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Topic Meme: Day 2 - Sauntering Vaguely Downward [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Topic Meme: Day 2 [20131204|09:31]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[personal profile] redsixwing requested: feeling "other," handling the isolation of otherness?

I’ll tackle the issue of why I felt/feel “other” in a different post, as this was a popular topic. The biggest influence on my ability to handle that feeling was discovering the internet.

It started out with rec.music.industrial (which was closely linked to the beginning of attending weekly club nights in LA and getting really into industrial music - a community of self-identified "others"). I discovered talk on the Unix machines in the USC library and learned the wonders of instant messaging. I joined various mailing lists. Suddenly I had swathes of people with similar interests that I could chat to, not just the ones I occasionally happened to be lucky enough to share a classroom with. It expanded my world enormously.

But the most significant discovery was LiveJournal. I started my journal in 2001 and apart from a few weeks’ holiday here and there, I’ve kept it up continuously ever since. (The transition to Dreamwidth has kept my ever-shrinking non-fandom LJ community from collapsing entirely.) The DW/LJ community is the one I rely on not only to squee with me over cat pictures and SPACE and films, but to listen and advise when, say, I have a problem I can’t seem to resolve or am experiencing the white-hot rage induced by microaggressions. I’m not as keen on Twitter or Facebook as they don’t provide the same sense of continuity as the others. Because their format is so much briefer, I find it difficult to keep up the level of attention that would be necessary never to miss anything there. With my journal community, even if I go away for a week, I can still come back and catch up with everyone and not feel like a topic has “gone stale” the way it does on Twitter or FB (within 24 hours). I know that it's here, and that while the identities of some of the participants have morphed over the years, it’s something I rely on to keep the loneliness of otherness at bay.

Request a topic here

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/902290.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jixel
2013-12-04 11:04 (UTC)
So you really like DW better than here? I liked some features but annoyed mobile posting was paid feature. I still think LJ is better except they really should split the reading/friends list as that seemed to be the main schism in the first place.

Soo.. I can't post a topic request, not that i have one anyway. Ok now i do. How about commenting on challenges of being a (pretty) woman scientist?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-12-04 17:59 (UTC)
I don't like it more or less than LJ. It's a different sort of community. But I do find that I have a larger quantity of active friends there than I do on LJ any more, so I concentrate the bulk of my energy on responding there. I agree that a split of "friends" to "access"/"subscribers" would be an improvement to LJ.

There is an LJ crosspost of the original DW post: here. Do you want to request a particular day for that topic?
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[User Picture]From: pax_athena
2013-12-04 14:10 (UTC)
It's almost scary how much I can relate to this. I'm not sure whether it was alike for you, but to me, LJ also means a certain continuity while I am changing cities and countries. I've lived in three different countries and six different, but had the same place I would call my online home.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-12-04 18:01 (UTC)
Yes, very much so! Especially when I moved to London, and when my relationship fell apart. I really clung to LJ during those times.
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[User Picture]From: againstathorn
2013-12-04 14:19 (UTC)
I'm weary FB as well and these days only contribute to fluffy topics, as one never knows whom they might upset for whatever reason. It's very much like minefield and I don't have the time or interest to argue with irate strangers because something was taken out of context. I don't have that issue with LJ and I think the culture here is more apt to attract users who fit my mindset.

Also, my first chat program was Pow Wow, which I used during the late 90s while trying to survive high school. Being able to reach out to other users with similar interests was probably what kept me together during that time.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-12-04 18:05 (UTC)
Heh. Yes. My main problem with FB is that the users who post a lot are not necessarily the ones I want to hear from constantly. I like to know that they're OK and see photos from their holidays and of their cute babies and things. But I don't need to know what they had for breakfast or that they're at the gym, unless they have something particularly funny to say about it. Which they usually don't. :P

I don't remember Pow Wow! I used IRC a fair bit. But yes, I was heavily dependent upon my online community to keep my sanity in my early university years.
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[User Picture]From: owlfish
2013-12-05 01:00 (UTC)
For me it was rec.alt.dragons. But yes. And LJ.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-12-05 10:25 (UTC)
:) What was rec.alt.dragons about? I mean, I'm guessing dragons were involved from the name, but was it role-play focused, or writing-focused, or...?
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[User Picture]From: owlfish
2013-12-07 01:38 (UTC)
It was my gateway, but I spent vanishingly little time there. I found posts about mu*s, and followed directions to connect to Pern-based mu*s which is where I spent a large part of the following decade.
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