Manners, Community and Blogging
Today, something quite unusual happened.
I received a friend request on Facebook ~which was preceded by an introduction message~.
I imagine some of you are cocking your head like “what’s that?”, right? I have two Facebook accounts, as many of us bloggers do – a “real life” or vanilla account where we use our real names and connect with family members and people from high school we’d like to forget; and then there’s our “blog-version” Facebook accounts where many of us do the majority of our social media networking and sharing albeit under a pseudonym. On my vanilla account, I tend to mostly play those stupid Zynga games because many are perfect ADD-fodder: your activity is limited to 5-minute bits, perfect for my waning attention span. So it’s not 100% uncommon for me to get friend requests from people I do not know simply because we have friends in common – for these goddamn addicting games require that you have many “neighbors” who also play, so we suckers look for other suckers so that we stop harassing our actual friends with requests for help. But I still make it known on my bare public profile that I don’t tolerate silent requests and I’d like a message first. Most comply.
Yesterday, I finally cleared out 25 friend requests on my blog-Facebook. Not a single one of those people sent me a message first. I am treated completely different; the respect is gone out the window. Half of those people shared mutual friends, half I presume are foreign readers of my blog. Since I tend to reveal personal life details sometimes on Twitter and Facebook, I have privacy settings up on both and I don’t accept just any request. I have allowed subscriptions on Facebook, but most people do not subscribe to my public updates first, they just send a blind “friend” request. I accept maybe 1/2 of these because I feel as if I should network and use it to gain readers. Also, because I’m apparently part British and didn’t know it. In fact…I don’t think I’ve ever received an introduction message along with a friend request on blog-me’s Facebook.
Today, though, I did. And it shocked me (quite clearly, as here I am writing about it). It was a simple message, stating that we have numerous sex-positive friends in common and I seem like his cup of tea. Simple! Non threatening, not at all creepy…just friendly. WHAT A CONCEPT, EH?? SO much more appropriate and polite than “Nice pic Liily! Nice girls!” or asking “where are you from? live in nyc” of an anonymous blogger.
Now, I understand if the profile is of a fellow community member where Twitter discussions have already happened or blog interactions. But even if you’re just someone in the sex industry, just because I’m a sex blogger, does that mean manners are exempt? I’ve had a few adult performers send friend requests and it’s fairly clear that their Facebook profiles are another facet of marketing; the request wasn’t devoid of common friends, but still. We have no interaction anywhere. The request seems more like “networking” than anything else and I don’t need that or want to be bombarded with that in my feed.
I have sent a few Facebook friend requests to fellow bloggers that I already know and have even met in person, only to get a canned response saying that this is their personal Facebook account (and I didn’t stalk them, we had many common friends) and they’d rather I just go “like” their persona page. While I am not a published author or famous educator, I contemplate doing that same thing to people I do not know. But I’d feel way too weird doing it to people I’ve actually met or interacted with, like I think I’m some bigshot or something – good lord I’m so not!! I’m thinking I’ll just remove the option for people who have no mutual connections to send me a friend request. That will only take care of part of it, though.
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Related-ish topic….I’ve read countless posts in the last few years about how commenting is “down” on blogs, too many people are just reading and not interacting thanks to Twitter and Facebook accounts. Or we’re just lazy. Who the hell knows.
I think it’s an important aspect, though, and not at all in an ego-stroking attention-seeking way. Feedback is good, continuing conversations is even better. I’m not talking about comments on photos or erotic pieces, I’m talking about the sort of blogging I’ve moved on to. I’m very guilty of not commenting; I read my stuff via RSS and just move on assuming that the other person could give a shit what I have to say. But I need to stop assuming that. If they don’t care about my opinion then they’ll keep on ignoring me and that’s fine, that’s their choice. But I’m going to make the effort anyways to get back into commenting when I have something valid to add or feel that the post needs a “commendation” of some sort.
I’ve also not interacted much with many people on Twitter for a few months now. I need to get better about that before I bitch about being ignored ;) But also I need to get back into interacting before I make any more decisions on stepping down from anything else.