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Friend Etiquette

Is there an unwritten code to friending? How do most people go about this?

I've read profiles where 'Friends' have to meet certain criteria to be friended, or profiles where someone makes a disclaimer "Don't feel bad if I don't friend you back". Lately I've heard of one LJ where this weirdo apparently went around friending hot girls, all of whom made posts asking to be removed from his F-list.

So how does this work?

For me, I tend to friend anyone who asks, or who friends me first. There are some exceptions to this rule - I was friended by people before and NEVER (not once!) heard from them, so I didn't really return the favor. That said, I'm not going to go around asking people to take me off their list if they've added me. I'm honored that they want to read regularly.

I usually ask before friending someone - occassionally while friending someone. I think that's just good form, although I'll admit that I always hope they'll find me interesting and friend me back.

And what about de-friending?

This is where it gets tricky.

I've been on people's lists and seen a post like: "I'm sorry, but my F-list is out of control and I don't have time to keep up with it all. I'm going to have to cull some people; please don't take it personally."

Been there, been culled. Doesn't hurt my feelings. I have commented back and said, "Oh, sorry I didn't make the cut" and been re-friended. That's nice.

I've also had other friends remove mututal friends, and it always seemed like they talked to them privately and explained why - everyone parts with understanding, and the mutual friends are not caught in the middle. I think that's good form, too.

I've been quietly de-friended, and I don't know what to do. Suddenly, I find EGO hard at work here.

It was a new friend, so I guess she didn't owe me much by way of explanation. Still, I thought she seemed super-cool and I was looking forward to getting to know each other more. When I noticed I was no longer her 'Friend', I found myself struggling with many new feelings and doubts:

* Is it because I got sick right after we friended each other, and didn't comment regularly? (I did get mostly caught up...)

* Is it because I started posting more about my FlyLady thing and no longer held her interest?

* Did I inadvertantly insult her? (This is a fun one - sending me scrambling back through not just my own archives, but hers and any mutual friends and communities).

Now ordinarily I'm not like this, so I hate discovering this needy, frightened aspect of myself.

But I am in a quandry.

This friend requested being put on my kink filter, and since (as mentioned) I thought she was super-cool, I added her. Now, Friending me is a prerequisite to being on my kink filter. If you're not willing to 'friend' me, I'm just not willing to share my most intimate details with you. Petty? Not really, I don't think.

But now she's de-friended me, and I'm wondering what to do. It seems inappropriate to comment and say, "Hey, I just noticed that you took me off your friend-list. Why?" Especially given that we were new friends who don't know each other that well anyway. I am still commenting to her, though I haven't gotten a response (hm...maybe I did inadvertantly insult her) and she's still on my f-list.

I do really feel silly saying anything to her. So I just quietly removed her from my kink filter. I do wonder if I should comment and say, "Hey, I noticed that you de-friended me, so while I enjoy keeping you as my friend and commenting to you, I've removed you from my kink filter. No hard feelings."

Have any of you been in this situation (or one similar)? How do you handle the delicate balance that is online friending?

Thanks for your input! I'll look forward to hearing everyone's views on this.

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Comments

( 56 comments — Leave a comment )
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dragynflies
May. 1st, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
I have absolutely no advice, I'm sorry.

I do sometimes get amused though -- by the whole "who's on your flist" thing. i'm not saying YOU'RE amusing, LOL, I'm just saying that there are many a people here on LJ land who's lives revolve around their flist.

I friend people that seem interesting, if they have a friends only lj i'll comment back. Sometimes weird things happen -- for example, this girl in one of my BDSM lj communties seemed cool, from her bdsm posts it sounded like we had similar kink interests, and it's nice to meet people with similiar kink interests. I friended her and posted to her LJ (which had a kink-filter). I said, "Hey, I found you off *this group*, you sound fun, can I be on your filter?"

No, because from what I gathered (a) she doesn't want people from her BDSM communities reading her kink filter and (b) because I don't have a kink filter.

Okay, fine. Left her on my flist, her non-kink posts are nice to read to. It was just a weird thing, I thought. I mean, I don't have a kink filter, it's not like I'm keeping it from her.

