do you feel the weight of the world singin' sorrow
or to you is it just not real
cause you got your own things
and we all have our things, I guess...

- rocket summer "do you feel" (track uploaded as the top track of my mixtape)

I felt an immense sadness when I read this comment left in my journal yesterday: "they've grown up and stopped blogging or blog very infrequently because that's what happens when you enter the real world... "

Why is this? Why is it, as we grow older, when we have more wisdom to offer ... the less we give? Why is it, when we have more reasons to stay in touch with people from the past ... we withdraw?

There seems to be a few recurring themes from people who disappear:

  • The minutiae just isn't fascinating anymore. Let's face it - most people who write online don't add anything meaningful (this site being a great example of this). Growing older, there seem to be more important things than writing about your mom saving money by "splitting" jewelry (don't forget Mother's Day is Sunday, a fact my mom didn't let me forget when I called her today). Me, I love the details. It helps me get through my day by breathing levity into my idealistic (and thus disappointing) worldview.
  • It's embarassing to capture naivety online. There's nothing more embarassing than reading some vague entry pining about some girl. Memories are suppressed for a reason - online journals make it impossible to forget. Of course, since I have no shame I feel no regret in posting pictures like this:

  • Being busy. Probably the most common reason I hear. Of course, these same people manage to find time to watch shows like American Idol and reality shows on MTV.
  • Having nothing to write about. The most important fact of human nature (and this rule applies to everybody) is that people love to talk about themselves. People love to talk about themselves, and I'm pretty sure they love to write about themselves, too. What people fear is the empty response from the void ... so when people really say "they have nothing to write about," what they really mean is, "I have tons to write about, but I never get a response." At least when they're talking to somebody who's (seemingly) listening intently (a skill I've mastered), they can believe somebody is listening. But here's the thing: just because there are no responses doesn't mean nobody's reading.
  • Privacy is important. The one legitimate reason. The growth of sites like Wordpress and Facebook are rather depressing, because they reinforce the (false) belief that controlling privacy across the web is impossible. Facebook's spent a lot of user goodwill on their continual privacy blunders, and that debt carries over to other social networks. People are simply scared that what they write cannot be controlled, and that really truly sucks ... because it's totally not true. (LiveJournal is a great example of this). Whenever I try to imagine where the web will be 5 years from now, I don't imagine much of a difference from the present. The biggest thing in five years will be authenticated data portability - everybody is figuring out data portability now, so granular ACL on that data is logically next.

. . .

and as they strolled along
his heart broke out in song
from all the things and the thoughts and the assumptions he had wrong

- rocket summer "never knew"

. . .

Personally, all the warts of an online journal (loss of privacy, protential for embarassment) don't come close to outweighting the benefit:it is proof of my growth, as a person, through the past five years. Every story of my life, every feeling of my insignificant life, every transition (and lackthereof) ... I can go back at any time and read over it. And to read heart-felt comments on personal posts from long-lost friends reminds me of the good times and all the people in my life who've helped shape me into who I am today.

Anyways, I wish more of my friends would write. I miss you guys.

. . .

and show me everything you've got
i know you're scared
but let your words destruct
you gotta take that step, and your heart, just let it pour out

 - rocket summer "show me everything you've got"

. . .

. . .

( I'm willing to entertain the possibility that my continual journaling is the result of never outgrowing immaturity, in which case the burden is clearly on me to grow up and find a life; thus discontinuing my disjointed ramblings! )

Currently listening to: a whole lot of "rocket summer" (can you tell?)
Currently feeling: optimistic
Posted by roy on May 10, 2008 at 02:31 AM in Personal, Ramblings | 4 Comments

Related Entries

Want to comment with Tabulas?. Please login.

Comment posted on May 12th, 2008 at 07:09 AM
i like that picture. the last one.
Comment posted on May 11th, 2008 at 09:04 PM
Maybe everybody has just left for Xanga.
Comment posted on May 11th, 2008 at 08:46 AM
Nice post.
Comment posted on May 10th, 2008 at 11:09 AM
Because working pays. Blogging doesn't. So you know what you do? You build a big cyberwall along the Tabulas border before this place is overrun by call center workers. :P :-D