I read last night that another person is deleting a journal. I find that disproportionally saddening. LJ for me is a neat place to spout my thoughts and opinions and news, and not worry if anyone bothers to read it or not. I can sometimes find out fun/interesting/intimate things about other people for whom I care, and offer communal laughs/philosophies/sympathies/free advice along with the rest of the general community voice.
In a way, LJ is a community, a news bulletin, and a soapbox all in one. LJ to me is like the wall in Blueberry Park. Anyone can get up and make a speech about anything at any time. It's my choice whether I stay in the audience or wander off to buy a hot dog. If I get up on the wall to speak, I can expect everything from being ignored to having rotten tomatoes fly by. Comments in my journal from other people might be in relation to what I say, or they could be about how zucchini cures cancer caused by devil-made hamburgers in Kenya.
Certainly, I don't post about the private workings of other people's lives mostly, and don't rant about politics or religion much, so I guess I don't expose myself too much to abuse from the random passers-by and friends alike. On the few occasions where there has been difficult or abusive comments in my journal, I simply delete them and don't respond. I have e-mail for that kind of private exchange, thankyouverymuch. When I see things in other people's journals that I don't like/agree with, I just ignore them, or, if feeling particularly motivated, engage in a small, hopefully polite, rebuttal. Most of the people who comment in my journal respect my differences from them, offer sympathy and advice where needed, and rejoice with me in the good things that happen in my life. The few who don't... are also a part of life. No, my politics don't line up with everyone else's. There is something about me that offends someone, with the extrapolation that no one agrees with everything about me. Whoopee. I know better than to comment in other people's journals when there is nothing to gain: I don't post about gun discussions at T-, or neo-capitalism at J-, or libertarian philosophy at M-. If it's in my journal, they mostly ignore it politely too.
Without permitted access to Instant Messenger (yes, I can get to it, no I'm not supposed to), LJ is my only window on the trivial, casual daily conversations. So when I see another person dropping out of LJ, I mourn the loss of that connection, the loss of that voice in the social commentary of my day, and the loss of intellectual challenge [at my convenience]. Certainly, that person is not in any way dead, but the connection into someone's day-to-day is gone.
Completely off the previous topic - there is an interesting discussion about violent words as common greeting here in tyratae's journal.