reblog if you do.
Seriously. It’s so hard to follow all of your posts!
I used to keep a LiveJournal a long time ago. It got me through some of the hardest times of my life. It let me be honest about my life and thoughts, I could keep it from my family, and my friends - who I loved and whose presence was sorely needed in my life - could read these posts and tell me that I was okay, and I was right for feeling that way, and who did that guy think he was anyway? It was validating for me, and cathartic. I felt understood.
I got older and wiser, changed my life, and put my LJ on private. I haven’t posted a new LJ post in probably, wow, six years or something like that. I keep it around because sometimes I want to look back and remember where and who I was. Sometimes I congratulate myself on saying something so clever, or funny, or deep. I sometimes am impressed with how smart I was. (Not to toot my own horn or anything, right?) In an earlier post I mentioned that I’m a private person and I don’t really talk much about myself. I care about my privacy online these days, and I grew to value discretion, and how a person’s private life and thoughts are one of their dearest and most valuable possessions. I could go off on a tangent about how amazing it was that it took the innovation of the Internet for us to realize the value of our selves, but we’ll save that for another day.
I really liked Twitter when it got popular because I loved the challenge of trying to say a lot without saying much. I love how Twitter always makes you get creative, like every time you have a thought you have to make a haiku out of it. You never have to say, “I wish I had written that down” when you have a mobile phone on you and you can just tweet it. Naturally though, just like with trying to remember to write your ideas down on a notebook, not every idea you have is a gem and sometimes it’s better if you didn’t get it down at all.
I liked using Facebook’s “share” feature to share links, photos, videos, and that sort of thing with my friends. When I quit Facebook a few years ago, I discovered I didn’t really want to join another social network. I realized what I wanted was just to be able to share things I liked with my friends without having to e-mail them. I had to actually search for Tumblr, since I didn’t know anything like it existed.
Tumblr is better even than LiveJournal ever was for me. I get to be understood, and my friends can see the things I like, or I think are important, or funny. Through my posts, people can get to really know me in a way that words actually put barriers to without our intention. By telling the world, “these are the things that matter to me”, people get to know your soul. The whole blog becomes this audiovisual poem or song about the soul of its curator(s). XKCD recently joked about the names of Tumblr blogs being similar to band names, and I totally agree. People are thinking deeply about how they want to be understood.
I think Tumblr is special because even people that might not especially be gifted with words - not limited by them or even the number of characters they can use - can in effect say, “this is me, this is who I am, these things I’m showing you represent some facet of my personality or values”. I feel I can be understood much more clearly and intimately this way than I ever could before, as though a person who looked at my Tumblr “got me”. I in turn understand more intimately the souls of others and what they’re about.
It’s nice to let people in on so much without ever saying anything much at all.