Janet (j4) wrote,
Janet
j4

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Friends like these

As far as I can tell, nearly everybody on LiveJournal thinks that calling the list of watched journals a "friends" list is a big glaring misnomer. But fortunately most of the people I know aren't naïve enough to infer from the liberal (mis)use of words like "friends" and "community" that by joining LiveJournal they will instantly enter into a glorious utopia where they're showered with love by people who were previously strangers to them.

Unfortunately, this doesn't make it any more pleasant when people who I regard as real friends in real life decide to tell me that I'm a worthless friend because I don't follow up to their last post on LiveJournal. I didn't realise that when they voluntarily joined LiveJournal I had entered into a contract to a) read every new update to their journal as soon as it was posted, b) follow up to every post, c) guess that a fairly generic-looking paddy about the technical crapness of LiveJournal and NTL is actually a hugely emotional trauma about the failure of a community to nurture and support them, or d) chase them up on email and implore them to return to LiveJournal.

If people don't want to use LiveJournal, then fine. I don't see it as an alternative to friendship, merely another way of keeping in touch with people. Some of my friends don't have mobile phones, so I don't text them. Some of them don't use email, so I phone them and meet them face-to-face occasionally instead. If a friend decides, for example, that having a mobile phone is a bad investment of their time/money, then I'm not going to run after them screaming "NO! NO! Don't give up the mobile phone! How will I ever keep in touch with you?", I'll just contact them another way.

That is, if they still want to keep in touch.
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