September 23rd, 2003

blade

A few questions of etiquette

How do you explain to somebody that other people get hurt too, when they appear to experience selfhood as an island of victimised perfection in a sea of irrelevance and stupidity?

Is it okay to break a confidence if somebody's only asking you to keep it secret so that they can carry on manipulating you while simultaneously preventing you from asking your friends for support?

How do you tell somebody politely "Please stop fucking up the lives of my friends"?
  • Current Mood
    angry
blade

With friends like those...

One of the reasons that I don't bother making friends-only posts is that PEOPLE TALK TO EACH OTHER. I mean, in real life. Face-to-face. Realtime fully-interactive non-digitally-mediated 3D chat sessions. You know.

Sometimes people pass on gossip. But more often people just don't have a clue who can "see" a post and who can't, and they may well mention a post to a friend (a real friend, not a LiveJournal "friend") but only realise when they meet with blank incomprehension that that friend has been blocked from seeing the post in question.

It's interesting what gets around, though. It's interesting how complete a picture I can piece together of what's been said that I can't see, without even trying. I probably wouldn't bother trying; the content doesn't really interest me. But the information flow fascinates me; the unspoken assumptions (usually wrong) about who won't talk to whom. (I'd love to try to track the progression of a piece of news or information: to mention it in one place only and see how far it gets. The only problem would be how to determine where the information had got to: if you ask people "Did you know [whatever]?" you risk triggering false recognition.)

Personally I tend to take the view that if I say something anywhere, at all, it will escape eventually. Information wants to be free. If it's so horrible that I couldn't bear somebody to read it, then I probably shouldn't be writing it; if I write it, then as far as I'm concerned I have to be prepared to take the consequences of people seeing it.

Basically I don't like trying to solve social problems with technical solutions; if I wanted to try to control what other people said to each other, LiveJournal certainly wouldn't be the tool I'd use. I can't imagine wanting to do that, but some people are strange, eh?
  • Current Mood
    tense
southpark

(no subject)

At lunchtime I bought a pair of DKNY black denim dungarees from the Sue Ryder shop, for £4.10.

Poll #183374 Dungarees

What's your reaction(s)?

Dungarees, how cool!
1(4.0%)
Dungarees, how dykey.
0(0.0%)
DKNY? What's that?
0(0.0%)
DKNY? You label slave, you.
0(0.0%)
Are all your clothes black?
1(4.0%)
Did you really need any more clothes?
0(0.0%)
£4.10? What a bargain!
3(12.0%)
£4.10? You were robbed.
0(0.0%)
Why should I care?
0(0.0%)
You woke me up to ask me this?
1(4.0%)
Shouldn't you be working rather than posting pointless polls?
0(0.0%)


I also bought a pile of Nancy Drew books, but I'm not going to pretend to care about peer approval for them. :)
  • Current Mood
    in need of distractions
hair

Polls apart

A more serious poll this time.

Poll #183388 [Restricted]

If you read a post which is locked (as indicated by the padlock symbol), what do you think/feel/assume?

The poster doesn't want people they don't know reading the post or knowing its contents.
1(3.1%)
The poster only wants a select group of people reading the post or knowing its contents.
0(0.0%)
There are specific individuals whom the poster actively doesn't want reading the post or knowing its contents.
0(0.0%)
Everybody on the poster's "friends" list can read the post.
0(0.0%)
I shouldn't mention the contents of the post to people who aren't on the poster's friends list.
0(0.0%)
I shouldn't mention the contents of the post to anybody.
0(0.0%)
I shouldn't even mention the existence of the post to anybody.
0(0.0%)
I should ask the poster before mentioning the post's contents to anybody else.
0(0.0%)
I should ask the poster before mentioning the post's existence to anybody else.
0(0.0%)
It may be okay to pass on some of the facts but it's not okay to show the actual post to anybody else.
0(0.0%)
I can show the post to people I really trust.
0(0.0%)
If I believe that somebody else needs to know the contents of the post, it's okay to tell them.
0(0.0%)
If I believe that somebody else needs to know the contents of the post, it's okay to show them the post.
0(0.0%)
Most "friends-only" posts are made that way for a reason.
0(0.0%)
Most "friends-only" posts are made that way because people make that the default and then don't really think about it for individual posts.
0(0.0%)
It's impossible to generalise about people's reasons for making posts "friends-only".
4(12.5%)
I rarely notice whether a post's locked or not unless it's made explicit in the content.
0(0.0%)
ASSUME NOTHING.
2(6.2%)

Other?

If you read a post which is marked "[Restricted]", but doesn't say to whom it is restricted, what do you think/feel/assume?

The poster doesn't want people they don't know reading the post or knowing its contents.
0(0.0%)
The poster only wants a select group of people reading the post or knowing its contents.
1(3.3%)
There are specific individuals whom the poster actively doesn't want reading the post or knowing its contents.
0(0.0%)
Everybody on the poster's "friends" list can read the post.
0(0.0%)
I shouldn't mention the contents of the post to people who aren't on the poster's friends list.
0(0.0%)
I shouldn't mention the contents of the post to anybody.
0(0.0%)
I shouldn't even mention the existence of the post to anybody.
1(3.3%)
I should ask the poster before mentioning the post's contents to anybody else.
0(0.0%)
I should ask the poster before mentioning the post's existence to anybody else.
0(0.0%)
It may be okay to pass on some of the facts but it's not okay to show the actual post to anybody else.
0(0.0%)
I can show the post to people I really trust.
0(0.0%)
If I believe that somebody else needs to know the contents of the post, it's okay to tell them.
0(0.0%)
If I believe that somebody else needs to know the contents of the post, it's okay to show them the post.
0(0.0%)
Most "friends-only" posts are made that way for a reason.
0(0.0%)
Most "friends-only" posts are made that way because people make that the default and then don't really think about it for individual posts.
0(0.0%)
It's impossible to generalise about people's reasons for making posts "friends-only".
3(10.0%)
I rarely notice whether a post's locked or not unless it's made explicit in the content.
0(0.0%)
ASSUME NOTHING.
3(10.0%)

Other?

  • Current Mood
    contemplative (and ticky-boxy)
blade

Paranoia, paranoia...

Okay, as a result of my previous poll one person is now convinced that everybody is going to suddenly stop trusting them, and thus immediately cut them out of their friends lists without further discussion or explanation, because of what they said in answer to the poll. Sigh.

Perhaps I should have added some kind of disclaimer to the effect that the statements in the ticky-boxes are what you would feel/think/assume in the absence of any other specific information to the contrary from the poster.

And hopefully people are clueful enough to, y'know, talk to each other about things, and discuss it if they're worried about including them on "friends" groups, rather than just going "Argh, they said this on a stupid ticky-box poll, I must SPURN THEM henceforth".

<exasperated sigh>

I'm retrospectively filled with sympathy for the teachers on playground duty at my primary school.
  • Current Mood
    annoyed