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blogging and meeting people

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Feb. 16th, 2005 | 12:33 am

I was talking with a group of friends and an interesting question came up.

When getting to know someone new, does having access to that persons blog help or hinder becoming friends?

The blog provides lots of information but then dramatically cuts down on the first rounds of common questions that help people feel at ease with each other.

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Comments {13}

adrienne

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from: sapience
date: Feb. 16th, 2005 10:07 am (UTC)
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my thought = bad idea

for people i don't see very often (which is most of my friends), lj is great, because it keeps me clued in on general happenings, etc.

but if i'm going to be seeing someone regularly--as a friend or more--communication is better without lj for me. i used to think differently--but i think that was out of wanting more from someone than i was getting. now i realize that i need to find ways to get what i need in person.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Feb. 16th, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
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From my own experience, LJ is a good tool for keeping up on somewhat distant friends. Though when a local acquaintance was reading it I'd try to tell her stories about my life and she'd usually cut me off because she already knew the rest of the story. This kind of put a damper on getting to know her better.

For people that I'm actually friends with though since theres usually stuff that we like doing together LJ vs in person is kind of irrelevant as we can either fill in the extra personal details or just get back to whatever we were doing.

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Josh

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from: irilyth
date: Feb. 16th, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC)
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I think it also provides a very skewed view of the person. Heck, I think meeting someone mostly on-line in general provides a very skewed view of the person; it's not an inherently bad idea, but you have to keep in mind that you'll probably feel like you know them much better than you actually do.

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secretslip

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from: secretslip
date: Feb. 16th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, but what do you know, you're just some guy who rides a shuttle and likes lions.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Feb. 16th, 2005 10:07 pm (UTC)
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Hopefully he doesn't like lions as much as this zelot.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Feb. 16th, 2005 10:13 pm (UTC)
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Actually this might just be yet another instance of people change depending on what circumstance you find them in. I know that my behavior changes some depending on which set of friends I find myself around. Perhaps online is just a more extreme version of this?

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Josh

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from: irilyth
date: Feb. 16th, 2005 10:59 pm (UTC)
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That's some of it, but another aspect is that you're only seeing what someone chooses to put forward, which never gives you a complete view of them. Well, nothing ever gives you a complete view of anyone, but the self-selectiveness of online communication gives you an inherently narrower view. You'll never learn anything about me from my journal that I didn't put there, which means that you're necessarily missing all kinds of things.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Feb. 17th, 2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
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At least with LJ I can ask you questions and get more information that what you initially might want to give. Though since you in theory have time to think about your responses you're more likely to answer how you think you should as opposed to what your immediate reaction is.

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Aluta Corinthiaca Sumptuosa

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from: dragonblink
date: Feb. 16th, 2005 03:11 pm (UTC)
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Iunno, I tend to find it pretty useful. Gives you an idea of how they communicate outside of the sometimes-awkward getting-to-know-someone situation.

Well, I suppose it depends on the person -- whether they post things like random thoughts and "my cat/dog/kid did something cute today" or stuff like gooey bodily details. Some people seem okay in conversation but then you look at their blog and they've got some rabid frothing pro-conservative rants, and that alerts you that they may very well be a good person but it's best to avoid talking politics with them. That can save a lot of trouble.

But then, I've met a lot of friends online, through LiveJournal and otherwise. Plus my mom reads my LJ. So I'm prolly a lil' biased. :)

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Feb. 17th, 2005 11:14 pm (UTC)
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Hmm... The guy who was acting like he didn't like the idea of reading a blog as a way of getting to know someone might not like using digital communication as a way of getting to know someone.

If everyone involved has blogs and IM and other such things it can be an alternative to the awkward I don't know what to say phase.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

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from: artemii
date: Feb. 16th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
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it varies so much by individual. some people use their blogs as a sort of diary of their day-to-day life, but many use them mostly or totally for other things, like a scrapbook of stuff they find interesting or a place to comment on things going on in the world. even with people who use it as a sort of semi-diary of their life, it often provides a microcosm; what's left out (and there's usually a lot) and what's pre-assumed (e.g., their place of residence) are often as interesting as what they explicitly state.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Feb. 17th, 2005 11:29 pm (UTC)
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So you think that reading someones blog would then provide you with a useful set of things to talk about by asking about what things they assumed or left out?

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Dieppe

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from: dieppe
date: Feb. 18th, 2005 08:20 pm (UTC)
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I've known people who I respected less after reading their "blog" and people I've liked more after reading theirs.

It's a fine line. I suspect I've probably turned off people who've read my posts, whether in my own LJ or elsewhere. Then again someone who doesn't like what I have to say, or even ask me about it if they don't understand, isn't someone I'd want to get to know.

It is true, though, that one can put their life story out there and then have to fish for what to talk about, however someone how is patient would rather hear it from the source in person rather than just reading the words..

So, whatever.. :)

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