Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I don't know the etiquette of social networking sites.

Against my better judgment, I put up a MySpace page a couple of years ago. For about a year, it was my primary means of communication with the man I was dating, which was weird because he had a normal e-mail account but preferred to communicate through MySpace.

That relationship didn't last, but I still have the MySpace page, and I wonder why. I've since put myself on Facebook, which is a much friendlier and safer environment -- MySpace is loaded with softcore porn and the worst excesses of young adult behavior, while Facebook is a place where people get serious about online word games. (Challenge me to Scramble, please; no one will play me any more.)

My MySpace profile is not inviting, to put it mildly. I describe myself as a know-it-all and say I don't want people sending me messages just because they like my photo. I state explicitly that I'm not online for flirting or intense online relationships with strangers. I also say I'm a professional editor, and warn people that I'll be rude to them if they send me messages written in textese or lolspeak.

But I keep getting friend requests from people who obviously haven't read my profile. Most of the time I just deny them; once in a while I think they might be someone I've met somewhere, and accept the friend request.

And then I get confused, because these fake friends often expect prompt and lengthy replies to their inappropriately personal inquiries or remarks.

Someone sent me a message today to ask why I was so angry. I couldn't remember having sent this person a message at all, but stopped long enough to reproach myself in case I had inadvertently been rude to someone who had no right to expect anything from me.

So what are the rules here? Certainly I'm not obligated to accept friend requests from strangers; am I obligated to respond to unsolicited correspondence? If I do respond, am I supposed to pretend to a friendship I didn't ask for and don't want?

It's probably easiest just to remove the dang MySpace page -- and I will, as soon as I'm out of tech week.


Karen Olson said...

I'll play Scramble with you. I got a little burned out with five or six games at once, but no one has offered to play with me for the last couple of weeks, giving me a breather...but I'm ready to try again. Even though I really suck at it.

I won't go on Myspace. My husband's boss has done a lot of work with Myspace and the legal problems with underage kids on there. It's just a bad place to be. So I won't participate.

Anonymous said...

I have a Myspace page and never use it. I also never get friend requests or crazy messages. Not sure why I even have it.

I do have a Facebook account and have heard from quite a few old classmates. Facebook is pretty cool.

I'm sorry I can't play Scramble with you. You know you will always win.

Break a leg on Friday.


Christy Lou Who said...

I also dated a guy who preferred talking through facebook to actual emailing. He also would rather talk on Facebook chat than call my phone. Who are these people? And why do they love social networking so much?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it obvious that a guy who only wants to communicate through networking sites and doesn't want to use phone or email is (SPOILER ALERT) married?

AnswerGirl said...

He actually wasn't, which made it all the stranger. I was at his house on a fairly regular basis, and even planted a garden in his yard (the one the groundhog ate). He was recently divorced, and I met one of his stepchildren.

And we did communicate by telephone, but I'm not crazy about phones and neither was he, and he had a strong accent that sometimes made him hard to understand over the phone.

He just liked MySpace, for whatever reason.