Why the Journal Matters in the Twitter Age

Journal Martin Diegor Preen
Padlocked, hard-cased diaries may be the stuff of our prepubescent pasts, but I guess I’d rather have that than a massive Twitter spam.
Unless you’re going undercover in undeveloped territories, posting a blow-by-blow account of your daily life isn’t necessary—it’s vanity. Oversharing in social media is an indulgent habit perfect for celebrities. But if we’re not capitalizing on our fame and following, why don’t we slow down on that tweet function, and keep some thoughts to ourselves?
The pen-efits 
The tangible journal is the best friend we didn’t know we needed. Shame on us for forgetting about it, specially when it never forgets.
Thanks to artsy notebooks out there, writing down your feelings has never been this stylishly therapeutic. “[Jotting down] experiences that have caused you frustration or sadness is a way of releasing that tension,” writes Carlos Tabunda in Northern Living.
It’s a form of self-reflection: When we’re mad and logic’s out the window, writing helps us articulate events better, hence deepening our self-understanding. This helps us “explore solutions, [bring] our emotions and motivations into alignment with your deepest values… and [convert] our negative energy into positive creativity and growth,” says Steven Stosny in Psychology Today
We may not live in times of universal tension as Anne Frank, but a journal helps us all to stay sane in personal phases of pressure and stress.
The cons of going public
So what happens when we decide to ditch the notebook, and start going online? The world is much noisier. Sure, the Xanga and LiveJournal days are over, but Twitter and other similar media have become the new space to tell the world how cute our firstborn is in 70 other posts.
Being proud about what we do isn’t the only thing that makes us overshare. There’s also our insecurities. Happy-looking photos and #blessed posts might scream picture-perfect life, but not necessarily polished esteems. How many times have you seen people post about their bad day more than their good ones? 
Not unique to openly lovey-dovey couples, we tend to seek approval and find self-validation through likes and favorites.  We’re just anxious that way. “We want [people] to think we’re funny, smart, and interesting, but that often means we don’t pay attention to what we’re actually saying,” writes Margaret Rock in TIME. 
It also holds true to the endless info we might—if we haven’t yet—put on our feeds. We tell people intimate details about our lives, because we want people to know and listen. The thing is, the more we spill the deets, the less people would care to read them because #TMI turns them off. Just ask your boss what she thinks about your last work rant.
We tend to forget that taking time to write down our stream of consciousness is actually a better form of managing our belittled egos. That journal won’t unfollow us when we tell it that we ate our placenta. It won’t rant back at how you went on and on about a Tinder date.
Instead, it will listen. It will give us a space to evaluate ourselves at the end of the day—why did we act this way toward a colleague, and what the fuck just happened earlier? Rather than having someone else judge or even approve of us, why not give yourself the same freedom?
That way, nobody will blame us for giving #TMI. In fact, we’ll thank ourselves for saying that much.
Art by Martin Diegor
Source: Carlos Tabunda for Northern Living, “Life Catalogue,” July 2015.