Daily Me
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My Feelings Are More Valid Than Yours

April 16, 2003 - 9:37 p.m.

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Last Five Entries:
The Party's Over
July 11, 2004
The Next Day
2004-03-31
My Nervous Breakdown
2004-03-30
True Confessions: My Life as a Female Impersonator
March 15, 2004
Bite Me
February 29, 2004

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I discovered something completely screwed up today. It's Diaryland Diary Reviews.

Why is this screwed up? According to Webster's Dictionary, a diary is "a daily written record of one's experiences, observations, and feelings." How can someone's experiences, observations, and feelings be subject to critique by a third party?

Opinions can be critiqued. In fact, I firmly believe that not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. (One need a well-developed basis for your opinion before you are allowed to have one.) But experiences, observations, and feelings? This is entirely the realm of the personal and subjective. That someone would critique and grade someone's experiences, thoughts, and feelings seems absurd.

This is similar polls in which readers vote for the best diary. Those polls are a competition to determine who has the most valid feelings of all.

Of course, the last diary I had here contained a link to vote for it in one of those diary voting polls. And, I should add, sometimes I broke into the top ten.

The diary reviews are similar. Instead of a rank being assigned, a grade is assigned.

I don't know the people behind the Diaryland Diary Reviews, and I don't know the people who put together the diary voting polls. However, these concepts seem very American in flavor. Americans love competition, Americans love voting, and more than anything, Americans absolutely love to critique everyone else.

After all, one of the most popular shows on American television is American Idol. Artists are pitted in competition to find a winner. All are critiqued, and everyone's favorite critiques come from a man who seems to have no artistic talent of his own. His popularity comes not from any expertise, but from his ability to snap out a witty critique.

But if Diaryland Diary Reviews is screwy, keeping an online diary is at least as screwy. For most of us, we are sharing our most personal feelings with absolute strangers. Usually, those thoughs are kept internal, or reserved to be shared with those to whom we are closest, and we trust.

It is certainly uplifting if a stranger, upon reading that diary, writes to the author and says "I understand" or "I empathize." That's the thrill of the online diary, isn't it?

Diaryland Diary Reviews, and polls for voting for diaries, are voluntary. The authors choose to submit their experiences, observations, and feelings for critique by strangers.

Personally, I desperately need validation. More importantly, I like competing. And I like winning! I'm not going to deny how screwy it is, but I am going to prove to you all that:

My feelings are more valid than yours.

Unfortunately, I am not eligible to be reviewed by Diaryland Diary Reviews. Its rules require at least ten entries, and this is just number three.

Therefore, I am forced to review my own diary.

04.16.03 dailyme

Daily Me on Diaryland

Contact: There's just an e-mail address, broken up confusingly into "dailyme (at) diaryland.com" in a futile attempt to avoid web spiders. And I already knew that diaryland.com forwards e-mail, anyway. (1/5)

Errors: It's hard to commit an error when one doesn't try to do anything special, isn't it? (5/5)

Navigation: Going nowhere. (1/10)

Updates: This guy has no lack of things to complain about. Oh, lucky us. (15/15)

Layout Design: Instead of a boring, newspaper-style layout of black type on a white background, we get to experience black type on a blue background. This diary has as much creativity as George W. Bush's foreign policy. (1/20)

Content: Oh, where to begin? In the first entry, his boss is Decker, and in the second entry, his boss is Dean Wormer. What's the deal with that? And why does the second entry refer to everyone with the names of characters from Animal House? Is there a reason that his friend from law school is Hoover, and not Otter or Flounder? What does it mean? That aside, this "I'm lonely" whine just doesn't play. Am I supposed to feel sorry for him? Everyone's lonely in post-industrial America, and this guy needs to get used to it. But the main thing I really have against this diary is that the author's feelings just aren't valid. He shouldn't be feeling lonely. He's got a roof over his head, food on his table, and nobody is shooting at him (yet). He needs to stop complaining, and thank God for his good fortune. By the way, angst hasn't been sexy for ten years now. And the parody of Diaryland Diary Reviews isn't funny. (0/35)

Would I come back? Is there a gun to my head? (1/5)

Bonus: Profile that attempts to be cute, but ends up just being useless. (/5)

Total Points: 24/100

Reviewed by: DailyMe

Recommended Reading: Someone else's diary

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