As I was about to post to my various “status dumps” today, I noticed that I have become mired in my own narrow-minded view of what this website should contain. For example, I have no problem with Twittering two sentences about my crappy day, or tossing up a short vignette on my tumblelog, yet I won’t put anything here for a month and a half.
Why is that? Why do I view this place as some sort of sanctuary while the others receive my most scurrilous thoughts?
Ten years ago, when I started my online journal, the shorter-format tools did not exist. Everything I published on the Web was in essay format, and perhaps my writing was at its highest quality then. In 2000, when I discovered LiveJournal, I was much more comfortable with the immediate, shorter bursts of less-than-prose; most of my online friends were congregating there and participating in multiple conversations at once, so I had to be faster than usual to be a part of it.
That format became too participation-focused for me, and so I withdrew to my own domain, literally and figuratively, where my plodding pace and tone were old standards. I am intrigued from time to time by services like Twitter and Plurk, which make virtual soapboxes even tinier and more portable, mostly because I enjoy receiving news briefs on my friends, and to some extent the status update has taken the place of the email and the instant message.
And even this, a speedy meta-post to reengage my tradition of mildly oversharing, has taken me much too long to assemble. There is too much meta in my online life, too much explanation and justification that does not exist offline, so I avoid the quagmire entirely.
There is no neat ending for this thread, but sleep will fit nicely in this pause.