Monday, July 28, 2008

Starting August 1st, I may talk about people who removed me... (Personal Entry)

...from their friends list.

I'll be in Fukuoka that day, so I'll be doing this from a hotel room.

I have a "utility" on Facebook that allows me to see who has added and removed me since the last reset date.

As of this writing, four people have taken me off of their friends list since the last reset date of July 20th. I will not reveal their names yet until the aforementioned date.

When I write about each person who removed me, I'll give my own analysis about why they might have done it.

(Example: S/he hasn't talked to nor seen me in over three years, so s/he probably only removed me because s/he decided to only keep anyone whom s/he has talked to in the past year.)

If they are not on my friends list, they might not be able to see my note entries in the first place.

You can let me know what you think of the proposition by the night of July 31st. If you think too many people will mind, I will alter their names. If you're sure this will be fine, then I'll leave their names as they originally are.

Addendum 7-29-2008: In response to the two gentlemen

So apparently aliases won't be enough to protect my reputation from damage.

Some may be obvious (like "Carson Character" and "Antoine Valero;" we all know who these aliases belong to.)

Some may be dubious (like "Carlos Ford" and "Chevi Sprint;" can you guess who they are?)

BUT, others may actually cause people to mistake these aliases as belonging to someone else. (like "Kayli Lordship-Bourgeois," a woman I know who, in real life, does NOT carry a hyphenated surname.)

Therefore, why don't I further anonymize them in format below, using the fictitious character "Tanaka Shimoya" of MIT:

Proposed sample format and sample analysis

"RF Log #7: Man 1 of MIT (T.S.): T.S. removed me from his friend list yesterday for any of the following possible reasons:

1. He didn't see me in over two years, and he has less people on his friend list now than I do, so I suppose he spent his evening cleaning out everyone from his friend list whom he hasn't had contact with in over a year.

2. He read the blog entries I created the other day titled "Hate buying pricey textbooks? Download them for free..." or "Someone or I must invent the power-generating streetlight." How might these posts have been off-putting to this MIT'er in the slightest? If they were, don't you think he would've had the guts to speak up and let me know why he hated these? But knowing him a little, I don't think this is the reason at all. Besides, textbooks are probably even pricier in an Ivy-league college than mine, so we would share our sympathies for this situation. Moreover, MIT is a huge inventing ground. He would praise a lowly K-Stater like myself for proposing a design for a streetlight with an embedded wind turbine. Reason #2 is therefore very unlikely.

3. He found some false rumors about me somewhere on the Internet. If so, I would have found them long ago. This is also quite unlikely.

4. Someone told him something ill about me face-to-face, but I don't know anyone at MIT who could possibly spread slander about me. Why would anyone have any reason to tell T.S. about me this way? This is pretty unlikely as well.

Conclusion: If he still had more friends on his list than I did, I couldn't assume #1, because anyone who removes friends just because they haven't had contact in over a year would definitely have less friends on their list than I do. T.S. has 231 friends less than me for the moment, so I cannot assume any hard feelings toward me on his part, thus I must go with #1."

Explanation for above

In the above sample format,

  • "RF Log" stands for "Removed Friend Log" and #7 means this is the 7th log on the RF Log list.

  • "Man 1 of MIT" means he is the first man from MIT who removed me since the log began.

  • "T.S.," as would go without saying, is the removed friend's initials.

T.S. could mean any combination of names, like "Tom Smith," or "Talia Sheremetyevo" and is a very common set of initials, so what are the chances of anyone guessing right? Though even this mere thought is unlikely, someone might think, "I wonder if this has something to do with Talia? Eh, nah. T.S. could mean nearly anybody. I can't possibly check with anyone I know about it who is initialed "T.S.;" that'd just be waste of my time." If this is still too risky, I'll even remove the initials and retain the rest of the format.

These kinds of logs will serve in a range of ways- from dispelling my fears to venting so I can chill out once I'm done. Moreover, when someone gives their input about any particular log, I could learn something revelationary from their advice & take on it. Often, they don't need to know who that person is to know what advice and etc. to give. (Sometimes they need to, but I think the advice from people who don't know that person ought to serve its purpose well enough.)

Addendum 7-29-2008 Closing

For some, the revised proposition might still not be enough to keep things safe. (To those who will respond, what is your opinion on this?) I still want to vent these issues somehow, so if this new plan still really isn't safe after all, I may save it as a private draft or edit the Note Privacy settings to only share it with a few trusted people.

Addendum 7-30-2008: In response to the others

It appears that revealing just the initials is still not safe enough; that it's not safe enough to post my analyses at all about these removals.

Anthony told me face-to-face to not worry about them; that it's no big deal. That's no problem with most removals, I suppose. If it's someone whom I'd never expect to remove me in a hundred years, that's different. I suppose that's when I can talk with them face-to-face.

If I'm in no position to talk about these issues to that person him/herself face-to-face (probably because I can't find them, etc.) then I may share this with a friend who also knows them and see what s/he says. I'd share it either by privatizing the note and having only him/her look at it, or by talking about it face-to-face.

I'm so glad I put off this plan by a few days by deciding to run it by the readers first and seeing what they'd say about it. Had I decided to start posting these logs right away, the results may have been disastrous! I just got the feeling that it might be controversial enough that I needed to share the plan with others first before earnestly going through with it.

I don't know what you saved (whether it be a reputation, friends, and whatever else that's important,) but by golly, you saved a lot of it!

PS: Anthony, as for anyone who just leaves Facebook by deactivating their account - I use a different way to find out and once I know they have, I'll know they were taken off of EVERYBODY'S friends list. Since they simply left Facebook, I'll assume they're still friends with me in real life and will therefore completely let it slide.

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