j4 came up with a challenging meme. I normally refuse on principle to spread memes that have blackmail attached to them, but hers is such a great idea that I wanted to do it anyway.
It's surprisingly hard, though! I came up with ten people I could talk to without using LJ. But not all of them are on my friendslist, and I don't have something specific to say to them in every case, a lot of them I just wanted to chat about stuff in general. I think making a post saying, who would like some non-LJ communication with me? is cheating, because that blatantly breaks the without the aid of LiveJournal rule!
Of course, the fact that it's tough is making me even more determined to do it, but it's hard. I think this demonstrates j4's implied point that we're all lazy about real socializing due to LJ making things too convenient!
I must be missing something, becuase I can't automatically think of an obvious way to use LJ to talk to someone. You can write a post filtered specially to that person I suppose, but that doens't really scale as you can only have 30 of them, though you could delete the group (and so make the post private). You could use the LJ jabber IM service, but most of my friends list don't appear to use this feature.
Sure I have conversations with people in comments, but that's usually about the post. I tend to email if it's about something else.
I started to think of people I might want to tell something/ask and my automatic response is to email most of them or find on IRC/phone/text/walk up and talk to, whatever my default communication method is with the person. There are a few people I have no way of reaching then via LJ, and for those I probably would write a filtered post, or try to find other contact details if it really was more urgent.
I think you're right, LJ can't really be used to talk to people. It can be used to say something to someone, which is what j4's meme referred to specifically. For example, if I wrote in an LJ post or comment to say, hey, pplfichi, I really appreciate your thoughtful approach to life, then (assuming you read my post or comment) I would have told you something. The fact that other people could read the statement as well wouldn't change that. But we wouldn't really be talking.
That's the problem that j4's meme brought to my attention. LJ isn't really interactive, except on a very superficial level. If I want to have a real conversation with someone, I generally need to use other methods, IM, phone, email, talk in person. And that's what J4 reminded me to do.
This might not entirely make sense, I can't seem to brain...
I think in many ways LJ is a bit of a muddled concept and people do use it in various ways. The post orientated way LJ works is useful to tell people something, but the friends system makes it a lot more personal then a blog. From a social point of view, I think at it's most useful it works to back fill other social interactions. Things you might not necessarily tell other people, opinions on things you've come across, the broken upset whinging etc. I think this can enhance other social activities by giving more things to talk about and mean that you know more then you would otherwise, helping understanding. Though sometimes it can lead to having nothing to talk about because everything's been said on LJ, but I've not had that problem in some time. LJ can also be useful in organising social events/whatnot in a way more flexible then say, Facebook.
Because posts are essentially one person broadcasting to many others, so often they end up being a statement, and everyone else merely comments or adds something to it. There doesn't seem to be incentive to go off topic which I think you really need to do if you're going to maintain relationship over LJ. Posts are often restricted to one topic which just makes the situation worse as that's less information.
People are also aware of who they are writing to, and I suspect write for their audience, filtering what they write if they are uncomfortable with everyone hearing about something. In trying to maintain a relationship over LJ, one is relying on what someone is writing and chooses to share. I filter everything and am still often much more guarded in what I say on LJ then by email or in person, perhaps simply because it's going to a group.
One can always write a post to one person, but LJ isn't really set up for this. Doing it too frequently without filtering is almost spamming everyone else on one's friends list, and would probably just annoy people. It's seems to only be acceptable if you really need to ask/tell someone something and have no better communication channel available to you.
huh. i am not lazy about "real" socializing due to LJ making things too convenient (it is damn INconvenient for anything that matters, in fact). but this is clearly written by somebody who's not jacked fundamentally into online communications. my LJ f-list isn't filled with people i know in meatspace (only ~25% have i even met, only 1 out of 170 is local to me); it's been born from online connections. most people i know in meatspace don't have LJs, and if i want to talk to them i've got to use the phone or face-to-face, or possibly email. finally almost everyone at least has email; that is what's making it truly convenient, not LJ.
i just don't LIKE "real" socializing much. i prefer to do it online (but not on LJ because LJ is too superficial). i do mine primarily in email and on some forums and occasionally still on usenet. it doesn't feel weird at all to do it off-LJ; if anything, LJ feels weirder.
I don't think the important distinction here is between in person socializing and online socializing. The distinction is between the kind of superficial feeling of being in touch that I at least can get from reading people's journals and occasionally, when I get my act together, even commenting on them, and real socializing, where I actually interact with the person and have a conversation and listen to them actively.
That can absolutely happen by email or IM, (or phone which seems to be conceptualized somewhere between "online" and "meatspace"). Forums and Usenet don't work for me in the same way that LJ doesn't work for me; I can use those for superficial connections but not for developing or nurturing a relationship.
that may be the important distinction for you, but the meme specified to pick 10 people "that you want to say something to". that's not saying anything about real communication, and it does in fact sound rather superficial to me (in the context of a meme without further detail on what the "something" consists of).
i "say something" to people everyday; when i walk to the mailbox i might talk to 4 or 5 people on the way. none of that is real socializing for me; it's all superficial (though it does provide social "oil") -- i'll admire a kid's new bike trick, i'll ask the landlord about the firewood delivery, i'll offer his wife some mulch, i'll chat about a new chinese restaurant with the old guy who looks and walks like his dog...
i can use usenet and forums to develop and nurture relationships with groups, and most of my individual relationships start out in such groups. in fact now that i am hardly on usenet at all, i've made no new friends; it just doesn't seem to happen for me on LJ (which argues very strongly for me to ditch LJ and return to usenet or find some place like it). i get to know people better when we're having vigorous discussions about anything and everything under the sun; the more me-me-me nature of LJ, while it might be more directly personal, just doesn't provide ... something ... important for me. it might be _too_ personal. it certainly doesn't invite vigorous discussion, and anything nearing criticism is decidedly unwanted. and somehow that loses something important for getting to know people.
you're one of a small handful of people who feel like they might become friends if there were a bit more of a connection, because you discuss things in the same open-minded spirit that usenet had for me, and i feel the longer i am reading your LJ the better i get to know you, and what i am getting to know is interesting. but that is astoundingly rare for me, and it takes much more effort than it ever did on usenet.