A staggering 620 people took the poll. Which makes me wish I'd got a little more input before posting it, because while I'm not bad at polling, I'm not brilliant at thinking in ways that aren't natural to me. So there were plenty of options missing unfortunately, but the comments themselves were as enlightening as the poll results. It was also suggested by a couple of people that perhaps not everyone taking the poll would be completely honest because the results are viewable to all. I had considered that, btw, but if you weren't honest, you're the one who has to live with LYING TO EVERYONE.
Besides, it's more fun when we're all on display, right?
54.4% post regularly and comment
17.1% post infrequently but comment a lot
14.4% mostly lurk but occasionally comment
11.9% post regularly but rarely comment
1.1% don't post but comment a lot
I missed out the "post infrequently and comment infrequently" option, which fits with quite a lot of people. Sorry about that.
Do you try to comment on most or every entry on your flist?
51.5% said they comment only on posts that interest them, although a few people commented suggesting there should have been an "only when I have something to say" option, which I suspect would have ended up grabbing most of the votes.
25% said no
17.2% said no, but they will usually comment on entries made by good friends
6.3% said yes
Do you friend everyone back who friends you?
48.4% said no and they never have.
20.2% said no but they used to until their flist became too big.
18.8% said yes and will until their flist becomes unmanageable
12.6% said yes and they always will
Lots of commenters said they friend everyone back, except for lurker journals, or people with practically no user info, or if they have no clue why on earth the person friended them, or if they're stalkers or whatever etc etc. Which is why the "no and never have" option got the majority of the votes, I suspect.
Do you monitor who friends you?
54.7% receive email notifications when someone friends them
19.1% only notice when someone new starts commenting in their journal
13.3% don't monitor who friends them. (Interesting. Is that because you don't care?)
12.9% check their user info every day (and probably use joule. Sorry, I didn't include that option)
Do you monitor who defriends you?
46.4% check periodically
37.2% don't even notice
21.4% use joule to monitor it
7% check their user info daily
If a person doesn’t friend everyone back, does it colour your opinion of them?
72.0% said no
20.6% said it used to but not anymore.
5.4% said yes, negatively
2.0% said yes, positively (which cracks me up)
I was someone who, when I first joined LJ, thought that I was being awesome because I friended everyone back, and that all the people who didn't friend everyone back were either rude or just trying to be cool. LOLZ.
If you friend someone and they don’t friend you back, do you mind?
55.4% only mind if they comment a lot in the person's journal and get on well with them.
35.4% don't mind
Only 9.2% mind, which surprises me.
Thing is, I don't think anything of people not friending everyone back now, but if someone doesn't friend *me* back, I figure they must have sucky taste in people and a lame sense of humour, so I usually give them the boot after a while. I wish I was joking.
Would you rather be friended back and then filtered out of someone’s reading list, or not friended back at all?
67.4% would rather not be friended back
32.6% would rather be filtered out
Of course, this question was answered by a lot of people from an emotional rather than practical standpoint: I assume most of us would rather not be friended back because we want to believe that if we're on someone's flist, we're being read. Being filtered out can feel like being friended back was an empty gesture as opposed to any genuine interest in reading our journal/becoming pals. However, many people pointed out in the comments that if they're not friended back they won't have access to locked posts, and that statement of the obvious actually made me re-evaluate my position.
Do you read everyone on your flist?
70.3% said yes. HA. Okay, so a lot of the people who said yes then answered in the next question that they skip/skim read a lot of posts, so I guess if you consider glancing at a post on your flist to mean reading it, then you'll accept this percentage as being accurate.
29.7% said no. I was one of them. Because while I don't read on filters, I definitely don't read every post, and there are some people whose posts I almost always skip. But then, I *see* their posts, and maybe once in a blue moon I might stop and actually read what they have to say, but I still can't claim to "read everyone" on my flist. In hindsight, I should have worded the question: "Do you read every post on your flist?".
Do you read on filters?
39.3% don't read on filters, but skip/skim read a lot of posts.
A few people mentioned that they read on filters, not to filter out anyone on their flist, but to manage their reading habits. Like, to separate comms from personal journals for example.
Only answer this if you do not automatically friend back: If someone friends you, what will make you friend them back?
91.90% : Their journal is interesting/entertaining
68.60% : You share lots of common interests
55.80% : They seem like a nice person
49.70% : They comment a lot in your journal
48.30% : You have lots of friends in common
47.70% : You instantly like them
10.30% : You asked around and people you trust vouched for them
7.10% : They pressured you into it by asking you directly to friend them back
7.10% : Other
1.60% : They have large friend-of lists so must be awesome
What will make you defriend someone?
69.60% : They offend you repeatedly
62.30% : You find them dull/annoying/you dislike them
44.80% : Your interests change to the point where you have nothing fannish left in common
43.20% : You never communicated with each other (i.e. they never commented in your journal and vice versa)
42.90% : They defriend you
28.80% : You fight with them
5.30% : Other
3.80% : They're good friends with someone you've fallen out with
A few people mentioned they will also defriend someone if they are never friended back by them, which I can't believe I didn't include, because I totally do that.
And then there's the "friendly defriending" that one commenter mentioned, where both parties agree that it's for the best and they part ways on good terms.
Another answer that resonated with me was from kyuuketsukirui, who said: "Sometimes people just start to be annoying or too high maintenance. Or sometimes I'll just find I'm skimming all their entries."
I also liked this answer from dodger_winslow: "Almost exclusively, it is because someone spends way more time than I have soapboxing on a political/personal issue in which I have no interest. Not something I disagree with or that offends me, but rather something I'm simply not interested in reading about."
