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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer


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lookingup

circuitous dialogue

Is LJ a subculture? I feel like it's a natural extension of my life, but some people who don't use LJ (like my wife) think it's a pretty weird pastime. Personally, I don't really consider it to be much different than any other means of communication or interaction with others. Those of us on each others' friends lists are simply micro-communities of acquaintances whom we like to catch up with at different levels and at different times.

There's some really silly shit in the Canadian news right now about our Minister of Defense, Art Eggleton. With respect to the procedures followed by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan who take in prisoners of war, Mr. Eggleton has been bumbling his way through the traditionally insightless political speeches and sound bites. After a picture in a national paper displayed Canadian soldiers taking in prisoners, he gave conflicting accounts on consecutive days in the House of Parliament regarding what he knew about the incident and for how long he had known it. Opposition parties have seized on this opportunity to denigrate and smear the reputation of said minister, in an attempt no doubt to tarnish the reputation and public opinion of our governing party (currently in its 3rd majority government, I believe).

Anyway, I can't tell if I follow this stuff now out of personal interest, or simply because it's what's covered on CBC Radio, my main source of news and information about "current events." To be sure, I've been struck over and over again by how irrelevant most of the stories covered in the news are to my own personal life. That's undoubtedly part of why I like LJ so much - it's such a real, everyday exchange of information. News about us - news about ordinary people. And what news is more interesting news than what you read on your friends pages?

Jesus. How can you tell I work from home... [grin]

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teawhiskers February 2nd, 2002
IAMOM: Personally, I don't really consider it to be much different than any other means of communication or interaction with others.

T: I agree with you. I do however know plenty who agree with your wife. I have even had someone say that this is a denial of true relationships ... meaning you don't have to really exert yourself beyond what is comfortable for you. You can turn it off and on when you are in the mood. They don't realize that often as much emotion, feeling, caring and thought goes here as in the real world. Often more, as you are forced to articulte effectively ... and not rely so much on cutesy acts.

IAMOM: Anyway, I can't tell if I follow this stuff now out of personal interest, or simply because it's what's covered on CBC Radio, my main source of news and information about "current events." To be sure, I've been struck over and over again by how irrelevant most of the stories covered in the news are to my own personal life.

T: I became a CNN/Fox/MSN television news junky after the September attack of the World Trade Center. I think that was because I never thought such a thing would happen in America. Beyond that...I feel the same, most is irrelevant to my life as well (does economy count?). I also noticed that I am now more in tuned to events in other countries than ever before, especially if I am personally coorsponding to a pen pal there (by snail mail). Suddenly, that country has become more real to me.

IAMOM: That's undoubtedly part of why I like LJ so much - it's such a real, everyday exchange of information.

T: Yes. Now I am a LJ junkie. Admitting it is the first step.

"GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference." AMEN



iamom February 3rd, 2002
Like you, I think that LJ gives us an opportunity to practice articulating our thoughts and feelings clearly. I have to admit that I get more out of exchanges like these than I do over exchanges of small-talk with a co-worker. But it's not that I try to avoid face-to-face interpersonal relationships; rather, I recognize a different value to the relationships one can develop online. And probably a big reason for this is that it's difficult to find such like-minded people in your own neighbourhood; using the Internet to cast your net more widely certainly makes it easier.

Thanks for your comments, T - you're contributing very meaningfully to the dialogue.

Hmmm--;-)

seekerofsages February 2nd, 2002
"I feel like it is a natural extention of my life"......I don't really consider it to be much different than any other means of communication or interaction with others..."

Yes, you seem so comfortable within your posts! I can see the above statement--in your tone here!

You probably don't "talk" much with your hands, do you!? (just kidding--kinda ;-)

I find it hard to communicate when I am kidding here!
I never realized how much I rely on my facial expressions and gestures---to indicate good natured teasing.
- Teasing. Is there anything beyond the smiley face--which I forget to use!?--Maybe I should color code my silly humor! ;-)

The information you have included on NDS---is
quite wonderful to read (I'm barely ino it)
R., too, thinks my time might be better spent and trys to chase me away from the iBook often!--but
he's efforts are in vain!

;-))))) B.J.(the semi colon does imply winking, doesn't it?--)

Re: Hmmm--;-)

iamom February 3rd, 2002
I have a small, unobtrusive headset that I use for my cell phone when I'm driving or walking. On a recent business trip to Montreal, I was walking quickly through downtown on my way to a meeting and talking on the phone with my wife at the same time. I suddenly became aware of people looking at me strangely as I walked past them, because I appeared to be having an animated conversation (with lots of hand gestures) with myself.

Interesting that you came across that content of mine on Jerry's site. He has assembled writings from a huge number of people with this perspective - you can literally get lost in his site after meeting someone new.

And yes, I believe that the semi-colong does imply winking. ;v]

soulsearching February 2nd, 2002
Is LJ a subculture? I feel like it's a natural extension of my life, but some people who don't use LJ (like my wife) think it's a pretty weird pastime. Personally, I don't really consider it to be much different than any other means of communication or interaction with others. Those of us on each others' friends lists are simply micro-communities of acquaintances whom we like to catch up with at different levels and at different times.

Currently, I have pondering on the idea of self-other overlap and self-expansion. As long as we expand our self to incorporate others in our lives..these people take on significance in our lives, just like an extension of our self...in such an extent that we will care for their well-beings. The degree of self-other overlap determine the extent of positive illusions we have for these people...we see them with new eyes, love them with a more caring heart...etc.

Although I never met a single person from the lj community in real life, I consider them close to my heart nevertheless. It's strange to some degree, but it makes all the sense for me because relationship is sum of all these moment-by-moment interactions. The intellectual interactions that lj platform allows/forces us to take on have a more powerful impact on our mind than random, superficial exchange of irrelevant info in many of our daily life social transactions.

iamom February 3rd, 2002
Thanks for your comments. I know you're out there, but it's nice when you pop your head in to say hi like this.

It sounds like you're talking about empathy to me. When you reach out and connect with different people, you come to understand them better, and develop the ability to see through their eyes, so to speak. LJ has certainly given me lots of opportunities to do that very thing.

I know a few LJ friends in real life, but I don't think it matters too much. I connect with some of these people a lot more often through here than in person - it has more to do with the medium and the timing than anything else, I would think. At any rate, I certainly agree with your closing comments and echoed them to teawhiskers on a comment of hers: the exchange of ideas and energy that takes place here is genuinely meaningful to many of us, and in certain circumstances, more meaningful than some of the ordinary interactions that take place in our daily lives.

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