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Poll
Question: Which kind of journal do you prefer?
Public   -3 (10.3%)
Private   -12 (41.4%)
Both   -14 (48.3%)
Total Members Voted: 27

Author Topic: Public vs. Private Journals  (Read 1202 times)
Inkerlink
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« on: March 13, 2023 @789.99 »

For those that journal out there, do you prefer to keep your journal private or public? Or maybe you have one private and one public? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both? What's your reason for choosing one over the other? Which one feels the best to you? Can you really be yourself with a public journal? Is keeping a private journal too stifling?

At the moment, I keep one private journal that I update when I feel the need to. The journal is mostly a stream of consciousness, with no edits. I find that it offers mild relief to any emotional turmoil I'm feeling at the time. Although sometimes it seems to only amplify my feelings rather then satisfy them. I chose to make it private since I wanted the journal to focus entirely on myself, and to try and make the most 'true' journal as possible. I feel like if I made a public one I'd worry too much about presentation and what people would think of me. I'm 100% certain that if my private journal was public, it would be extremely hard for an outsider to parse any meaning from it, and I don't feel like it provides any meaningful experience to anyone else besides me.
I currently maintain a journal using the free open source program Cherrytree. I like it since it supports password protected files and encryption, alongside supporting nested entries called 'nodes'. It makes organization very easy.
I wouldn't call it a journal per-se, but I do publish 'blips' on my personal website which are just non-Twitter tweets, basically. That's really the only forward facing presence of my thoughts or feelings on the internet currently.
In the past, I did maintain a public journal on livejournal.com when I was in grade school, but I stopped writing in that one after a while. Back then I would tell myself I wrote in it for my own personal reasons, but many years later I see I was just trying to present an image to other people, in order to get attention from those I cared for. I don't think it was particularly healthy for me.

Let me know what you think!
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2023 @813.72 »

i like to have both!

i'm old fashioned in that i like to keep a paper diary in a little hardback book (where i tend to switch between languages and scripts either for obfuscation or for effect), though i also have a little digital (opinionated) blog where i talk about stuff that's either personal to me or that i want to share with other folks that stumble across my page!!

cherrytree looks pretty cool, and similar to what i'd go for if i worked with GUIs mostly!!! as it happens, i like to write my blog posts in markdown and then convert via the command line to html pages using pandoc, something i incidentally cover more in one of my blog posts ;)

interesting to hear the differences in what we all refer to our musings as. in my head, "blogging" is very much a digital activity where a journal is something i'd expect to find in a museum. nice bit of linguistics there :D
« Last Edit: January 16, 2024 @398.07 by j » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2023 @163.89 »

i've never really kept a private journal but i think it could be a good point of self-reflection. as for the public journal on my site, i don't actually call it a journal :P i refer to it as "articles" likely because i saw some other neocities page use it, and i also refer to them as blog posts. the two i have posted are like very casual little posts, and one is a kind of life update, but i also want to post some longer form stuff about random stuff like movies or whatever :ok: posting blogs/articles feels a hell of a lot less stressful than twitter or even tumblr because on those platforms i'm worried both about my posts being seen (by a lot of people) and my posts needing to be seen. with a personal website, people will just stumble upon my blogs if they find my website, and i have no way of knowing that unless they tell me about it. ignorance is bliss!

interesting to hear the differences in what we all refer to our musings as. in my head, "blogging" is very much a digital activity where a journal is something i'd expect to find in a museum. nice bit of linguistics there :D

to me, blogging is also a pretty casual digital activity. a journal can be digital or physical, it can be formal or informal, and it can be public or private. you could have a journal that's basically a diary, or a journal that's documentation of plants or animals! the word "journal" also reminds me of bullet journaling, which is less about writing and more about planning  :dive:
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2023 @204.65 »

i tend to keep a more private journal, i mean private in the sense that i don't openly post entries anywhere. but it's always on my bedside and sometimes i'll reread stuff and send a picture of what i wrote to friends to either question what i was on about that day or share it for more personal reasons. other then selectively sharing what i write in it i don't think i'd be the happiest if someone went and read through everything written in there.
when it comes to public journaling i used to have an instagram page where close friends and then some random people i barely ever interacted with would follow me and i would post these long captions of me pretty much screaming into the void about anything and everything. i don't use that account anymore, but i do have a twitter that no one follows me on and sometimes if i'm out or a thought is too big for the journal to hold on to for me i'll post on that account. it feels like what i write there isn't meaningless because there is always a chance others will see it, but with all the algorithms and stuff on the internet i know no one ever will so it feels less like sharing to an audience.
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Cele
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2023 @365.98 »

I can't keep a private one. The things I wanna keep private are stuff that I wouldn't want to write down :happy: So might as well have a public one. The only downside I think is if someone wanted to track you down I guess they'd know a bunch of stuff about you and your surroundings. But my experience is that journals don't tend to have that many visitors. I've noticed it actually easier for me to keep posting instead of just stopping if it's a public one. (The amount of times I've tried to write a paper one...)

