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Falling in Love With People You Never Met
toon
lilmissnever
In some ways, this is an addendum to my previous post. I hadn't quite finished thinking.

M once said that Facebook is where you learn to hate the people who are supposed to be your friends, but Twitter is the place where you can fall in love with people you've never met. I think that's what used to be so charming about Livejournal, back in the day. I fell in love with people I'd never met all the time. It still happens on social media--every once in a while someone's online presence is so charming that I cannot look away.

I've met A in person. We were at the same conference together in Spain last Spring. She's blonde and Dutch and she makes art about state surveillance. I have been eyeing the work of her feminist art collective for some time. We were plotting to swan about Berlin in ballgowns, because 2016 should include more ballgown-wearing and one of her friends (I assume it is a friend, possibly just a Twitter follower...I guess this all about how these distinctions are blurry, isn't it?) chimed in with a story about how one of her friends at MIT went to every final wearing a ballgown. I have great love for anyone whose ballgown game rolls that deep. Before I knew it, I'd spent most of the afternoon talking to an aerialist engineering professor in Minnesota with funny-colored hair and strong opinions about glamourous eveningwear.

Thank you, Internet. You have BenrieBros and trolls and men who send me unsolicited photos of their dicks, but you also have so many wonderful strangers. I could kiss you with tongue.

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Personality is/was constructed a little bit differently on Livejournal than it is on Twitter. I feel like people's Twitter streams are often a collection of links they found interesting, punctuated by occasional jokes and conversation. On LJ, people have a lot more room to sit down and explore an idea. At the same time, LJ didn't used to be a place reserved entirely for scholarly introspective essays. I recall that my friend feed was about 50% memes and quizzes for a while.

I am still looking for a place where I can publish links and essays and get feedback on them. Tumblr has the community, but I don't think it's a very hospitable place for lengthy essays. Medium is a good blogging platform, but it doesn't really have the social aspect. I am old and set in my ways. I should just embrace 2016 and communicate with the world entirely via hastily-filtered cell phone selfies on Intragram.

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