As every adolescent boy and anxious parent knows, the diary of a teenage girl is a sacred thing. It is in these pages that their inner angst and ennui run riot (alongside a precise list of exactly how many calories were consumed each day). Which is why it’s curious that Livejournal.com – a Website where you make your private diary public – has become insanely popular with high-school girls, who use it to muse on every nuance of their lives without, like, totally freaking out that the whole world can read it!
Val, a Manhattan private-school senior, agrees the site may be “kinda weird” but says it actually helps her love life: “Like, just the other day I wrote something about my boyfriend – basically I totally hated him – and of course he read it. Sometimes it’s hard to say things straight to him – this way he can hear me out and then just send me an e-mail to work it out.” And parents – do they read the journals? “No! Parents don’t know about it – at least, I hope not.”
But if they did – and could navigate past the goofy screen names and teen cyberslang – they’d have a rare glimpse into what’s really troubling their offspring. Take the following from one uptown girl: I’m pissed, here’s why: My mom moved the couch parallel to the window which is ridiculous because now no one can see the TV. She also moved the dinner table to be in front of the TV. I find this infinitely stupid because we never eat dinner at that table and we never entertain. It’s the fuckstupidest thing ever. Ever!
Kids also use the site to deconstruct local schools (Compared to CHAPIN, BREARLEY is so ghetto and bootleg!!) as well as colleges (everyone at wesleyan was SO drunk or stoned, or just plain WEIRD. it was great!). Lately, the site is filled with commentary on back-to-school (some kids actually sneak onto the site during class). For instance, here’s one Brearley student’s thoughts on a recent class trip: For the past two days, I’ve been on a “senior bonding trip” in the wilds of Connecticut, at Camp Sloane. My grade had to play “initiative games,” canoe, and fuckin’ HIKE. (Okay, I don’t usually mind hiking, but when I have a Xanax hangover and just really don’t want to be anywhere but at home in bed, yyyeah.) Freud might conclude that the popularity of the site stems from the true nature of diaries – that deep down, everyone wants his or her own to be read. “No way!” asserts Val. “I keep a real diary, too, which is much more deep and stuff. My boyfriend wants to read it, but I’d never let him.”