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29 December 2005 @ 12:14 pm
I can't win.  
People get offended when I tell them I'm unfriending them.

People get offended when I unfriend them without telling them.

Conclusion:  People take the LJ friends list too seriously.
Shandylittlerowdyone on December 30th, 2005 02:14 am (UTC)
insecurity runs deep....or so it would seem.
angelicfall on December 30th, 2005 04:08 am (UTC)
What about being offended that you didnt unfriend them... er, I mean... um... nevermind :)
Idtechnomonkey on December 30th, 2005 07:28 am (UTC)
OK, that was funny.

.....unless it was serious.


fuzzygondolfuzzygondol on December 30th, 2005 11:01 am (UTC)
well, one solution is to not unfriend people who are your friends... and if you're unfriending people who aren't your friends, then it shouldn't matter whether they are offended or not. *shrug*
Idtechnomonkey on December 30th, 2005 03:34 pm (UTC)
You're falling into the same trap.
The thing is, a Friends List has nothing to do with who is and who isn't your friend. It's composed of journals and syndications you read regularly. I have friends who don't write things I care to read on a regular basis. I have mild acquaintences I read daily. All the Friends list is, is a way to organize yourself so you don't have to visit individual journals and syndications individually. Often, I'll un"friend" someone and keep their lj bookmarked so I can read it once in a while so I can skip the posts I don't care about and still keep up on their lives. Occasionally this coincides with a fallout between the two of us -- but that's just a timing thing.

My LJ Friends List and my list of friends truly have nothing to do with one another.
fuzzygondolfuzzygondol on December 30th, 2005 07:07 pm (UTC)
it's all a matter of perspective, really.
well, maybe you should explain that to people when you unfriend them, because that's not how most people see a friends list- for me, it is a way to keep up with what's going on in the lives of my friends, nothing more, nothing less. so, looking at it that way, unfriending someone who *is* a friend, would be rather insulting- basically, that is like saying "i don't care about what's going on in your life enough to even skim your entries." so it's all about how you look at it, really.
you know, another solution to avoid the hassles of unfriending people and still not have to read their entries all the time if you don't want to is to put a filter on your friends list. not quite as easy, since it tends to default to the unfiltered version- but if you bookmark the filtered version, you can get to it easily enough. *shrug* a little shady, but it could be a way to avoid offending people outright. plus then you're not excluding your friends from reading any friends-only posts you have by defriending them simply because you don't want to read their entries as often. although, i'm not convinced that too many people would care to bother with reading someone's journal if they found out that the other person didn't bother with reading *their* journal. unless said person had a particularly amusing or informative journal *shrug* all in the way you look at it, i guess.
Idtechnomonkey on December 30th, 2005 07:24 pm (UTC)
Very true.
I both understand your point and find it baffling.

I recognize that there are people that view their friends list as a list of their friends. That said, I'm not sure Wil Wheaton, Jessica Stover or Mr. Wonderful, all of which are on my friends list but none of which I've ever actually met (that I recall), count as my friends. People who are on the same list as them really ought to be able to distinguish between the two.

There's two problems I have with your suggestions. First, I'd rather be up front and honest with people. Making a filter to pretend I read people's entries when I actually don't is insulting to both of us, and could lead to awkwardness in conversations. ("I posted all about this, why are you acting like you didn't know?") It feels like adding hassle and deception in order to avoid hassle.

Second, I don't understand why the "I'll only read you if you're particularly amusing or informative" is restricted to those who don't have you friended. If I find that I'm missing posts I care about on my friends list because 30 people have all posted the latest meme, and 25 of them haven't posted anything but memes in the last three weeks, I don't see why it's such a problem for me to defriend them and check on 'em every month or two to see if there's a real post in there somewhere.

I've tried the explanation thing in the past. It exploded at me and lost me more than just that one friend. Hence the subject of this original post: I just can't win. If people would just be consistent with each other, it'd make life a lot easier.