At any rate. :)

What I would do is just quietly take her off your kink filter. If you want to read her posts and you want her to read your flocked posts (or be able to) leave her on your flist. If you don't care, or don't want to read her posts, take her off. I do agree, however, that I wouldn't feel comfortable with someone being on a dirty filter without them at least having me listed as a friend.

That was rambly. I'm sorry -- blame the painkillers :)


ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing! That seems weird that a person *wouldn't* want people from their BDSM communities on the kink filter. *blink blink* Uh, that's where I found most of my kink filter. LOL!

Ok, I did just quietly remove her, so I guess I did right. It's just - DAMN, I want to know why. I don't make my f-list my life or anything, but my favorite thing about blogging is all the myriad of friends that I've made that I would never have met otherwise. I think it's so fantastic, and I've made great friendships that way. So while part of me is just way too curious for my own center of peace, the other part wonders, 'Well, I want to know if I *did* something, so I don't do it again!' You know?

Oh well, perhaps it's just an exercise in preferences.
author_by_night
May. 1st, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
I've defriended people who showed no interest in me, and not because they were away like you were. People who didn't ever respond to one IM I sent, at least not with enthusiasm.

Other times, people I just didn't really know well enough to friend back, or people who I didn't have a lot in common with (thus making it hard to really reply to their LJs).

And sometimes... *shrugs* Some LJs have been for diffferent purposes.
ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 04:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've thought about weeding out some of the people who *never* comment, but why bother? Maybe they do still read along. I read all of my f-list, most of the time, but only respond to what grabs me at that time. That way, hopefully, I respond to most people most of the time.

I am contemplating dropping some folks on my kinky filter if I've never heard from them, but I don't feel guilty about that. Since it's still fairly new, I'll wait a bit. Hopefully I'll hear from them!

That said, OMG I totally love your icon! Can I snag?
(no subject) - author_by_night - May. 1st, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 1st, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
inanmak
May. 1st, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
When I was going through a particularly dark time, as was my routine, I used my lj...because it's MY lj :p...to rant and rave about how awful everything was. I had someone ask to be removed from my flist because she didn't want my posts showing up on her friends page. I gladly removed her and thanked her for her support; I can be a little sarcastic ;)

I have a lot of people on my friends list that never or rarely post anymore but I leave them there because if they come back I want to know they're okay. I think I'm way to loyal :)

With friending I always ask first, it seems the polite thing to do.

Anyway....hmmmmm....did any of that make sense?

*hugs*
dragynflies
May. 1st, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
It always amuses me when someone says "Take me off your flist!" or "take me out of this community!"

If she didn't want your posts showing up on her friend's page all she needed to do was remove you from her flist.

Eh, sounds like you're better off without her *anyway* :)
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 1st, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
lanternlady
May. 1st, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
Intimacy
I think I'll just adress one part of this because like you I'm very new to LJ so am not entirely certain as to proper netiquette. You know, allowing someone into your most intimate thoughts in a filter like your kink filter should be seen as an honour. That you are willing to share and be open about something so incredibly personal should be treated with respect and there should be mutual trust. Maybe I'm making more out of it that some would. It's an individual thang me thinks. IMHO, there is nothing wrong with quietly removing her from your filter. She has not given you the courtesy of a reply, and as such you owe her nothing. You are not doing it maliciously. Perhaps THAT is what will motivate her to open the doors of communication with you. And should it not, then you know that that was a door that you've closed with good reason and SHOULD feel good about it. :o)... Protect thyself my dear...

Oh, and we all have ego to some extent. Sometimes it's directly tied to our self esteem! :o).. it's not necessarily a bad thing, assuming it's kept to a reasonable level.

huggles.
w
ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Intimacy
Thank you again for your wisdom, lanternlady. I think that part of the reason I don't mind having a kink filter is because of the fact that I don't know any of these people in RL. And mine seems tame in comparison to many of my friends, but I can share knowing I won't run into them at the supermarket the next day, you know? I's true it's intimacy, but safe, distant intimacy. lol

*mental mantra: reasonable level, reasonable level*
ne_penthe
May. 1st, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC)
Might I make a sugestion? If you put the Flylady and very long posts behind a cut, it would save space on your friends pages. I am not interested in flylady, but do want to keep you on my list. And will regardless :)

I've got 2 journals, so that's my kink filter... when I started writing more heavily in that ditection, I gave my initial friends list the option of being added or not. Longer posts I do my best to put behind a cut... if you don't want to read my 2 page ramble on where my brain is re my master, why should I take up an entire screen?

