I think of my friends list as a reading list, and I'd rename it if I could, but even as is, I don't attach a lot of emotional baggage to it. (As a list, I mean--I'm very attached to some of the people on it.) I don't add everyone who adds me, and I have no filters because I'm lazy. But now and then I do browse the LJs in my friend-of list. I'm not walled up in my own LJ. I go out and wander and look for new things to read. I'm always clicking through people's LJs to other LJs, twisting out into fandom in seach of things to amuse me.
I looked over my LJ friends list a few days ago out of curiosity, and broke it down into categories:
- People I've known for years, am close with personally or socially, many of whom I've met: 35%
- People I friended because I kept running across them in LJ and they hooked my attention for whatever reason (fiction, posts, comments): 19%
- People who notably have a lot of slashy content, like QAF or X/S: 13%
- People I've gotten to know pretty well online during the last year or so in Buffy fandom: 12%
- People I feel oddly familiar with but know only through LJ: 8%
- People I don't really know well yet, whom I've friended rather randomly: 5%
- People I've known for years online, dating back to Sentinel fandom and mailing lists: 4%
- Communities: 4%
I almost never friends-lock posts. I've locked maybe three, ever. A few times I've regretted a post, and then made it private.
I worry less and less about being defriended, even about getting defriended en masse. I realize in most cases it probably isn't personal so much as topical.
I don't like to defriend people myself though, which is part of why I'm conservative in friending people to start with. If I stop reading an LJ, it's probably because my interests are no longer in synch with its contents, or because it gets me worked up in some unwelcome way when I'd prefer to stay emotionally lethargic, like a half-sleeping seal lazing immobile on rocks. It doesn't mean I've severed all ties in preparation for war.
I finally set up an interest list so that people could see the kind of stuff I waffle on about in here. I veer from the personal to the fannish to the general, from posts about my mood to posts about movies. I sometimes post obsessively, other times not so much. I've posted bits of fiction before, but it's not something I do regularly.
I'm kind of low-key. Not usually soapboxy. Confessional, personal.
My LJ is not the kind of place where you stumble in one morning and find 200 people milling around yelling at each other, or licking each other and singing beerhall songs. And I'm not especially talky either, in the way that facilitates long threads. There are many cool fangirls with a gift for spinning long and interesting commentary threads, like anniesj or thamiris or wisteria_. I'm more apt to move on to the next conversation before anything gets off the ground.
Plus, my own reservations about unbridled debate inhibit discussion, this is obvious. I tend to think of my LJ like my living room; it's an open house, but it's inevitable that I'll set the tone, consciously or not. I don't know what tone I set exactly, but I know it's not the rollicking party-like atmosphere that exists in other places. More like a tea party of librarians, I suspect.
I like to discuss things. Disagreement is okay. I'm not fond of antagonistic debate, though, especially on my own turf, because I'm not good at detaching, and I dislike it when people make shit-stirring into an art form as a means to exercise ego.
I'm fine with people conversing back and forth in comments, even if I'm not joining in. Feel free.
I think I probably reply to about 20% of comments. That's a wild-ass guess. If I don't reply it's not because you're not interesting. It's because I'm lazy, random, and tragically self-absorbed. I've eaten your words the way a piranha strips meat from a cow and I've moved on without giving anything back.
Hello! This is me.
When I leave comments in other LJs, it's fine if I don't get a reply. Within five minutes, I've forgotten that I ever posted anything and have begun thinking about muffins.
You do not have to ask before you friend me. Go for it!
I quote myself as saying, "I'll delete anonymous comments that piss me off." But I think I've done this just once, to date.
I can't believe I wrote this. The shame! I'm toppling over from the sheer weight of my own head!
Moving on now.