Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dear diary.. I can believe I wrote that on LiveJournal

For today’s post I read the article”Shout into the wind and it shouts back,” by Lori Kendall. The article deals with the tensions that participants of LiveJournals face. The first tension that is identified is that of the private journal and the public sphere. The problem here is that people generally write journals for themselves or close family and friends. The intended audience contradicts the public nature of posting diaries online. People are withdrawn from talking as freely as they would if they were just writing in a diary that no one else would see. They have to be aware that more people than they might want might see the post.

The next tension that is identified is efficiency vs. audience management. The article explains that LiveJournals are a great way to keep many people updated on recent events in your lives. The problem is that you cannot control who sees what you wrote. So it could be very advantageous in some aspects in others in could represent an invasion of privacy.

The next tension is that between control vs. connection. Control relates to the autonomy that people have to do and say whatever they want. Many people like this as an outlet for expression. But for those that use it to converse with people find that LiveJournals leave something to be desired in that area.

The last tension discussed is autonomy vs. the desire for comments. Autonomy refers to the participant’s awareness of an audience and this limits what people may disclose about themselves and the scope of the discussion that they may engage in. Autonomy is in direct conflict with some people’s desire for comments. The less people feel they have control over their posts and the less they feel that talking about something is appropriate the less they are likely to comment on other people’s journals.

I have never understood why people keep diaries. I have been lead to believe that a diary is something where people write things that they do not want anyone else to see. With that being said, I think that posting your diary online, in the public’s eye, then bitching about the wrong people seeing it is ludicrous. Of course the wrong people are going to see it eventually. And of course you should be wary of what you write in them…. People are going to see it.


Kendall, Lori. (2007). “shout into the wind, and it shouts back.” Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. First Monday, 12. Retrieved on August 21, 2008 from
http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_9/kendall/index.html

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