Saturday, May 9, 2009

To discuss social media friendships: Just like high school, but with more angst and fewer zits

There are big victories in life:
  • Finding your true love
  • Buying your first house
  • Beating the odds against a disease
  • Being crowned an American Idol
And there are small victories in life:
  • Finding someone to make out with who is at least a 5 on a scale of 1-10. OK, at least a 3 and has all their teeth.
  • Renting an apartment that is close to homes that you assume people who actually have money can buy
  • Beating the odds against the swine flu
  • Being crowned an American Idol on your Nintendo Wii
And, one more small victory:
  • Getting to 100 Google followers on your blog
I take pride in the small victories in life. As soon as I have any, I'll let you know.* I was hoping to get to that magical, even number of 100 on the ol' followers list (in the right hand column). Not that it really matters- overall, counting people following on other services, the total is already over 100 (God bless all of you. No, seriously, I mean it. I hope God puts an extra dollar in your pocket or gives you a baby or gets rid of that rash or whatever you want).

But I was so very close, at 99, earlier this week. Now I'm back down to 97, which probably means some people were doing some blogging housekeeping and realized I hadn't made them laugh in a few months. They had to cut the dead wood. Understandable.**

That made me look at my own list of blogs I follow. I had more than 60 on my list. Surely, I thought, I can't be reading allll of these. So I went through and cut out blogs that hadn't been updated since Obama took office.

Most of the others, including all of you who comment regularly, were no brainers to keep. But then I considered some others, and that brings me to the new poll....

Do you keep following a blog, long after you've stopped reading it, because you don't want the person to notice you've stopped following it? Is this the most recent equivalent of removing a friend from your AOL Instant Messenger List, leading to them getting a message they aren't an approved friend when they try to talk to you? Or an even older version, not inviting them to your birthday party when they invited you to theirs?

Or is this more like a Facebook friend you remove? I had that situation recently. There was a much older guy I knew from doing theater together. He had always been nice, but just a little too nice-- with just one trench coat and one unmarked van, he'd have Dateline drooling. But when he requested to be my friend on Facebook, I felt bad saying no, so I approved it.

Soon, he would send me random messages, asking me what I was up to, if I wanted to hang out, etc. Now, if I was a 12-year-old boy and this was a Lifetime movie, I would have said, "Sure!" But, obviously, I ignored it, and one day decided to remove him as a friend. Sure enough, a few weeks later, he realized I had removed him, and he messaged me asking if he had done anything wrong.

Well, yeah, you creep me out more than a Troll doll.

It's amazing how a Facebook friendship can make you feel guilty. Even when you're trying not to get molested.

Fortunately on the blogging side, I only noticed one blog that I had long since heard from and had long since read, so that shouldn't cause any drama. I'm now down to 54 overall, and enjoy all of you.

So, dear readers, here's the new poll question:

Have you maintained a social media relationship out of guilt?

* I have managed to get Bailey to pee outside. That counts as one.
** But if I can somehow get to 100 this week, that would be more awesome than Laura Winslow picking Steve Urkel over Stefan Urquelle.... Also, this post is not a guilt trip for anyone. Seriously.

Here's the final tally on the last poll, about your favorite regular Wild ARS feature:
1. What I Learned from Cosmo 37 of 150 votes (Good news: I've got a Cosmo and Maxim to review... will do soon)
2. TV Play-by-Play 28 votes
3. Weekend Update, 27 votes
4. (tie) Month in Review 14 votes
4.. (tie) Love Coach cell phone texts 14 votes
6. Co-blogs 13 votes
7. Fake Andy Shaw of the Month, 9 votes
8. Music I Loved Fridays, 8 votes

Although, judging by the response, you all loved the As Seen on TV Week. If I ever get another product, I'll do a post on it.


Scandalous Housewife said...

I recently put my face on the body of a naked troll doll (you know, the little plastic kind with the colored hair sticking straight up) and posted it on my blog. My little brother is STILL so disturbed by it. What are your thoughts?
Hell, maybe I'll just post it again today, just to mess with lil bro...

Soda and Candy said...

I accepted a friend request from an acquaintance of my husband's even though I absolutely detest him because it seemed rude not to.

I did some housekeeping later and removed him. God bless FaceBook for not alerting people when you remove them from your friend list!

Ben said...

