There used to be a time when I blogged regularly. I would update my old livejournal at least once a day, if not more than that. I practically lived there, and I made a bunch of great friends there.
Then Twitter and Facebook came along, sucking away many of the friends I had made. My friends feed went dormant. I even found my normal musings that I would post to my LJ were being thrown at Twitter, since it seemed like a better format for them. I’m not sure what many of my LJ friends are up to these days, aside from the few I followed over to the newer social media formats.
In a lot of ways, I miss the old LJ tight-knit community. It was easy to find others that liked the same things as you through communities, you were able to get a better sense of what your friends were doing day to day, and since it was separate from things like news sites, it was easier to pay attention to the people that mattered to you.
These days, on Twitter and Facebook, it’s just chance. Most people I know don’t go through every tweet or post that happened while they were sleeping or away, and so a lot gets missed. For example, last year I had been planning a trip from Japan from February on, and one of my friends didn’t even realize I was going until the day I left. Something that I felt was obvious – I had only written about it everywhere – had gotten missed completely.
In today’s world of social media, it can sometimes feel that we’re closer than ever. Despite that, I often find the opposite is true. People develop casual relationships, yes, but so rarely do people take the time to delve deeper and really get to know someone. Exchanges that used to take place via emails or instant messages are replaced with quick replies on Twitter or comments on Facebook. I feel like because we’re so inundated with information from so many places, the average person is too busy and too distracted to really pay the kind of attention to their friends that they once did. The world has become self-centered, with each person caring more about their likes and retweets than to one another.
I’m not saying things are bad – in a lot of ways I love how things are – but I do tend to miss that closeness, that feeling of having a tight knit circle of friends who were there for me and on whom I could depend.
The internet has gotten lonely for me, and perhaps that’s why I find myself engaging less and less. Fewer tweets, fewer blog updates, fewer messages.
I want that intimacy back.