And a lot more boring, of course.
fuzzygondolfuzzygondol on December 30th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Very true.
Yeah, there are definitely problems with using filters- I don't really advocate that except as possibly a temporary solution, or a last resort. upfront honesty does tend to be better when it is possible. although, if you do still read people's journals on an occasional basis, in theory you wouldn't be missing any more by filtering their entries than you would by completely defriending them- and if you are concerned about missing things in your friends journals that may come up in conversation later, then the simple solution would be to not stop reading their journals. *shrug* or let people know up front in a general post that you use filters to keep your friends page manageable, but that you do still go back and read everyone's journals every so often. you could also add that if anyone has a post that they especially want you to read right away, to please let you know so that you don't miss it. the only reason that could be preferable to defriending someone is if you tend to make a lot of friends-only posts in your journal, defriending someone would essentially exclude them from being able to read your journal at all. plus you can more easily change your filters say if someone starts posting more real posts, or has a particularly interesting thread at the moment, or whatever- it's less hassle than unfriending, refriending, etc. you are right that being upfront about it would cause less hassles. but, you could also possibly avoid stepping on people's toes by letting everyone know up front, rather than having to single people out and make them feel less important, or less worthy of your time spent reading their journals. course, that could also backfire, and get a lot of people offended, but that's your choice to make. whatever works for you, really.

and Yes, I agree that it can get annoying on days when everyone has posted the latest meme- for me it isn't much problem though, since I obviously don't have enough friends for that to fill up my whole friends page, even on a busy day. *shrug* It is a bit of a hassle to skim through the memes i don't particularly care to read about- personally though, i'd rather that than miss an important and/or time sensitive post by a friend of mine, due to the virtue of my having defriended them for posting too many memes. but to each their own...
Idtechnomonkey on December 30th, 2005 08:21 pm (UTC)
Here's the bottom line of why I'm baffled by it
There's so much crap going on in the world; so much negativity; so much badness in all its forms; so much to get worked up over and upset by (and I do my fair share of adding to the pool, I'm not pretending I'm a saint) that getting upset over this just makes no sense to me. With everything people do to each other, if the worst thing that happens in your day is that I de-friend you, you've had a hell of a great day.

What I don't get is why this is worth worrying about. Are people's toes so sore that it's vital that I not step on them with this?
fuzzygondolfuzzygondol on December 30th, 2005 09:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Here's the bottom line of why I'm baffled by it
eh, i'm sure it isn't a huge deal to most people, but it definitely can be a bit hurtful. i'm sure it isn't the worst thing in anyone's day, but at the same time, if you think someone is your friend, and you care about what's going on in their life, and you think they care about your life, and then you find out one day that they no longer seem to care enough to even skim your LJ (whether or not that is the case- you've made it clear that this isn't really how you feel, but others may see it that way) i can imagine it would be a bit hurtful or offensive. not making time to regularly read a person's journal might say to some people that they are not much of a priority to you- whether or not this is true.
is it vital for you not to step on toes? well, that is for you to decide. will people be a little hurt if you don't make that effort? probably some of them will. will they get over it? most likely. and in most cases, it probably won't have a long term negative effect on your friendships/acquaintances. if it doesn't bother you to step on a few toes for the sake of your own convenience, then it isn't a problem.
Idtechnomonkey on December 30th, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
Side note
I've never made a friends-only post, and see no reason why that should change. I understand why people do it, but I've always viewed my lj as a public place for semipublic thoughts. More private than that, and I generally handle it using e-mail.
fuzzygondolfuzzygondol on December 30th, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Side note
well then for you the filter idea wouldn't really make any difference in the long run, beyond possibly avoiding hurting people's feelings. *shrug*
Shandy: flocklittlerowdyone on December 31st, 2005 03:26 am (UTC)
Re: Side note
and with that said....this is a public journal, then not many entries will be more than what the person wants the world to know. Many times I start to write what my thoughts are or how I feel and stop due to this question of how will others view the entry. It seems tho that when I do post stuff important or not, not many people comment and as far as I know that is the only way I know who, if anyone, is reading my lj.
NEways....I know who my friends are and so should you. Toes will be sore weather you step on them or not. Personaly I'd rather have sore toes than a broken heart.
midori_suzume: sadmidori_suzume on December 30th, 2005 11:54 pm (UTC)
I personally wouldn't have been offended back when you unfriended me except that you told be I was deliberately wasting your time. It's how you go about things. And it's not like it kept me from reading yours so I'd hardly say that I'm offended.