Privacy

I’ve been re-thinking my Friends-only policy (although you’ll still see the little lock on this entry.). I am reminded of the charms of the “random” button by the fact that after reading her journal for in the neighborhood of a year, WillowKitty and I actually have real-world connections.

I put all my posts behind the wall because people outside of LJ were hip to my journal and reading along. I can’t identify why this is a problem for me, but it makes me uncomfortable. Maybe because I don’t think that people who don’t offer up the same should get to benefit from what we all do here. Even friends I love.

But by making everything inaccessible I feel like I’m not fully participating in this community. Of course, I don’t know that one single person would doesn’t have another context for me would ever care to read this thing. But it’s still the principle.

I’m curious, if anyone is willing to share, how other people make this decision.

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18 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t have a friends-only policy.
    I’m not a journaler by nature, more a journalist.
    I don’t keep a paper journal, though I have made several efforts to do so, mostly because I am seduced by the loveliness of blank books.
    Generally speaking, if I post about my job or my co-workers, I lock it down, to avoid being dooced.
    I try not to have bad things to say about my loved ones, and when I do, I prefer to keep them to myself, until such time as the problem can be dealt with in person or on the phone.
    I do not put in writing things of emotional importance, just on general principle.
    I’m well aware that there are people who read my journal whose own journals are locked away from me.
    For the most part, I don’t really care because it doesn’t really affect me.
    In one case it did, and I found out about it completely by mistake.
    I miss my friend, but there’s enough fuckage in the world without me letting it in the front door.
    Livejournal’s probably the root of all evil and we just don’t know it yet.
    Meanwhile, I wouldn’t have known you without it, so there you go.

    Reply

  2. I don’t have a friends-only policy.
    I’m not a journaler by nature, more a journalist.
    I don’t keep a paper journal, though I have made several efforts to do so, mostly because I am seduced by the loveliness of blank books.
    Generally speaking, if I post about my job or my co-workers, I lock it down, to avoid being dooced.
    I try not to have bad things to say about my loved ones, and when I do, I prefer to keep them to myself, until such time as the problem can be dealt with in person or on the phone.
    I do not put in writing things of emotional importance, just on general principle.
    I’m well aware that there are people who read my journal whose own journals are locked away from me.
    For the most part, I don’t really care because it doesn’t really affect me.
    In one case it did, and I found out about it completely by mistake.
    I miss my friend, but there’s enough fuckage in the world without me letting it in the front door.
    Livejournal’s probably the root of all evil and we just don’t know it yet.
    Meanwhile, I wouldn’t have known you without it, so there you go.

    Reply

    • All good points for pondering. I think I’m cautious because if I err, I tend to err on the side of saying too much. I’m just about the best secret keeper in the world, unless the secret is mine.
      I’m already using one filter. So I guess what I need to do is just be judicious with each entry whether it shall be open, open to friends, or open to my one filter and any others I may create in the future.
      Dooced? I read Dooce. Did something happen that I missed? I just found her a few weeks ago.

      Reply

      • Well, you know she got fired from her last job because of her blogging about co-workers.
        I don’t use any filters. Because I don’t know how to set them up and I don’t feel like finding out. I’m certainly smart enough to do so, I just lack the motivation. If I had something I wanted only, say, you and Lyzosy and Stacey and mish to know, I’d just email you all with it, rather than put it in my journal, partially because I’d be wanting a faster response
        I’m a good secret keeper, as long as I am notified that I am, in fact, in possession of a secret. My life is mostly an open book, I think. This makes me somewhat boring, but at least if you get to missing me, you know I’m probably not doing something exotic without you, but rather and reading at the bookstore.

  3. All good points for pondering. I think I’m cautious because if I err, I tend to err on the side of saying too much. I’m just about the best secret keeper in the world, unless the secret is mine.
    I’m already using one filter. So I guess what I need to do is just be judicious with each entry whether it shall be open, open to friends, or open to my one filter and any others I may create in the future.
    Dooced? I read Dooce. Did something happen that I missed? I just found her a few weeks ago.

    Reply

  4. Well, you know she got fired from her last job because of her blogging about co-workers.
    I don’t use any filters. Because I don’t know how to set them up and I don’t feel like finding out. I’m certainly smart enough to do so, I just lack the motivation. If I had something I wanted only, say, you and Lyzosy and Stacey and mish to know, I’d just email you all with it, rather than put it in my journal, partially because I’d be wanting a faster response
    I’m a good secret keeper, as long as I am notified that I am, in fact, in possession of a secret. My life is mostly an open book, I think. This makes me somewhat boring, but at least if you get to missing me, you know I’m probably not doing something exotic without you, but rather and reading at the bookstore.

