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Metacommentary Entries

  • 19th Jan, 2005 at 4:59 PM

It's amazing to look at what things people comment upon in your diary. From what I can tell from my particular journal, people are more interested in commenting on the superficial parts of your life. Like which weblogging software is the best, or about FlexHours, or ethnic diversity. Whereas whenever a deep, personal thought surfaces, it goes by unnoted.

My theory is that people only comment upon the entries that they can actually relate to. So perhaps if someone else has had a similar ephiphany (e.g. being inspired by the Word) or experience then a comment could be made. However, an entry with no common ground whatsoever is curiosa, and is read for the entertainment value and no more.

I fully expect this entry to be completely ignored. However, being self-referential, this entry might cause people to comment, just because. This paragraph is getting quite Moseresque. This is the last sentence of the journal entry. This is the last sentence of the journal entry. This is the last sentence of the journal entry. This is.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
19th Jan, 2005 14:57 (UTC)
But one thing you can be sure about - everyone who comments on this entry can relate to the act of commenting on Livejournal, which is what the post is about. So by your argument people should be quite interested in it, and not "just because".
19th Jan, 2005 14:58 (UTC)
After reading your first paragraph, I came to the same conclusion that you proposed in your next paragraph.

If you invite people to suggest a good resaurant, it's easy for them. If you tell them something personal, sometimes there is no appropriate response. My favourite band shares their emotions with me, and brings out my own emotions in me... that said, if I met them, I'd have nothing to say.

Your writing on LJ lately has been quite good (if plentiful :p). Keep it up.
19th Jan, 2005 15:28 (UTC)
I disagree. I do not find myself commenting to a post, based solely on whether or not I can relate... in fact,

I dare say that most of the time I comment to a post... it is to inquire for further information, or to invite further discussion with an opposing opinion... or, as you said, just because. Sometimes, I have nothing to comment... sometimes, someone composes an entry... so thoroughly... and to comment in agreement with the person's post... does not seem to be required... really.


LJ, and online existance in general is and has always been, in my opinion, rather hollow... shared experiences, or validation... from the internet, or LJ... seems silly to me.
19th Jan, 2005 19:55 (UTC)
...no comment
20th Jan, 2005 10:49 (UTC)
I find that it can be very difficult to comment on deeply personal entries. Not because I don't care or I'm not interested or I can't relate, but there's only so much good a few typed lines can do when someone shows a part of their true self. The thing I find about livejournal is that it is one part personal diary (with all the angst and joy of a normal diary) and one part surface conversation with people you know in vague ways. It can be hard to make the mental switch from "wow, I watched a great movie" to "I have pain in my life, look at it and comment".

It's not that personal entries are entertaining. Sometimes its hard to know what to say, and just leaving a "." to let someone know you've read it and are thinking of them seems so ick
20th Jan, 2005 11:15 (UTC)
Yes, I can see where you're coming from.

This may be why there are so many "memes" of "if you want me to say I love you, comment." Or "if you love me, comment." Or "ask me something and I'll answer." Because people want to connect with their readership, and want to validate that their own lives aren't small and inconsequential. (Which, I suppose in the grand scheme of things, they are. (What? Can't accept that? The universe is ginormous, and you're under two metres tall.))

Perhaps that's the reason why LiveJournal seems so lonely. It's a powerful way to connect people, and to communicate; but all the thoughts and words are almost unidirectional. And all the responses are shallow. It's not the same as sitting on the same couch with someone, sipping a drink, and telling them what's happened to you over these past couple of years.

This reminds me of the television industry in the eighties. Do you remember how people gushed that we could point our remotes at the television to buy things? That this interactivity would be the wave of the future? I suppose it's on the same level.
20th Jan, 2005 11:18 (UTC)
It's not that personal entries are entertaining. Sometimes its hard to know what to say, and just leaving a "." to let someone know you've read it and are thinking of them seems so ick

Wait a second. I don't think that's completely true, now that I've read it a couple of times.

Sometimes I see one of my LiveJournal friends angst out about something, or feel insecure, or something. And undoubtably, when someone replies with a "hug" or equivalent, the poster really seems to appreciate it.

So perhaps a plain old fullstop isn't good enough. But I'm sure I've left more than enough "I'm thinking of you and am concerned about your wellbeing" replies to rack up some brownie points.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )