Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Into The Archives...

I’ve spent many hours the last several days, copying off my old AOL journal entries and saving them to "Word." If I could simply go through and "copy…paste…save…next" like a little assembly line, the job would be much less time-consuming. But, you know, you have to read them…the good ones, anyway. It has been an interesting and telling journey, this little reliving of my cyber life from genesis to present. My sojourn in Journal-land started out as a few little shots in the dark, then grew into a real give-and-take membership in a community. For a few months there, we really seemed to connect. And then, it all started to fade. Long before AOL triggered the Great Exodus with the silly ads, people were beginning to trickle, and then to stream, away from j-land. After awhile, hardly a week went by that didn’t see someone either pack up and leave amid great ballyhoo, or just disappear quietly, never to be heard from again. I’m looking at the names on the comments in my entries from a year ago, and saying, "Oh, yeah…whatever happened to her?" So odd, to have people with whom you shared nearly every day, just go "poof!"

That has been the aspect of this "community" that has been the most difficult for me. The fact that the "relationships" are so disposable. Is it strange to get attached to people you’ve never even met? I don’t know why it should be strange… I have poured out my soul here on the virtual pages of my journals. Why is it such a stretch to believe that people who read these things, and comment, and comment repeatedly, are not my friends? Or at least…something more than strangers? Maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe there are rules to this game that I have never known.

Still, I know I’m not the only one who has been mystified by the mercurial dynamics of these journal relationships. Most of the people I’ve been closest to here, have expressed bewilderment at one time or another with the weird ebb and flow of energy in journal-land. I challenge even the most rhinoceros-hided among us not to feel at least a tiny pang of rejection when a frequent reader/commentor/"friend" ups and leaves with no forwarding address; or goes private and does not invite you to the party. And then, you’re left feeling a little sheepish when you DO feel slighted. You feel like, "After all, it’s not like I really ever knew that person…" It’s a strange roller-coaster ride, this online journal thing. I think a lot of people were realizing it wasn’t for them long before AOL threw its monkey wrench into the works.

Reading over all my old entries, I can see that blogging, for me, will be taking a different direction in the future. I feel like I need to start writing. Essays. Poetry. Political commentary. Good stuff. It’s time to take the next step. But I also know this: The heyday of AOL-j was a great ride, and I am going to miss it.



  1. This is so beautifully written and it hits the mark right in the bullseye.  I love your writing no matter what direction it takes.  Just don't stop!  Pennie

  2. Isn't it the way of life lisa?  As the years roll by we constantly say hello and goodbye as people trundle in and out of our lives.

    Your writing is exceptional.  It is rare for me not to be touched by your words.

    Whether I decide to head in a different direction, remains to be seen.  But this little cookie has no intention of disappearing the land of words, just yet!

    Whilst I'm here Lisa, I'd like to wish you a Very Happy New Year.  

    Annie :-)

  3. Great entry. I know I want to keep writing. Some in the journal, but there's some stuff that I want to explore just to see if I can do it. so to speak.


  4. I am with you every word! It has been a great ride. I do not accept the past tense....I agree it is like the tide. So many people I miss.

  5.     I loved reading this.  It's always nice to find that someone else feels the same way as we do.  You are right ... it IS strange to enjoy a relationship, if only through our journals,  to then find that the person has disappeared.  I mean, we may not know each other face-to-face, but we know alot about each other because this place is so conducive to being open and honest, without the same threat of emotional  repercussions we have with our family and friends.  The funny thing is, every so often I think I will throw in the towel ... and then I just can't stay away.  Tina

  6. I know what you mean...nice entry.