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February 2, 2007

You are SO off my Top 8!

Okay, so we've written about myspace many times:

Stalk At Your Own Risk
Stalk At Your Own Risk - Episode 2
Love Kids, But Not For Me

We realize that this makes us completely lame and pathetic, but it also makes us the same as a ton of other lame and pathetic people who have given into the hype of "Internet social networking". Since we're admitting to be completely lame and pathetic, we'll take a moment to be shamelessly self-promotional as well:
Feel free to add the Evil Slut Clique on myspace: Add us! We'll add anyone who seems cool (and is over the age of 18). If we deny you, it means you don't seem cool. You can deal with your self-esteem issues another time. Also, you can now subscribe to the Evil Slutopia myspace blog to receive updates every time we update this blog! Subscribe! (You know you want to, so you never miss one of our mindless rants again!)
Okay, now that that is over... we also have personal myspace accounts. (No, you can't add us on those accounts. We have to maintain some level of anonymity in order to admit all the embarrassing shit we admit on here... for instance, the fact that we have personal myspace accounts). This brings us to the topic of the day... the very delicate balance of "online social politics".

As someone who is particularly elitist as it is, I love that myspace -- and its ghetto cousin Friendster, dirty hippie cousin Tribe, and kid sister Facebook -- give us even more ways to be cliquey! In case there weren't already enough ways to reject people in real life, now you can be rejected by complete strangers in half the time!

Has Miss Manners written about the proper way to politely decline someone's friend request yet? I get a lot of random friend requests from random stupid people and I just delete those with no remorse, but sometimes it's not so easy. What do you do with the request from someone you technically know, but have no interesting in "knowing"? For example, someone you went to high school or junior high school with; someone you haven't spoken to in years (with good reason); the friend-of-a-friend (or worse, the friend-of-a-significant-other or significant-other-of-a-friend).

Denying the friend request of someone you actually know is sort of touchy. On the one hand, why acknowledge an online "friendship" with someone if you don't really have an actual friendship with him or her? (Just because you know someone, doesn't mean you like that person). Why should you have to pretend that you like anyone, even if it's just on a stupid website?

On the other hand, it's just on a stupid website. It's not the real world; you don't actually have to talk to this person or hang out with this person... is it such a big deal having him or her on your meaningless list of cyber "friends"? Denying the friend request of someone you know, is like saying, "you're not good enough to even be my fake online-friend!"

The only thing that would make it more of a slap in the face, is if myspace issued a denial notification:
Your friend request has been denied because you suck.

I also do a bi-weekly "friend pruning" to remove the people I am no longer interested in knowing or who I haven't spoken to in a while. I am not a friend-collector, like some of the people on myspace seem to be. Sometimes I also delete people who never sign in (and therefore don't actually make use of being my "friend" in the first place) or those people who post endless amounts of bulletins. (I'm not against the occasional survey or party invite, but if you post more than 15 bulletins a day I'm going to get annoyed). If you think denying a friend request is offensive to some; you have no idea what deleting a friend can do to a person's self-esteem. It's actually kind of crazy the way people take this shit to heart.

On the other side of the spectrum, is the preemptive warning of possible deletion. Recently one of the Evil Slut Clique's loyal readers/myspace friends raz (her profile name is ever-changing, but at the time of this post it was still raz I believe) posted a quick bulletin on this subject and we love her for it:
Why do people keep posting bulletins "warning" us that they are going to delete friends? Is it a threat? A ploy for attention? Or do they simply want those of us who don't get deleted to feel special? I don't get it and for some reason it annoys me.

I delete a batch of people so often as quickly and quietly as possible. I think announcing it is a bit... melodramatic.

I am going to lose at least 5 friends over this bulletin, I bet.
She is exactly right. Melodramatic is the word for it. I'm never quite sure what we're supposed to take away from a deletion warning message. Are we supposed to be concerned about "losing" this person and do "whatever it takes" to keep them? "Oh no, I might get deleted! What will I do if I have 3,246 friends instead of 3,247!? People will think I'm a loser. I better start posting comments to them and complimenting them on their witty blog entries ASAP!" It's attention whoring and also blackmail. You better start being a better fake-Internet-friend to me or you're gone! Thanks, but no thanks.

