I have been friended by people who I don't especially like, yet NOT ONCE have I ever felt it appropriate to ask them to unfriend me? Why? Because the entries that they can read are "PUBLIC" and the definition of "Public" is that ANYONE can read them. So why should I be upset if they want to read my *PUBLIC* entries regularly? Answer? I shouldn't, and therefore I am not.
To me, "browsing" LJ is just like looking around, and "friending" is like noticing more than it is like "staring". To the degree it is like staring it is as much flattering. You have a right to ask a person what, if anything, they noticed about your profile made them feel like friending you but you have as much right to ask them to unfriend you as you have to ask other drivers on the road to close their eyes.
These are the reasons that I tend to label as "Infantile" those people who feel it is appropriate to go around asking people to unfriend them. Although I know from reading communities that it is common with the younger set (under eighteen) to get all bent out shape about who friends who it has only happened to me twice, but it is already getting old.
My take on why teens seem more upset about friending and browsing LJ's of people who don't know them is that on average, teens seem to feel that their "public" entries should deserve some degree of privacy, and we should "respect" them by not reading what they write publicly. That's a quaint idea, but certainly unrealistic.
September 2006 update:
It has recently come to my attention that due to a somewhat confusing bit of LJ user information, some people have been of the mistaken impression that when you friend someone that gives *you* access to *their* friends only posts instead of the other way around. (This might explain why some people get so freaked out when I friend them)
If you are one of these people you can find out this isn't the case simply by looking looking at the LJ of a stranger, then friending them and see if there are any new entries you could not see previously.
Tags: lj user rants