I have gotten a little bit of feedback on my last blog, and apparently some clarification needs to be made.
I am in no way saying that everyone with a large, to huge, Friend List has been a victim of “cyber bullying” into having such extensive Friend Lists.
I am well aware that there are several reasons for having such huge lists. I used to play a few games over on a different social network before they ruined it. At the time I was enjoying those games, my own list of “friends” was almost 800 in number. When I decided I was no longer enjoying those games, I also realized my cumbersome list needed to be cut extensively. Without the games, I had no connection to most of those people. In two afternoons of sorting, I was down to just over 100 bands and people, heavy on the bands. I did get a few nasty notes for not giving warning of what I was going to do, but they were all from gamers I’d had no conversation with before, during or after ‘Friending’, despite repeated attempts on my part. I found it quite amusing that dropping them got a response when, “Hello! Glad to me you!” didn’t.
I am also aware that there are folks who do extensive networking for various causes. In such cases, indeed, a large Friend List is a necessity.
However, those are NOT the folks to whom I was referring. I am talking about those of us who receive requests which meet an unpleasant response when turned down. For some, the response may point out that I have such and such on my list, and they are a friend of that person. Why won’t I add them, too? Why would I add them because of someone already on my list of friends? I either got to know the other person first, or I allowed myself to be bullied by that person into putting them on my list. If that is the case, it’ll be Ragnarok before they’re added to join their bully of a friend. They may point out that I have a person on my Friend List who is of an extreme philosophy, and I should add them to my Friend List before everyone comes to think that I’m “…one of those, too.” I’m quite positive that that person will help others see me in that particular light whether or not I continue to deny their not so friendly Friend Requests. That’s what bullies do. I’m somewhat susceptible to being bullied, not a complete moron.
Then there are the bullies who won’t take a hint. I meet a lot of people in discussion groups. We may even have some good discussions or great debates, that doesn’t mean they belong on my Friend List. They think it does. Somehow, because they think of us as being intellectual counterparts, they think we’re automatically friends. I don’t. It is usually in these cases where I wind up being manipulated with guilt, or a combination of guilt and anger. Wow. Double the bully.
Now, if you would please, ponder the fact that I at least have the guts to write this… What about those who for whatever reason cannot utter such things as I have printed here? What about those who say bad things about themselves and suddenly turn their profiles into daily computer generated updates about some contest they’re playing which tries to get you to join it instead of being the people they are because it seems to them that no one gives a damn about who they are, just who they want them to be?
It’s not fair that bullies have not only stolen the joy from their real world lives, but they have stolen from them their opportunity to be their real selves in this cyber world, as well. I am well aware of the saying about life not being fair, but when you see you’re dealing with someone very fragile, someone struggling, it’s damn well not your right to treat them as a plaything or as a dog would a particularly tasty bone!
If you feel that anyone on your Friend List is bullying you, or you feel they want you to be someone you’re not, drop them. Block them if you feel you need to. If someone else comes along and asks you why you took such action, tell them the truth. You weren’t comfortable with the way they were treating you. If they ask for details, just tell them you don’t think it’s something that needs discussing. If they threaten you with dropping you as a friend, let them. They were never your friend anyway.