    Reply

  5. I lock my entries because I’m honestly not comfortable with any random person reading about me – even if I don’t have much to say. When my LJ used to be open, I received a few comments that made me uncomfortable – most under “anonymous.” I decided then that I would lock my journal.
    I figure anyone who cares can ask me if I blog. For example, NB doesn’t blog, but she has an LJ account and is on my friends list. If any other friends cared enough to ask, I would include them.
    Yes, I do feel that I shut myself off from “the community.” But I think the internet community is too large and too scary – so I really don’t mind being a recluse.

    Reply

  6. I lock my entries because I’m honestly not comfortable with any random person reading about me – even if I don’t have much to say. When my LJ used to be open, I received a few comments that made me uncomfortable – most under “anonymous.” I decided then that I would lock my journal.
    I figure anyone who cares can ask me if I blog. For example, NB doesn’t blog, but she has an LJ account and is on my friends list. If any other friends cared enough to ask, I would include them.
    Yes, I do feel that I shut myself off from “the community.” But I think the internet community is too large and too scary – so I really don’t mind being a recluse.

    Reply

  7. I have blocked anonymous commenters, and I have about six filters for different things. One is a real-life filter, including only people I actually KNOW and spend time with. One’s a baby filter with pictures and stories about my daughter (people request if they wanna be in that one), and I’ve used others for different reasons. I always, always lock pictures of my daughter and don’t post them in communities. I think I’ve got three icons with her, but that’s it. That’s just personal.
    I do not lock funny little nothing-stories, but I do tend to lock political rants and when I’m just being snarky (unless I know someone I’m snarking is definitely reading it, and then I don’t lock it just to be obnoxious).
    I don’t give my last name or where in Atlanta I live in unlocked entries, either.
    I never went friends-only because I don’t mind people following me home from a community if they like what I have to say. I very rarely add people who haven’t added me first (I just don’t have much time for surfing around, really, and I don’t always notice when I’ve been added), but if I notice someone in a friend’s journal and I tend to have a lot in common, I’ll strike up a conversation. Generally when someone adds me, I’ll wait a bit and read back several of their entries before I add and see how often they comment in my journal, just so I don’t add anyone I wind up desperately wanting to drop or filter a week later. I also check which friend or comm they found me through, and to make sure that the person isn’t just a chronic friend-er.
    And I don’t ever friend people who have more than 100 friends. I’m not a groupie, and (while I realize this is extraordinarily bitchy) most of them aren’t wonderful to read, either Weighted With Meaning or prone to bad metaphor, and all the comments are “Wow, you are the best writer EVAR.” *groan* I’d rather read funny stories or political rants or the occasional touching tale of woe from people who are smart, funny, and don’t do this as an ego trip.
    My, that was wordy of me.

    Reply

  8. I have blocked anonymous commenters, and I have about six filters for different things. One is a real-life filter, including only people I actually KNOW and spend time with. One’s a baby filter with pictures and stories about my daughter (people request if they wanna be in that one), and I’ve used others for different reasons. I always, always lock pictures of my daughter and don’t post them in communities. I think I’ve got three icons with her, but that’s it. That’s just personal.
    I do not lock funny little nothing-stories, but I do tend to lock political rants and when I’m just being snarky (unless I know someone I’m snarking is definitely reading it, and then I don’t lock it just to be obnoxious).
    I don’t give my last name or where in Atlanta I live in unlocked entries, either.
    I never went friends-only because I don’t mind people following me home from a community if they like what I have to say. I very rarely add people who haven’t added me first (I just don’t have much time for surfing around, really, and I don’t always notice when I’ve been added), but if I notice someone in a friend’s journal and I tend to have a lot in common, I’ll strike up a conversation. Generally when someone adds me, I’ll wait a bit and read back several of their entries before I add and see how often they comment in my journal, just so I don’t add anyone I wind up desperately wanting to drop or filter a week later. I also check which friend or comm they found me through, and to make sure that the person isn’t just a chronic friend-er.
    And I don’t ever friend people who have more than 100 friends. I’m not a groupie, and (while I realize this is extraordinarily bitchy) most of them aren’t wonderful to read, either Weighted With Meaning or prone to bad metaphor, and all the comments are “Wow, you are the best writer EVAR.” *groan* I’d rather read funny stories or political rants or the occasional touching tale of woe from people who are smart, funny, and don’t do this as an ego trip.
    My, that was wordy of me.

