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Friending with or without permission - One person's lack of compassion does not equal another's comfort.
One person's lack of comprehension does not equal another's consent.
Friending with or without permission
This subject has come up a few times since I joined LJ and so I've decided to make a single entry about it to link from my info page. The way I see it, Friending does not give the Friender any special privileges, in fact it gives access TO the friendee. For this reason it does not really affect he Friendee AT ALL, except that now the Friender's name appears on the Friendee's LJ info page.

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.


12 Rubber Duckies or Leave a Rubber Ducky
dcseain From: dcseain Date: May 19th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Indeed. If one wants privacy, either friend-lock or ban people.
vvalkyri From: vvalkyri Date: June 1st, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
banning, btw, only prohibits someone from commenting on your posts while logged in; it does not prevent him from reading them.
dcseain From: dcseain Date: June 2nd, 2006 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting. Bit of a misnomer then.
dianec42 From: dianec42 Date: September 6th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, all they would have to do is log out, and then they could read them again.
(Deleted comment)
fixx From: fixx Date: May 20th, 2006 01:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Going back won't help you. This person is not referred to in my LJ. This is someone I met on OKcupid who I friended thinking she sounded interesting. The fact is we have several friends in common and she's moving to an area where a lot of us hang out so it made sense I'd have gotten to know her in real life without much effort.

Flirtation wise I thought we were doing well too and then one day she said our emails were going "downhill" and when I asked what it was she was taking exception too, she quoted out of context something I said in an email and explained I was calling her prostitute. Umm gee well, maybe she would not have been easy to get along with. She asked me to unfriend her on LJ. So now you know the story.
browneyedgirl65 From: browneyedgirl65 Date: May 19th, 2006 11:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
The funny thing is you can so totally customize your personal friend list that someone who is listed even as a mutual friend may not have any privs above what's public!

I agree, it seems very silly. I view it as sort of a "subscription" method, if there's someone whose posts you're interested in reading, then you just add it on to the friend feed and leave it at that. It doesn't mean anything more than that, and especially with people who friend me that I don't know well, they certainly don't go any deeper into the filters I've got set up anyway.


luvcherbear From: luvcherbear Date: May 20th, 2006 11:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi there. I have had this similar situation happen to me. I didn't get it before and I don't get it now. As far as my friends list goes, if someone out and out finds out they don't like me, I would prefer them to unfriend me so as to not have to have my life drivel on their friends page that they read. I don't post much anymore due to school and work but still. No one has to make a federal case of it, although I have gotten upset at various "defriendings" before. I see them as a part of life now and if someone doesn't want to read me anymore, so be it. I am realizing more and more, I post for me...

From someone that likes reading your takes on life, even if I don't post often.
From: jump_street1980 Date: May 26th, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC) (Link)


for me, i'm not averse to utilizing the "block" tool when necessary. it gets the job done. nor am i against creating custom friends groups for specific posts. it has kept more than one disaster from occurring because i needed to vent.
i love leaving public posts. however, if i want to talk about my ex or who i might be screwing at the moment, but i don't want to hurt certain people's feelings...perhaps it might be better left to a select few to "talk amongst ya'selves"...if you catch my drift.
dianec42 From: dianec42 Date: September 6th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Speaking of friending, I will probably friend you back at some point... as soon as I can actually figure out who you are. (-:
fixx From: fixx Date: September 6th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
That I belong to (operate, actually) the LJ representation of lumsfs and my first name is "Dave" isn't actually enough?
dianec42 From: dianec42 Date: September 6th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Today is slow, and so am I. My research skills have apparently hit a new low. (-:
fixx From: fixx Date: September 6th, 2006 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, it has been a while and as I recall the last time I saw you in person was about seven years ago at a Balticon if I recall correctly.

What identifying characteristics would you like me to offer or would you prefer email? Yes, I think I should send you an email...
12 Rubber Duckies or Leave a Rubber Ducky