I got my livejournal account wayyyy back in 2004; from there I updated it irregularly until I fell into fandom in 2007, when I became a power user of LJ and a huge proponent of the site. I paid for my accounts annually and probably would have kept doing so until things began to go south in 2010 with the Russian Overlords, and when things got even worse in 2012, I “digitally shuttered” my accounts in favor of moving them to dreamwidth. I know there are still people I used to chat with regularly who refuse to move to any other platform, and I really miss some of them.
But now, it’s 2017, and I have deleted my personal LJ account.
I have 60 days to reconsider, but I doubt I will. I ported the entire account into a PDF for my own records (it is 1895 pages of posts!) and so I’m not effectively losing anything, except my personal ties to LJ.
It still feels like a loss, though. LJ was incredibly important to me in the years between 2007 and 2012, in fact it was literally life-saving. I learned so much about myself, other people, and the big wide world I had never known before. As a white middle class liberal I found it was also a true awakening about the limitations of my perceptions and was crucial in my development as a proudly self-described Social Justice Warrior. Writing both personal posts and fanfic on LJ helped me lurch over the hurdle from amateur to professial writer. Some of the friends I made there became RL friends whom I chat with online regularly across different platforms (dw, FB, tumblr, email).
Livejournal is a behemoth corporation that won’t miss me, but I could not continue even phantom support for the company given its treatment of fandom and its TOS. It’s a problematic company, and being Russian is only part of it. I had to separate myself, my identity, from it.
As comfortable as I am with that, it’s also a sentimental loss. End of an era, indeed.
Also published on Medium.