As for phantom friends... i really think that if youpost somethng on a blog, you are asking to be read. if it is in a n open post, the world has access to the information. I think it's silly to get annoied with someone for friending you without asking... afterall, it doesn't give them any access they don't already have. It just means you pop up in their friends list. Who cares? And weird guy friended me too... I found it amusing.

As for unfriending...your policy is you have to be friended if someone wants access to your kink filter... your policy, your journal, your choice.

If someone I really liked having on my list unfriended me, I'd aske em why.

...hope I'm on your kink filter...

ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I do put certain things behind a cut, but the thing is, I initially learned about blogging through friends at Blogger and people with their own personal pages. So with my blog, I honestly dislike having a blog full of cuts. I never thought of it as being too rude before, but Friend-pages are a secondary thought to me. I'll put lots of pics behind a cut for people's friend pages, but I figure if I'm on there, they enjoy reading my blog.

I agree with you about phantom friends. What I don't want read by everyone, I'll put behind a lock. That's why I ultimately chose an LJ. The filter system is awesome. I mean, I appreciate all the folks who comment regularly, but it's not a requirement for reading. ;)

I'm not sure if you're on my filter. I only put on folks who comment directly and ask. But I shall go see now...

(no subject) - ne_penthe - May. 1st, 2006 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 1st, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ne_penthe - May. 1st, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
charv
May. 1st, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC)
I usually ask someone before adding them a s afriend. As for being taken off a friend's list, it did happen to me once. I'm IMed the person and told her I was sorry if I'd offenede her, etc, and was added back on. [Still don't know if/how i offended ...:)] I've never removed anyone from my friend's list ... mine's not all tha big and I'm obsessive about reading it most of the time.:) Probably don't comment as much as I should, though. Sorry I'm no help!
ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, you are a help. I don't necessarily ask first, but I always comment if I friend someone. If I really enjoy someone's journal, I'll add them and then comment and let them know - usually a post like, "I found you - here - and really enjoy your posts. I'm friending you, and hope you'll return the favor." But usually I'll just say, 'Hey, can I friend you?' and wait for permission.

I might IM the person, but I've only spoken to her through LJ. I'm not going to be too worried about it, but it got me thinking. :)
lizziebelle
May. 1st, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
I think it's unfortunate that they call it a "friends" list, when for me (and most people, as far as I can tell) it's mainly a reading list. As in, journals I want to read. I think people would take it a whole lot less personally if they didn't call it a "friends list."

Some of the folks on my flist are, indeed, friends in RL. But most of them are just folks whose journals I find interesting enough to want to read regularly.

If someone friends you and you don't want them to read your posts, try posting only friends-locked entries.
ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was actually surprised to find that it bothered me so much. :P I think I only know one person on my f-list from real life. The rest I've met through blogging.

I do use my friends-lock occassionally, but I think that most the time it doesn't matter.
nedia782
May. 1st, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
(sorry your still sick momma!!!)

If you havent read I am having issues with online friends and responces. It sucks and it IS a HUGE blow to your ego. I never put it in that light before so thank you for the insight..... I just dont pay attention to my f-list all that much. If I do notice someone friended me I do the same and then let them know, usually with the preface that I am NOT crazy, lol. As far as DE-friending someone, Ive never done it, but if someone deserves it I dont think it would be an issue for me. Women can be fickle, try not to let this drain you too much ;)
ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm trying to catch up, but it's slow going. I didn't realize you were having trouble with responses, but I'll try to do better! :)
(no subject) - nedia782 - May. 1st, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 1st, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nedia782 - May. 1st, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
lolacat
May. 1st, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
I'm getting to the point where even my Flist needs a filter... things I'm cool with a lot of people reading, and things that I only want to share with a select list. as time goes by this lj thing gets more complex.