Myspace also has a wonderfully evil "Top Friends" feature that allows you to display your top 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, or 24 friends... letting all your friends know exactly how high they rank (or don't rank) on your list. This is a great way to make it completely clear to the world who your best friends are (and who they aren't).

I happen to enjoy rotating my top friends on my personal account. Sometimes I will list everyone who has an upcoming birthday; once I made a Top 12 of men I had slept with; another was all co-workers. Usually I keep the 4 or 8 people that I consider my closest friends at the time. If you notice, I said "at the time" because the friends who fit the description of "closest" is often changing based on who I've actually been talking to or hanging out with the most lately.

Some people take the Top 8 way too seriously...

I have actually heard people say, in all seriousness, "I can't believe he took me off his Top 8!" (Or even worse: "Oh, I am so taking you off my Top 8 for that!")

In fact this happened to me not too long ago, sort of. I had updated my list to include the people I cared about the most at that time (and more importantly, who I felt cared about me the most) and who I saw or spoke to frequently. A few days later one of the friends who had been bumped from a Top 8 spot (due to behavior unbecoming of Top 8 status, heh) quickly removed me from her Top 8. Reciprocation is very important on myspace land! I honestly had no opinion about being taken off her list, because I didn't think I belonged on it in the first place. (If she doesn't actually call me, hang out with me, or make any effort to maintain a friendship with me in real life... she obviously doesn't consider me on the top of her actual real life list of friends. So why should the Internet be any different, right?) The thing that cracked me up... is when someone directed me to her new headline:
"If you aren't one of your friend's top friends, why should they be one of yours? Discuss."
Oh good lord! I never noticed that before... so I'm going to hope and pray that that was always her headline. I won't go so far as to suggest that it has anything to do with me, partly because I can't fathom it and partly because if it does, then I fear that she has lost what is left of her sanity. I don't know what it is about myspace that makes grown adults revert back to acting like sixth graders.

Anyway, as I said reciprocation is important in myspace land. This also applies to leaving your friends "comments". Again the issue of approval comes up! How do you deny a comment from a friend without offending them? Is it actually considered rude to suggest that you don't want a huge and unseemly photograph on your page, despite the fact that they merely wanted to wish you a "happy hump day"? I also get annoyed by the myspace comments that should have been private messages:

"Hey, what are you doing on Saturday? We should go get dinner and a drink. Call me! 555-1212"
To me, that's just blatant attention whoring at its worst. If you want to make plans with someone, make plans with someone. If you have to advertise the fact that you're making plans with someone, then you're not popular - you're dumb. Sometimes it isn't attention whoring; it's just stupidity alone. (Meaning, you're not smart enough to know the difference between the "Message me" button and the "Leave a comment" button).

I think I've bitched and moaned about myspace enough for today. Now I have to go and check my myspace!

PS: This has nothing to do with my rant, except that it made me laugh:

What if God Had a Myspace


Jenny said...

You're in my Top 24. I'm just saying.


Thank you jenny! Just for that you have made it to temporary Top 8 (er, 12) status. It won't last forever, but we will love you forever. Whoever you are.

Meeky P. said...

I for one enjoy approving the friend requests of people from high school. I hated all of these people and they all took pleasure in causing me pain. I like to rub it in all of their faces that despite the fact that I am the "evil, fat, disgusting pig" that they all made me out to be, I still manage to get laid. Plus, my life, though it sucks to me, is still waaay better than most of theirs. Yes, I'm childish. I don't care.

I also have no problem denying comments. I deny the comments of my FAMILY MEMBERS if I don't like them. I have no problem doing that to strangers.

Since I work two jobs now, I have very little time to even be on myspace, but once I go on there I am so adding you girls! You rock! You won't be in my top 8, 12, whatever but I very much so want you to be my fake online friends!

fallonmarie said...

wow, completely and utterly true.

another thing that bothers the hell out of me is how many more friend requests i got by people i dont know or dont know that well when i decided to make my profile private. and since i made it private for a reason, i felt like an ass denying all these friend requests... okay i lied, i didn't deny them at all, i accepted some people anyway and others are still "pending approval"

it just feels so mean!

(by the way, i totally love how god is getting invited to have a little online fun with cute girlies in his myspace comments. haha!)