally get me another work placement. Non-paying of course, but at least it gives me something more recent to put on my resume. I'm doing general office-assistant-y type stuff at a community college 2 days a week for the next month or so.
It's the kind of work a monkey could do, and yet despite being somewhat more intelligent than a monkey (allegedly), I have been completely unable to find someone who is willing to pay me to do this kind of monkey work. Oh, you can't answer phones or deal with customers because you're a socially-retarded spaz? Sorry, no low-paying, entry-level employment for you. Seriously, fuck my life. It's not like I have great ambitions; all I wanna do is type data into a computer and be left alone - is that really so much to ask? Apparently, yes.
But other than that, I'm doing okay. My family keeps me busy, especially since being unemployed means I'm the on-call baby-sitter - my littlest nephews and niece are now 1, 2, and almost 3, so that's a lot of (exhausting) fun. And my little sister is popping out her third sprog in a few weeks, so that'll be another little darling I can smother with affection.
I miss you guys - I should definitely start getting back into the posting groove again. And I wanna get my fandom mojo back. I think I've got the motivation to get back into the swing of things - a shiny new pairing I've loved for over a year now is starting to morph into a full-blown obsession, so I'll probably be inclined to share squee, even though none of my f-list watch the show (Teen Wolf). Still, love is love and god knows my poor, neglected journal could use some.
Update on me:
I’ll try to do this in the least whiny, least attention-whorish way possible, because sometimes I feel like that’s all I do here.
Anyway, my mental health took a turn for the worst, which means I am now unemployed and on benefits because I’ve been declared unfit for work (I believe the exact wording was “too unpredictable and unstable, with the bouts of unprovoked aggression, and entirely irrational reactions and behaviour”). I’ve been put on a new anti-depressant (long and arduous process), and I’ve been set up with a new psychologist after being out of therapy for three years, as well as a psychiatrist to evaluate my Asperger’s, and its relation to my depression, because the situation is probably worse than I was originally diagnosed with. I’ll probably have to be put in cognitive behavioural therapy, and I might have to be medicated in regards to the Asperger’s.
The sucky thing about all this is that I have zero money, so I have to do every thing through the public health system, and rely on my GP to get things moving, so I can get treated for free. It’s still going to take weeks to even get appointments with these people though. So meanwhile, I’m kind of just languishing and waiting around. *sigh*. Mental illness fucking sucks.
Meanwhile, on the outside of my head:
St Patrick’s Day celebration preparations are in full swing at our house – the entirety of my very large and very insane family has been invited to our Annual (except the years when mother can’t be bothered) Paddy’s Day Piss-Up. Basically an excuse to get drunk and eat Irish fare. Mum is cooking soda bread, potato soup and potato scones; we’re all stocked up on stout and pan pipe music; and she’s already threatened everybody with disownment if they don’t wear green.
The really insane thing is that we’re not even Irish.