I'm too afraid to remove people from my Flist permanently, so I will usually take them off the list w/o unfriending them... sometimes I do this temporarily, then go back to them later on. Depends.

I try to read about the people who request F status to make sure that they're people I'd like to have reading some of my more personal stuff. I wouldn't take defriending personally unless it was someone who's journal I was really invested in (like you or Dina).
ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
EGO is raring again...
You're invested in me? Hot damn! :) Thanks so much; you made my day a bit brighter.

I have a couple filters, but have contemplated several. I'm a pretty open book, though. I don't care who reads - but my filters are more for who *doesn't* want to read. I figure they can always skip if it doesn't interest them.
times_suspended
May. 1st, 2006 08:09 pm (UTC)
I'm interested in you. It's why you have both of my journals friended. Gee. I need more filters however. Hehe.

It's hard to remember who I want to read what, sometimes, but that's pretty easily solved by checking to see which journal I'm on. Then I have a lightbulb moment and it's like doh! and I realize.

I don't comment much typically, but I mean well. :D When I do comment, it's when I'm in one of my blathering moments. I just don't like to seem know it all [seem know it all, mind you. I really do - I just don't want to let on. Too much responsibility once everyone finds out. Muah].

i r teh freend of yous.
ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 08:53 pm (UTC)
I try to comment regularly to everyone, but it's hit and miss. I couldn't imagine juggling more than one journal. My MySpace has been seriously neglected lately as it is.
berryhappy
May. 1st, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
I've had the displeasure of removing a few people from my journal. I commented in their journal before removing them about my feelings and apologized for it not working out.

I don't take it personal if someone I don't know friended me and then unfriended me. I hadn't gotten to know them so why do I care? On the other hand, were it a friend of mine that I do know and talk to regularly there would have to be major discussion before the removal of said friend.

I had an instance recently where I was feeling that it would have to come to that with one of my "close friends" and someone I know in RL this is not a decision I take lightly and it really warranted major communication in order to ensure I was making a correct decision.

This person, whoever they are, if they haven't had the opportunity to get to know you more than likely will not give you the attention and time you deserve as a person to really get to know you, you should have no hard feelings.

*hugs* I think you handled it beautifully.
ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I don't feel too bad about it, although I was surprised by my initial reaction. It just got me thinking. I've taken people off my friends list before, but only people who didn't friend me back or closed journals. That just helped me scale back when I needed to. If it was someone I actually had a relationship with, I would definitely have to talk it out.
(no subject) - berryhappy - May. 1st, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
belou_luna
May. 1st, 2006 09:29 pm (UTC)
Seriously it happens and try not to take it personally honey.
ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I enjoy all opportunities for self-exploration. :-D
(Deleted comment)
ahavah
May. 1st, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC)
Indeed. I saw someone intelligent and helpful and had to check out your profile. You are also super-cool, and we share several interests. I do plan on doing your tutorial, too. *blush* I've been waiting til I felt better, but I have several pictures picked out to play with. I'll show you the results when I manage to actually sit down and get it done.
evilrbtmonkey
May. 2nd, 2006 01:20 am (UTC)
Holy crap. I put some people on my friends list because it's easiest for me to read them all at once on my friends page. I had no idea that there was all this social expectation built up around it. I also had no idea that reading someone's LJ imposed an obligation for me to comment.

Holy crap. I'd defriend everyone and just walk away but apparently that will piss people off, too.

Maybe I'll do that anyway. People might get pissed for a little while but I bet they'll move on to another thrash quickly.

ahavah
May. 2nd, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)
Oh, no, it's not as bad as all that! Really! Some of my awesomest friends I've met through LJ. I wasn't pissed off, either; I was just exploring a train wreck of thought. ;)
manifest_now
May. 2nd, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
you have a kink filter??? Hmmmm whole new another shade of respect for you :) (email me!)
ahavah
May. 2nd, 2006 01:42 pm (UTC)
Yes indeedy. It's still pretty new. I don't know your email addy, but mine is AhavahEhyeh@hotmail.com or you can find the post for my kink filter linked in my profile. :)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 2nd, 2006 01:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
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