living vicariously or voyeurism?

Soap Operas, Harlequin Romances, Reality TV, Role Playing (if I understand the concept), creating your own drama to entertain others, and now reading about other peoples lives on LJ. Recently I stumbled across something on LJ (yes, during a random search, dammit!) that immediately grabbed my attention when I discovered a bit of “drama”(?) unfolding over time in one LJer’s life. Unlike many journals I read, this one has a definite progression. Aspects of their life changed(is changing) over time. Choices were made with resulting consequences. Of course I “backed” into the story due to the reverse nature of how LJ is formatted. (most recent post first)After reading all the way to the beginning then forward again, it left me shaking my head in disbelief and at the same time wondering what will happen next. Part of me wants to be judgmental about this person and their choices in life. But on the other hand I feel offering any cautionary comments (too late in some cases) would be out of place coming from an absolute stranger. (our lives, other than living on the same planet, have little or nothing in common)

I do not watch anything classified as “reality TV” nor am I naive enough to think that everything I read in LJ is the absolute truth. So here is my question- is there some sort of LJ etiquette that advises against directing others to read a given journal in this fashion? What about editing (removing names/places/etc) and reposting their “story” in your own LJ? Maybe under a “friends only” filter?


About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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4 Responses to living vicariously or voyeurism?

  1. mrsmartian says:

    I dunno about manners but you could just email me the LJ title and let me satisfy my burning curiosity.

  2. mary919 says:

    LJs like that make me very suspicious. Perhaps I’m just a stick in the mud and so cautious in my own life that nothing interesting ever happens to me, but I have enough trouble keeping all my ducks in a row– I can’t imagine how some people cope with all the upheaval in their lives.

    • marcsuttle says:

      I do sense a lot of posturing/posing on LJ in the more “youthful” journals and don’t doubt there are works of fiction out there. Part of my reaction to what I was reading was this is a person looking for attention/affection. Less than two dozen entries from January thru December making it easier to follow the “story”. Not a lot of clutter to distract the reader. Like you, I’m constantly amazed at all the events in some lives I hear/read about. Nothing that I would categorize as truly traumatic, life-altering or just simply bad has occurred in my life which is why I’m fascinated to learn about it elsewhere. Sort of like watching a catastrophe unfold in slow motion knowing you are safe or wondering just how you managed to avoid anything similar in life. There really are many different segments of society with lives that I couldn’t begin to understand.

  3. sidelobe says:

    I figure that LJ is a public forum. It has tools to allow you to post more privately, and they’re not hard to use. If you can post at all, you can post friends only.
    Plus, Google indexes the journals. You can’t possibly get more public than that.
    Posting in LJ is equivalent to shouting from a hilltop. Invite the world to read it. And, I know that I get a nice little kick when I find that someone random has been reading my journal.

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