There will always be people who try to make an issue out of blog housekeeping but it has to be a reality. If you don't float someone's boat, so what? Who wants to keep people who don't want to read anyway?

I find that the more blogs I have on my list, the less attention I actually pay to any of them. So I keep the ones I like, remove the ones that aren't my thing, and try to not worry about it.

Ben said...

P.S. I suck for not commenting more but I AM reading and loving. Rest assured.

Andy said...

Scandalous: My thoughts are you are an evil, evil person.
Soda: I'm still trying to figure out how the guy I was talking about learned I wasn't his FB friend.
Ben: I'm with you on that one. I don't feel remorse for not reading someone who doesn't float my boat anymore/never stops by here anyway/hates puppies. But I'm sure there are others who do agonize over it. And I'm glad you are still reading and loving- I'm the same way with yours.

kk said...

guilty! although i follow blogs through my google reader, so if i've stopped reading, i'm not sure anyone would really know, would they?

rest assured, andy, i am still a dedicated Wild ARS fan.

Herding Cats said...

This may be a stupid question, but how do you know how many people follow your blog? I have yet to figure this out.

Children of the Nineties said...

Creepier than a troll doll? That's no small feat. I see you're up to 98 followers, now, congrats! I've never really thought about housekeeping on a blogger/facebook front because unless I'm in a creepy To Catch a Predator-type situation like you were, it seems unnecessary to remove people without sufficient cause.

Maybe it's just me, because with so much free time at work, I can't afford to lose any sources of entertainment.

Andy said...

KK- They might know, but they wouldn't know it was you. Ah, anonymity (spelling? who knows)
Herding- I use Feedburner; I'll get you the info... I'm not sure if we're supposed to look more at visitor totals or subscribers. I just want people to like the content, which is probably what really matters.
Children- Understandable. I know I only thought of it just now, but I'm sure others do it all the time.

Herding Cats said...

Thanks Andy! I really appreciate it!

kisatrtle said...

I floated over the follow this blog button, thought it over and then I clicked.

Here's hoping you make that life goal.

Happy to help.

As for facebook, I think I'm going to permanately change my status to if you weren't friends with me in high school don't even think about being friends with me now. P.S. I'm not fat and you don't get to look at my pictures!

What do you think...tooo much??

*~Dani~* said...

Well, just so you know, I dont "follow" anyone's blog in that I do not show up in that little box, but I do follow blogs, yours included in my reader. You do know you have 158 Google reader followers? That is something!

Keep up the good work!

Me, Amplified said...

i go one step further then following, in that i actually look forward to your posts! *sigh at my neediness*
i'm feeling a little stupid though cos i saw you had 99 followers and thought 'hey, i'll follow him...oh wait'
see, i like you so much i'd follow you twice :)

elle michelle said...

I'm with Dani. I keep everyone in my Reader.

And there's nothing wrong with a little social media housekeeping -- even when it gets petty and juvenile, it can still be funny. For example, I was unfriended on Facebook once after I sent a bit of a short/annoyed email to a (bad) coworker. That'll teach me!

Seriously, try not to feel too guilty.

Sam_I_am said...

I found some really interesting blogs during SITS Spring Fling Giveaway and I followed them in hopes of being able to read them. Unfortunately, I never have time and end up mostly reading blogs listed in my blogroll on my website and not the ones in my dashboard. I have devised a plan, which I will write about once I finish making some wedding invites and play 7 more games of freecell to earn my pogo badge.

Racquel Valencia said...

No one seems to follow me, I think because I use the MF and C words a lot.

I had a similar FB experience, but it was because the girl in question is, umm, a littel nuts. A little very nuts. Having her in my life (even if only in Internet form) was scary. But yeah, she noticed and I made up some crap about a FB error and re-friended her.

I'm so weak.

Heather said...

I have accepted friend request on Facebook from people I'm certain I've never met. Why?? I don't know... I guess I'm afraid of hurting a COMPLETE STRANGER'S feeling. Weird, huh? It doesn't make sense to me either.

Lora said...

oh hey! I'm #100 and I swear to all that is holy that I clicked Follow before I read this.

I don't know why I wasn't following before, I am famous for lurking here on a regular basis

The Logarithmic Spiral said...

Was this creepy older theater guy a mutual aqcuantance???

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