helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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h-l and her livejournal compulsion problem - Geeks Give GAS

This is a reply to the comments I've had regarding my last post. I wanted to reply to the various things people had said, but I didn't want to repeat myself over and over by replying to everyone individually. But I was worried that people might not look at the comments again unless they got an email to say someone had replied to a comment of theirs, so I figured it was best as a main journal entry.

Now sleep is getting hard to get
'Cause you never know what you'll forget
And I've got to know of all the views
'Cause one day there'll be news for me

I never let a headline by
'Cause every one will catch my eye
And though it's tough to keep alert
You never know what could hurt me

But it gets me down
You know it gets me down
It really gets me down
Yes it gets me down

Info Freako,
There is no end to what I want to know

Suggestions of ways I could cut down how much I read:

inquis asked Have you thought about just catching up on actual friends and dropping communities? Actually, I've been doing that for a long time. For at least six months, I've only been reading the journals of actual people and a handful of low-traffic communities that I have a very strong interest in. This makes things easier.

elfgeek wrote I have this filter on LJ now and if I am away for like 3 days I only read the friends that are on my filter (which are the most important and closest friends). I found it helped a great deal, because there *are* ppl who annoyingly post several times a day with total nonsense. The problem is, I have quite a few friends who post sensible, interesting, informative posts *and* complete crap! Filtering people simply by who they are doesn't work very well. What would be useful would be if there was an easy way for us to tag our posts according to how important they are, so that people with a lot of online friends and not much time could read only the things that interest them, but there isn't. Hmm. Perhaps someone should write that up as a suggestion? Of course, all that will happen will be that halkeye or someone will say "Someone's suggested that already, it's coming in S2" or "That would be too big a hit on the database" *humph*.

You know, I am getting more realistic about my time limits. When I first started reading newsgroups, I would read every single message in my important groups. These days, I'm able to skim my livejournal friends page, and only read posts in depth and the comments to posts if they genuinely interest me. Whilst this might sound like stating the bleedin' obvious, until quite recently I'd read all the comments and follow lj-cut tags even if I knew they were to silly online test results.

The REAL Problem:

Several people said I should stop being compulsive about reading everything. The problem is, I've had An Issue about Missing Something since I was a very small child. When I was a kid and we used to go on long journeys, I would stay awake for the entire journey in case I missed something interesting out of the window. It's quite possible that my sleep disorder is somewhat self-inflicted, from this and other behaviour traits. I've gradually got better as I've got older, but I've still got a long way to go.

Why is this? Well, inquis optimistically stated if you've had a few days off reading it, just make your own post, and mention that you haven't had time to catch up, and ask people to post links to any important entries in the comments section, thus making sure that a) people know you haven't read things and b) anything worth reading is brought to your attention. But I know this doesn't work! I've done this several times, and it hasn't worked. Look at my request for mobile phone numbers. Having lost my phone, and with no recent backup of many people's numbers, I posted in LJ twice asking for them again. I even emailed some people individually. Five or six people replied. Likewise aegidian said If a thing is important people will tell you about it - with words and vibrating air molecules and stuff. But in even very recent experience, they patently don't!

If I have a tendency to be paranoid about missing out on information, this isn't going to be helped by discovering that I really am missing out on information.

inquis said If you're feeling guilty about it, that's a really bad thing. It's only a livejournal.
I don't think "guilty" was the right emotion for how I was feeling. "Left out of the loop, again" was more like it. Not having time for the internet makes me a third class citizen in information terms. Being a member of several different social groups, which overlap to some extent, and which contain a large number of poly geeks means that a huge amount of information is exchanged very quickly. And people forget that you don't know something. How many people here have had the situation of thinking they've told Partner A something and finding that actually they'd told Partner B twice? After a week, the majority of news is ancient history.

She said If *anyone* got pissed off at you for not reading their entry, they're really not worth having as friends.
I should clarify that no one's moaned at me in recent history for not having read something. I doubt anyone I know has a problem understanding that many people are too damn busy to be net connected 24 hours a day.

I suppose I feel that, whilst I'm pleased that people have been responding and trying to be helpful, that everyone's been working on the wrong problem. I'm already working on the problem I have with wanting to read everything. But I need everyone else to work on the problem of keeping communication flowing to offline folk. Let's face it, if people can forget which of their partners they've told something to, how are they supposed to remember which of their online friends they've told? This is the issue that needs brainpower now, 'cos I haven't got a clue where to start with it.

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