Someone mentioned that they once defriended someone because they were asked to, and yes! THAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME.
Does it hurt your feelings when someone defriends you?
68.7% : No, unless I considered us friends
14.1% : Yes, but only if we were “mutual friends”
11.4% : No, never (seriously? What if your best lj friend defriends you out of the blue and you have no idea why and then you find out that it's because they hate you and have only been pretending to be your friend for the past five years? EVEN THEN YOU WOULDN'T BE HURT? Wow. You are made of stone.)
5.8% : Yes, always. (You people make a lot more sense to me.)
Do you consider the people on your flist to be friends?
81.5% consider some of their flist to be friends
11.6% said nope, their flist is just a reading list.
6.9% said yes, all of them. (AWWWWWW)
Do you like everyone on your flist? (my favourite question)
54.0% said yes. HAHAHAHA. You LIARS.
46.0% said no.
Okay, maybe half of you lot really do like everyone on your flist, although I'm very skeptical. I mean, I said no, but that's not to say I *dislike* all the people I don't actively like. Mostly, if I don't have much to do with a person, I'm indifferent to them.
Are there people on your flist that you dislike/hate?
74.9% said no. Amazing!
25.1% said yes.
If yes, why don’t you defriend them?
73.3% want to avoid drama
30.8% want access to locked/filtered posts (LOL)
22.1% find defriending people difficult because they hate being defriended themselves
7.6% simply love to hate people
And the obvious answer that I missed is that sometimes assholes/people we dislike have interesting/informative journals, which is why we keep them friended.
Do you judge people by their icons?
60.1% said no
39.9% said yes.
Does a person’s icons play any part in your decision to friend them?
59.5% said no
37.0% said sometimes
3.5% said yes
Hmmm. Those results suggest to me that we need to choose our icons carefully.
Do you judge people by their username?
67% said no
33% said yes
Does a person’s username play any part in your decision to friend them?
72.4% said no
25.5% said sometimes
2.2% said yes
I have to quote Nora here, because it's cute: "I don't really pay a ton of attention to icons, especially when it comes to friending, but if someone's username is something like "tomwellingsloveslave" I do need to get to know them really well before I'd friend them."
My feelings exactly. I'm generally pretty wary of people who name themselves after their favourite ship, character or actor, or whose lj name is annoyingly cutesy and young sounding, but I've never friended somebody because I thought their username was awesome. Has anyone ever done that?
Are you comfortable friending people you haven’t met?
28.2% said it depends on the person
Are you comfortable commenting in a person’s journal for the first time?
43.3% said it depends on the person
9% are not
2.3% are only comfortable with it if they're sure they'll be responded to
If you see that someone doesn’t automatically friend back (either they mention it in their “friending policy” or it’s obvious by the size of their friend-of list), will it effect (which should have been spelled "affect") your decision to friend them?
77.7% are very mature and claim that if they want to read a person's journal it doesn't matter if they're friended back.
11.2% will friend, but if they don't eventually get friended back, they may defriend
11.1% are less likely to friend such a person
You know, I kept thinking of other questions I should have asked you after the results/comments came flooding in. See, for many of us, LJ is about reading blogs and our flist is a convenient way to do that. For others it's about communicating and forming relationships with the people on our flist. So no matter how interesting a person/journal is to me at first, if they don't friend me back and if there isn't some kind of back and forth between us, I will eventually lose interest in them. I know there are lots of people like me, but I think there are more people who care more about the content of the journal than about the relationship they might form with its keeper. Y/N?
Do you hunt for people to friend?
91.0% said no
9.0% said yes
I'm a no, but just thinking about it makes me want to go on the hunt.
Are you more or less likely to friend people with large friend-of lists?
84.5% said it makes no difference to them
10.3% said it would make them less likely
5.2% said more likely
Huh! Given that when I first arrived on LJ and was surfing around a lot trying to find the most interesting journals, and I tended to assume that the ones with the biggest friend-of lists must be the very best, I'm really surprised that such a small percentage of people are attracted by that. Or perhaps it's just one of those things you grow out of.
Does how popular a person seems to be (they might regularly get a lot of comments for instance) affect your decision to friend them?
83.9% : No they don't pay attention to that
9.4% : Less likely to friend
6.8% : More likely
Does a person’s mutual friends affect your decision to friend them?
53.0% said yes, if they're friends with people they like, they're more likely to friend
41.6% said no
22.7% said yes, if they're friends with people they hate, they're less likely to friend
I have to admit, if I see that someone has my fandom nemesis (who's name I must never again say in public) friended, I really have to question their a) sanity and b) judgment. I'm not unreasonable though; if I find out that they're nice or whatever I will turn a blind eye, but it'll be something about them that I will never fully be able to comprehend. But then, I have plenty of friends who are good pals with people I fucking hate and it certainly doesn't stop me liking them.
Tick any of the following things that would make you think twice before friending somebody:
73.30% : They post lots of memes outside a cut
56.80% : Lots of short, pointless entries
34.60% : Insane shipping
30.50% : Lots of tl;dr entries
28.40% : Insane devotion to fictional characters/the actors who play them
28.10% : When someone asks you to friend them back
21.70% : They post several times a day
17.60% : Lots of real life posts
16.30% : Constant mentions of their close friends in posts
13.70% : Too much squee
5.10% : When someone asks to friend you
3.90% : Too much meta
2.70% : When someone tells you they’ve friended you
Other answers: if the person is underage, if they have a lurker journal, if they're new and/or have no other friends, if they have no interests listed, if they post too much fic, if you know them in real life, if they post spoilers outside a cut, if they're obviously a drama queen, if their journal has been abandoned for a long time...
PHEW. I just spent all day on this fucking post.