Tuesday, July 15, 2003


It's sort of weird but flattering when people you don't know add you to their LJ friends list. But it's even weirder when they remove you. What is it about your journal that makes them want to add you in the first place? What changes to make them no longer want to read you entries? Have you changed in the interim?

I know that with a few exception most of my stuff has been self indulgent "why me?" whinging, but since January that's more or less the process that my mind has been going through. Finding out that my mother had cancer in some ways made me more critical of friends and I have cut a lot of people out of my life. Lets face it when you trying to come to terms with the fact that a parental unit is dying a horrible death, having a self obsessed troll dismissing your feelings as unimportant, whilst making out that their desicion of whether to go to an Indian or Thai restaurant is of life or death importance, makes you realise that said troll isn't worth knowing. When they then say that it was "an attempt to cheer you up" is insulting to the intelligence. One acquaintenship that broke down was regrettable because it could possibly have been avoided if I hadn't made the choice to say enough is enough. However, given the instability of the other person, that would have only put off the inevitable, so perhaps everything worked out for the best anyway.

LJ is interesting in that you can voice all your worries, concerns, woes, etc knowing that you do have an audience, who may be supportive, though conversely they may just be saying "Oh gawd not again" and skimming over your entry. But the audience is there and by virtue of the friends page, is also available to a wider selection of people any of whom could decide that they want a front seat in our rants and wibbles. That a stranger added me to his list for some arbitrary reason and then just as suddenly decided that I wasn't interesting enough raises questions in my mind, like did this person just want to watch the increasingly depressed muttering of someone who is going through their own private hell and re-adjusting their relationships on the basis of new values? Are the postings not full of juicy enough details of debautched sex and familial arguments? But isn't this what we all want to see? Given the popularity of soap operas with convoluted relationships (Dynasty/The Colbys), improbable disasters/scenarios (Emmerdale, Dallas) and on to the later craze of "reality tv", isn't this what we all want - a chance to look into someone elses life and make judgement? But in turn with LJ (and weblogs in general) are we not holding ourselves up for judgement in the same way as the occupants of the Big Brother House? So does it really matter that someone who I have never (to my knowledge) met added and subtracted me from their friends list? Truthfully, the answer is that it doesn't matter at all, however it does generate a feeling of disappointment, i.e. if I cannot hold a strangers interest then what chance do I have of making new friends? though this isn't something that has been a problem in the past, so why should it be a problem in the future? And can the actions of one stranger be used as a weather vane as to how people in general view me?
Furthermore, does questioning the motives of a stranger, and analysing my response to their actions make me nuts? Or am I just noticing a trend of behaviour in people that is always there just so entrenched that we take it for granted?

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