I just deleted my LiveJournal account. That thing was a thing for over ten years. The bulk of it was in university when I had a lot more to procrastinate without immediate financial consequences, and I was immature and posted several times a day, whatever I was thinking. I was looking for attention and answers and relatable people/experiences, but it was mostly the first one. In hindsight it wasn’t a very wise way of doing things. I don’t even want myself to know what I had on my mind when I was twenty. I certainly don’t want the rest of the world to be able to find that too.
I think I have everything from there backed up, on one of my computers. The positive creations of that are not lost. I may go through it some day like old family photos and be embarrassed at how bad most of it was yet find a precious gem here and there. We can pick and choose our memories to look at the past through rose coloured glasses. Most of us, barring some kind of cognitive disorder, do and we need to acknowledge that to separate it from fact. High school wasn’t that fun (or was more fun than we pretentiously groan about) and we weren’t that smart in university. The 1950s were a social experiment in synthetic reality through central planning even in the capitalist west and on the micro level they were filled with systemic injustices, violence, and misinformation. I feel like I have to make that last point as often as I can, so one day we remember the 1950s like the 1850s and shake our heads at it as if we’ve ascended the prejudices of that era (which we haven’t).
In five years I’ll shut down my Twitter account. I’m reluctant with Facebook and not because I’m worried what family or employers will see – I’m worried about becoming that person on Facebook. Nothing I do online anymore reaffirms my existence like it used to and I can’t make up for that again. The time has come and gone.
The decision to delete my LJ account came with haste and frustration in the middle of the night, but even with a calmer mind I decided to make that move. There are spirals of complex problems and affairs in my life and mind that I could journalize endlessly but there’s nothing to gain from putting it out to the public. I’ve exhausted my confidantes so they’re bottled up inside me, and that’s the danger in keeping dead accounts open.
The responsible thing to do is to erase your past.