Jacob (yak_boy) wrote,

It's my LJ

Aside from the fact that it annoys me when people can't take a little friendly criticism, or engage in a bit of healthy debate, I find it very tiresome when the old "it's my LJ" argument is trotted out.

The situation I'm talking about breaks down as follows:

Someone on my friends list, or perhaps someone just posting publicly, says something in their journal that I don't agree with.
I click on the "Leave a Comment" link and tell them so.
They comment back to disagree.
I comment back to further my case.

This goes back-and-forth as a debate is wont to do.

I see no inherent harm in this kind of healthy debate.
There's usually no malice involved, it's just an exchange of (conflicting) ideas.

Now, maybe the person that made the post has tired of the argument or maybe they are just trying for everything they can to win the argument, I'm not sure.
But, they pull out a hidden reserve. The "its my LJ" argument.

"It's my LJ, so I can write what I want. Go write your views in your own LJ".

I have a number of problems with this argument.

First, it strikes me as a little petulant.
It seems like the electronic equivalent of "it's my ball and I'm going home".

Secondly, the person posting has opted in to the comments system.
That's right folks, you can disable comments.
If you don't want your views questioned, you disable other people's ability to comment on them.
If only you could do that in real life.
But, my point is, that by having comments enabled, you are inviting people to engage in discourse over whatever you posted about.
The invitation is right there at the bottom of the post.
It says "leave a comment".
So, why are you complaining when I excercise the invitation, and actually comment?
Oh, that's right, you're complaining because you disagree with my comment.
Had I commented to say that I agree with you whole-heartedly, you would never have told me to put my views in my own LJ.
You like having people agree with you in your journal, but nay-sayers have to make their own forum.

Thirdly, one of the implications of the "it's my LJ" argument, is that it's a private journal and not open to the scrutiny of others.
Well, that would be true if your posts were actually private.
By leaving them as public or even friends only, your LJ becomes, not a private diary with a padlock, but a broadcast medium.
Your public entry is as open to scrutiny as anything Channel 9 broadcasts.
Sure, I'm opting in to read your journal, but the same can be said about me switching on the telly.
Besides, if it's public, anyone can read it.
How someone can make a public broadcast, and then fall back on the argument that it's their private journal, I will never understand.
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