October 28th, 2005
|03:31 pm - Getting rid of dead wood . . .|
The city has been pruning the trees along my street the past few days and now has done the ones by my house, cutting away dead branches that are a danger to those below. Some of these had fallen to the ground in the storms of recent days, including a rather large one in my front yard -- luckily only a few bushes were damaged by it.
The thought has come to me, given this season of the year and recent events, that I should do the same thing with my LiveJournal and its Friends list.
There have been a few feeds that have died over the past few months and some communities that now seem to be pushing up daisies, so I've decided to remove them, as well as a friend's LJ that is basicly a duplicate of her main LJ, albeit sanitized for family consumption.
Those decisions were the easy ones.
The harder questions came up with whether or not to remove the LJ's of other people -- people I had considered friends, but where that may no longer be the case now. Some had "unfriended" me, others had never "friended" me in the first place, despite "friending" others. (I'm not referring here to people whose LJ's are fairly new or who rarely use them, BTW -- I want to make that clear!)
To me it's time to call a spade a spade and acknowledge that these relationships either never really were what they had purported to be or that they have become damaged to the point that they may no longer exist. For some of them, my efforts to make things better have been rebuffed and my trying to reach out has met only a stony wall of silence.
The question then becomes to what extent, if any, I feel comfortable having these people see various "friends-only" entries. An ancillary question is whether or not it is possible that these relationships can be salvaged or not, and whether things can get better in the future, even if they are pretty crappy at the moment.
I don't get rid of people from my life lightly or easily, just as I don't make friends easily or lightly. I also don't care for one-sided relationships, however, and that is what some of these have become.
So I have decided on a temporary compromise -- I shall change the "friends group" status of these persons in such a way that it reflects our current relationship. Some "friends-only" posts they will still have access to, others not. Should the relationship improve over time, I will return them to the "friends group" they had been in before. However, if after a certain length of time -- perhaps the proverbial "year and a day" -- things have not improved at all, I may then decide to "unfriend" them, since by then it will be obvious that they have no desire to make our relationship better, if the relationship still really exists at all.
I will hold the door open for them, but not forever -- not if I see no sign whatsoever of a desire on their part to make things between us better than they are at present.
(A note to those who have "friended" me but whom I have not "friended" -- this is basicly because I really don't know you very well and you are a virtual stranger to me. Chat with me in IM for a while (ID on user info page), make friends with me, and you will soon be added to my Friends list.)
I would like to make things better with these people, but I cannot do so all by myself -- there must be some reciprocity. I'd like to hope that there can be a thaw in our current frostiness, but that will likely take time.
I'm willing to be patient.
Current Mood: depressed
Current Music: "La Derniere Fois (For the Last Time)" by Charivari
It is the season for it...though I have to say, if this is all related to the events of the last couple of weeks, it hardly seems like enough time to make a judgement. Sometimes I go three weeks without even LOOKING at my LJ.
There's also the question of what you're reading. I had someone friended once who really didn't say anything of consequence...they had a tendency to more talk about things like recipes for long periods of text, and I unfriended them, not because I didn't want to know the intimacies of their life, but because I wasn't interested in recipes, and it was Loooooooong entries. I just didn't have time, so I had to pare down. But I do check every once in a while to see what's going on. I have another that I have friended, but I never read, because I can't bring myself to unfriend her. It just seems final in some way because she gets randomly sensitive about things that I don't understand. She might become insulted and angry, and I can't decide if I care about that or not.
People are funky about the friends list thing. Some people take it as a personal insult if you unfriend them, and others think it means some sort of intimacy if you DO friend them. I have one guy on my list I read all the time because once every 6 or 8 months or so he has a SCATHING commentary on life that is absolutely hysterical. Most of the time, he's talking about life in general, and it's nothing I really pay attention to. I'm not friends with him, I don't know him, and I probably never will. But I find his writing style entertaining.
But do whatcha gotta. No one else is gonna do it for yeh.
though I have to say, if this is all related to the events of the last couple of weeks, it hardly seems like enough time to make a judgement.
It is, in part -- but some things have been going on for quite a while longer than just a few weeks. I noticed things, just didn't decide to say or do anything for a while, hoping things might get better -- and they didn't.
This is also not a final thing -- it is a temporary thing at this point. I'm going to wait a while -- as I said, most likely the proverbial "year and a day" -- before I make any final decisions.
If certain relationships get better, things go back to where they were. If they are in fact dead, however, I don't feel comfortable with those persons having access to certain details of my personal life. I'll comfortably tell my friends certain things, but not someone with whom I no longer have a friendly relationship.
People are funky about the friends list thing. Some people take it as a personal insult if you unfriend them, and others think it means some sort of intimacy if you DO friend them.
I think of my friends list mostly as an indicator of the particular relationships I have with the people who are on it, since many, if not most, of my friends have no LJ that I know of. The people I have on my list are those I'm willing to share certain things that I feel are inappropriate to post publicly. I'm allowing them access to my private life, thoughts and moods.
I now use custom friends groups since some people I'm better friends with than others, and those with whom I am better friends have access to more of my private information than I am willing to share with others with whom I have a more tenuous connection.
|Date:||October 29th, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC)|| |
It's an interesting phenomenon, this "friend" thing. Personally - I think it's rather a poor choice of terms - precisely because it implies intimacies or rejected intimacies (think about the word "unfriend" for a moment - ick!).
What I try to remember is that it's a means of filtering so that nobody gets TMFI, on the one hand. People you add to your friends list, and/or group into sub-categories, can see things the general public can't. So you put peole on there partly so they'll be reading things that aren't for general consumption or publication.
But it also - at least for me - serves the purpose of a "frequently read" page. It groups everybody I want to keep up with, all in one convenient place. And partly this is because I have mild ADD - so I may look up one day and realize I haven't heard from "x" in three months - only to discover that "x" has been posting almost daily about her adventures in Outer Mongolia, but I've forgotten to go check what she's written!
I don't know. I rather think they should find a) a more neutral term, and b) more gradations in security level - particularly the former. But that's just my own humble opinion...
|Date:||October 29th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC)|| |
Sorry about that...
Did I mention that I have ADD and occasionally miss important details? Such as whether I'm logged in and identified, when I'm posting? Yeep.
|Date:||November 1st, 2005 03:12 am (UTC)|| |
Re: Sorry about that...
I agree that the terms they use are loaded and that a more neutral terminology might be a good thing.
In the above comment
I discuss how I
view my friends list. I generally am unwilling to add someone to it with whom I am not friendly already, either as online friends or as real-world friends. I view it as an indicator of a personal relationship I have with someone -- and its current state.
I do also use it as a "frequently read" page a little bit, with respect to feeds of cartoons and certain other blogs, but mostly I use it to keep current on the things that are going on in the lives of my friends. Keeping those connections alive, despite in some cases distances of many thousands of miles, is something that is important to me.