    Reply

    • But very interesting. I hadn’t thought about the communities angle, as I’ve never been to one.
      I find that I use my friends list for a combination of keeping up with my friends, the few interesting people I’ve “met” through LJ but don’t know in person, and then quite a few media feeds (salon, etc) that I follow.
      I did add someone once who found me randomly (before I went behind the wall) and added me to his list. But then I found him incredibly tiresome and knocked him off my list. I think that might be bad LJ etiquette, but I don’t see why I should have to read his tiresome bragging. Eventually I noticed I was off his list as well, so maybe he thought the same of me.
      I’d like to be on your kid filter, if you don’t mind. I have a weird quirk of being endlessly interested in hearing about people’s kids, even though I don’t have one of my own yet.

      Reply

      • Sure you can be on it.
        I have a few people that I used to read but haven’t in ages; I feel a bit bad skimming them, but I’d feel worse dropping them and they don’t take up too much space. I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings.

  9. But very interesting. I hadn’t thought about the communities angle, as I’ve never been to one.
    I find that I use my friends list for a combination of keeping up with my friends, the few interesting people I’ve “met” through LJ but don’t know in person, and then quite a few media feeds (salon, etc) that I follow.
    I did add someone once who found me randomly (before I went behind the wall) and added me to his list. But then I found him incredibly tiresome and knocked him off my list. I think that might be bad LJ etiquette, but I don’t see why I should have to read his tiresome bragging. Eventually I noticed I was off his list as well, so maybe he thought the same of me.
    I’d like to be on your kid filter, if you don’t mind. I have a weird quirk of being endlessly interested in hearing about people’s kids, even though I don’t have one of my own yet.

    Reply

  10. Most of my stuff is open, though as we were talking about a few nights ago, I find I’m censoring myself more now, because I have no idea who may be reading what I say. If I could be assured it was only strangers who didn’t know me or those I referenced, I’d be a lot less cautious. But I’ve had people tell me in the past that they read my journal, and I’ve had to think quickly whether I’d ever discussed them in any recognizeable way. Another time I noticed someone treating me rather coolly not long after I mentioned them in an entry in a pretty unflattering light. To my knowledge this person didn’t know I have a journal, but I shouldn’t have been surprised since his/her computer savvy probably rivals Chloe O’Brien’s on “24.” Anyway, now when in doubt I usually just keep my fat yap shut.
    There are a couple of ‘Friends Only’ posts, and one or two completely private ones, but they’re exceptions. Read at your own risk. But know this: I will reveal no more state secrets.

    Reply

  11. Most of my stuff is open, though as we were talking about a few nights ago, I find I’m censoring myself more now, because I have no idea who may be reading what I say. If I could be assured it was only strangers who didn’t know me or those I referenced, I’d be a lot less cautious. But I’ve had people tell me in the past that they read my journal, and I’ve had to think quickly whether I’d ever discussed them in any recognizeable way. Another time I noticed someone treating me rather coolly not long after I mentioned them in an entry in a pretty unflattering light. To my knowledge this person didn’t know I have a journal, but I shouldn’t have been surprised since his/her computer savvy probably rivals Chloe O’Brien’s on “24.” Anyway, now when in doubt I usually just keep my fat yap shut.
    There are a couple of ‘Friends Only’ posts, and one or two completely private ones, but they’re exceptions. Read at your own risk. But know this: I will reveal no more state secrets.

    Reply

  12. I generally leave my journal open, but if there is something that i want to say taht i dont want anyone to read, then I will make a locked entry. Filters are way too big a pain in the butt for me.
    This has left me open to a few anonymous and annoying posters, but its pretty easy to delete their comments.

    Reply

  13. I generally leave my journal open, but if there is something that i want to say taht i dont want anyone to read, then I will make a locked entry. Filters are way too big a pain in the butt for me.
    This has left me open to a few anonymous and annoying posters, but its pretty easy to delete their comments.

    Reply

  14. Sure you can be on it.
    I have a few people that I used to read but haven’t in ages; I feel a bit bad skimming them, but I’d feel worse dropping them and they don’t take up too much space. I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings.

    Reply

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