In just over three weeks I've deleted my MySpace, Facebook, and OKCupid accounts. My friends list here was been quietly slashed by two-thirds. It's funny, the upkeep of my electronic social life can now be accomplished in less than an hour every three days. It used to take me 3 hours a day to keep up on everything.
It feels like my social life has suffered a major collapse in the last year and a half. People I once considered friends became friends-of-a-friend, and then drifted away so that we're nothing at all. The recent spate of deletes and cuts isn't the sign of a troubled beginning, but of a solemn conclusion. A lot of the people on LJ I had grown fond have either left, or cut back their presence to the occasional "I'm still alive" post.
Since I locked down my journal, the social-networking aspect of LJ has been largely pointless. I now have a blank profile, limited user icons, and no public posts at all. It's not surprising that few if any take interest to me any longer. There's nothing available to be interested in. The few I have been recently introduced to come only through transphoto membership requests, or through friend-of-a-friend encounters.
I'm suspicious of such encounters today. In years past I was more than willing to friend this person or that if they had the good graces of someone else already on my list. Unfortunately, I failed to realize that without any experiences of our own, there isn't anything to sustain the friendship. This especially true if something happens to the friendship of the person in-between.
For the last half-year I've been afraid to write. I was convinced that if I wrote what I was really thinking, what was really going on, it only would result in more awkwardness and frustration. I was too afraid to speak up and let my natural tendency to anonymize myself take hold. I was in denial about what I had already lost, and often dreamed of it being regained.
I understand now, however, that it's not coming back. I've made my mistakes and I have paid for them, perhaps I still am paying for them. I had considered deleting my LJ account altogether, but I knew I was being over-emotional and held myself back. Once I had felt calm enough -- distant enough -- from my own life, I felt I could make some sort of choice. And now I have.