As for words, I'd actually never use the word journal. Either blog or diary if it's on paper.
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Memory
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2023 @423.80 »

I like the idea of a public journal, I just don't think people would like to read it, so I don't bother.
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2023 @478.68 »

I was considering doing something like this recently. However, I found that there really isn't much point to it; The day to day often doesn't really include enough nuances. Do other people really want to hear..
"Oh yeah, today sucked since I only got a few assignments done and wasted a ton of time playing Titan Quest"  :drat:

Considering sort of doing the same sort of 'thing' as a journal, but just framing it more as like.. articles on my page. That way you ensure it's relatively timeless, so - for example, if you wanted to write about a movie you have seen you could just 'write a article about that', rather than writing it and labeling it just the day that you saw the movie.  :TnT:
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2023 @480.45 »

Generally other people's diaries can be interesting to read, even if they're mundane, but I don't really feel like writing a public diary because I don't want to give too many contextual clues about my IRL whereabouts :ziped:
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2023 @571.54 »

I've had a lot fun reading other people's little journals, especially ones from 10+ years ago, it's a nice time capsule. Though of course it does require that I generally care about what that person writes about (like maybe we share a hobby or something).
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Inkerlink
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2023 @658.06 »

Generally other people's diaries can be interesting to read
What do you find interesting about reading others' journals, especially if they are mundane?
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2023 @705.31 »

What do you find interesting about reading others' journals, especially if they are mundane?

It's a small window into someone's life, what they have been up to and thinking about. It's not really exciting but can provide food for thought.
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2023 @627.15 »

i´ve gotten into bullet journaling its also possible to compliment it with longform journaling, which is great cause I don't write my thought often but when I do I prefer to keep it all in place instead having two notebooks separately.
to me having a private journal is still important since there are things out there that I'm still not completely comfortable putting it out there, and sometimes I prefer to analogue.


I do have a small online blog on my site thought, which is used to just yell to void and share my opinions without having to worry about socmed discourse, sometimes I would find interesting things in my daily like and I like to share it out there
« Last Edit: April 15, 2023 @833.18 by creaturefeature » Logged


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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2023 @660.71 »

I have a public one on smol.pub that's more like a blog of info I don't mind to be out there and for strangers and friends to get to know me better without having to explicitly talk to me about it (finding relatable ground to message me about too, or to know what position I'm coming from as a person), but also a private one on my tablet for deeper reflection and personal stuff or when I need to vent stuff that I don't actually mean; like unsent angry letters just to get it out and things like that. Occasionally I write down reassuring things to myself, what I want to happen to me or what changes I want in my life or my personality, and it works surprisingly well. :4u:

I like to use a specific app for that. Though I found myself wanting to drift away from relying on others' products for this because it is obviously unreliable. It thankfully offers a lot of customization, nice interface, stats, affirmations, breathing exercises and meditation, but on the other hand, they seem to change something every month and it would suck for it to one day go away/break or something else happening to it (layout I don't like, features going away that I love) and then I can't use it anymore. I also can't say that going back and rereading old entries is intuitive or nice on there.. and I don't know how well the entry export works.
Admittedly, it can get kinda cluttered/bloated with all these options and I would prefer if things stayed roughly the same for something like journaling. I guess the feature bloat and monthly "improvements" are so they can justify the subscription model :sad: screw subscriptions. It makes me wish they had a one-time fee and then the app gets frozen on that version. I simply like fixed version releases more so you can truly pick out a state of the product you like...

It seems to put a lot of focus on consistency (tracking mood, an optional streak tracker, staple questions every day, selecting categories, encouraging to journal twice a day to see if you followed through on your morning plans..) so that you have nice data to analyze in a stats page showing how many words you wrote, the mood throughout the week, what you focus on the most; so you see changes that way and have a lot of accountability. I'm sure this is useful and nice to some people, but I'm not sure I wanna use a journal that way, as if it was a planner.. so what I often do is come to it every few weeks and use the Empty Page option so I can just write, no forced questions or format or having to decide what category or mood. It seems to put an emphasis on using journaling like the 5am side hustle rise-and-grind routine people, but I'm still unsure if that's healthy for me. I have phases where I do fully use all that (because I work fulltime, study parttime, and have a lot of personal projects and goals from fitness to art and in stressful phases, I am indeed that Notion/Structured app type of person and I indeed also get up at 5am every day :P), but I also enjoy weeks and months of dropping out of this routine and just coming to it when I am hurt or upset. :ohdear:

So I don't really know what the future of my private journaling will look like. The native notes app is a bit barebones to me for that, and I also don't like to simply have a handwritten one (paper or in GoodNotes). Maybe Notion, since that actually lets me keep what I build for myself, but what about the sensitive data, am I right :eyes:
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2023 @525.47 »

I used to keep a "private" journal on LiveJournal a very long time ago. It's worth noting though that it's not as private as you think. All it takes is a breach of the server where your content exists to happen, and then there is a dump somewhere of all the things you wrote. In my case, this was all just petty stuff that I didn't care about anymore (like whatever girl I had crushes on back then, stupid stuff). But it's worth remembering that ... things posted onto the Internet will one day be found by someone.
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2023 @2.33 »

I have just a single private, physical journal. I've tried using various digital journalling/diary apps over the years but none of them have really held my attention for very long and my journal is very much a place to dump my thoughts so I wouldn't really feel comfortable having a public one. Sometimes I even write in a script in my journal, just in case someone happens to go snooping. (I trust that my family wouldn't do that but sometimes I just want to be extra sure). Elian script is a fun one if anyone wants to write in a script and it's relatively easy to learn. I highly recommend it!
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