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Arrgh, there is a meme just starting that I can already feel is going… - Sally's Journal
May 19th, 2006
04:48 pm

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Arrgh, there is a meme just starting that I can already feel is going to hurt people and drive me mad.


Take a look at your LJ friends list, then list up to ten things you want to say to ten different LJ friends. Do not state who these people are. Neither confirm nor deny any "comment speculation." (no matter how hard to prod me, on the other hand watching you guess would be fun).

So, I'm not insecure or paranoid any more, right? "I want to tell you something but don't want to offend you." "I think I don't like you, but I'm not sure enough and don't want to pick a fight." "Right now I'm mad at you, but I don't think I'll tell you because then you might be mad at me for getting angry. It doesn't stop me from being angry." None of these are going to be about me, are they? I mean, people who I have barely spoken to due to going into wedding hibination for six months aren't suddenly going to be furiously mad at me, are they?

And I'm not vain. If people don't want to tell me, I don't need to bristle and wonder and preen at every "I want to kiss you", or "I'm jealous of you", do I?

And then we get to the third option, that none of them are about me at all. And that... well, I'd love to be loved by everyone, but I'll take infamy if it's the only option. But to not even have left a mark on the graffettied wall of life?

And I want to do it. And I can feel very clear and evil reasons I want to do it. Because flaunting your secret loves and crushes is fun, and because I'd like to imagine people far from me, gazing at their computer screen, wondering "is Sally in love with me?". But that is boasting and playing with people's emotions. Also, getting things off your chest in a way that you can then deny was ever what you intended to do is also evilly cathatic. All those bitchy things I won't say to people's faces, that might snatch and stab and needle people and make them think, all behind the beautiful defense of "it wasn't about you". Oh, not to mention how much fun it is to be the centre of attention and speculation and intregue, to flaunt the fact that you know things others don't and won't be told even if they ask...

No thanks. I would love to know what you think of me. I'm incredably self-obsessed, vain, and prone to fits of insecurity, and being told snippets about how other people view me fascinates me. But not like that.


So am I a miserable spoil sport who takes everything too seriously?

Comments screened, so just in case this post has reminded you that you meant to tell me you were angry at me, jealous of me, in love with me, all three, or something even more interesting, I suppose you could do it now. I'll unscreen anything that doesn't tell me [ETA not] to though. Probably.

(26 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
From:simont
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:04 pm (UTC)
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I hope you mean you'll unscreen anything that doesn't tell you not to! Just to be perfectly clear, I don't mind this comment being unscreened :-)

I think this meme could be done in a way that didn't cause any of the thoroughly unpleasant effects you describe. I just don't think it's going to be done that way by everyone who does it... So if you're a miserable spoilsport, then I am too, and hence (or otherwise) we should clearly get together in a corner and have a good grump.
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From:atreic
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
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Err, yes, that's what I meant.

It's a nice corner, it has lovely people with strokey hair in it :-)
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC)
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What you said.

Stick to funny ones and edit out the ranting. Though I can think of some comments that might be useful anonymously, applying to possibly several people, but saying "If you foo, it can be annoying, could you not?" "We like you" would be nice but no-one who needs it would believe it would be about them.

I think if you want to tell someone something the recommended method is to make sure yoy let a mutual friend know, and they can be passed on whilst everyone pretends they the other person doesn't know they know...

I'll unscreen anything that doesn't tell me to though. Probably.

That sentence confuses me. But I don't think there's anything I need to tell you privately, and anything you need to tell me privately can be emailed :)
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
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I did think it might be an improvement if you did a list of ten things, and then a list of the ten user names, so it became a join the dots puzzle. But that changes the nature of the thing somewhat. And I'm not sure "I will tell you nasty thing about yourself if you manage to solve a small puzzle" is particularly morally better than "I will say ambiguous nasty thing that will leave you paranoid for days"...
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:22 pm (UTC)
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Exactly. I guess it depends why you're doing it.

* Just want to say it. Then it doesn't matter, be anonymous
* Want to give someone a heads up but don't want to be responsible. Then enough clues, comments, names that they can guess it might be them, but aren't sure, mgiht work
* Want an excuse to tell someone something
* Want to find out if someone thinks something might be them

But you generally have 10 different sorts, so what's an appropriate level for one ruins another, and you get uselessness or drama :)

Maybe we should have an official geek method for this. Have an email function which goes to the wrong person 10% of the time, so I can say "Friend, I love you", and they say "Aaah!" and I say "It's ok, that was supposed to go to someone else" and we PLAUSIBLY don't have to face it, whether I really did mean them or not :)

Or, we could just say what we mean :)
[User Picture]
From:oedipamaas49
Date:May 20th, 2006 10:02 am (UTC)
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Yes, I think it is very socially useful for there to exist ways to hint things to people without them being explicit or undeniable. Going into the reasons why would be a long rant, so I won't. But think of how many social devices there already are to achieve the same level of uncertainty - some people undoubtedly find them useful.

hmmm...I don't have the energy or coherence to explain this properly.
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From:enismirdal
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
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Yeah...one like this did the rounds of the fandom part of my friends list a few weeks ago. Amazingly, it didn't create any wars or explosions, but EVERYONE was paranoid.

One the one hand I guess it could be argued, "If you think that bitchy comment is about you, that probably means the criticism in the comment is a flaw you recognise in yourself and need to do something about." On the other hand...if I took every comment that made me twitch like that, I'd end up swamped in a crazed self-improvement drive and be utterly lost, I think!

I usually consoled myself with the thought, "I'm just an Eni; no one really thinks I'm important to use up a whole one of their ten sentences on me."

So yes, I definitely see your point...but I know some people find these memes immensely cathartic, so I guess that's nice for them!
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC)
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You're probably in the top 10 people I know online, but I don't have anything to say to you secretly :)

I'm not sure, I think I agree with Sally that I'm more afraid of not being known that being hated, though netiher is pleasant :(
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From:claroscuro
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC)
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I'm not going to do the silly meme, because I'd rather Just Tell People Stuff, good or bad - but had I done so, you might have been in my list as:

"People like you brighten up my friends list."

Sorry!
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From:serenasnape
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
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I refused to get involved in this one. It's always either a guilt-trip, an ego massage, or a bitchfest. None of which need any encouragement on LJ ...!
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From:miss_next
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
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Someone on my friends list actually did that meme, and I thought they did it really well. Everything they said was extremely positive. I think one of them was me, and I think I know which one it was, but if it wasn't, then it was a very nice thing for her to say about someone else, and that was good. :-)

Maybe it would work well if there was a rule that you should a) restrict it to positive comments and b) avoid anything involving fancying anyone?
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From:atreic
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC)
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Only positive comments and nothing about fancying people? Who'd be interested in that? ;-)
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From:bopeepsheep
Date:May 19th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
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Well, it's busy going around a sub-section of my friends list and has been all week so clearly some people are (and TTBOMK none of them fancy each other, being pretty much all married het women).
[User Picture]
From:ixwin
Date:May 19th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
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shreena did a very good job, but it's a friendslocked entry, so not much use linking to it, and I probably shouldn't quote from it on general principle.
From:tamsinj
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:43 pm (UTC)
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never yet, i try to stop at envious, not saying, icecream!

i don't think you're a spoilsport.. but i wouldn't play :)

i think the attraction is in saying something that you feel bound not to say normally. but the danger is that it's taken to heart by the wrong person (or even the right person). and i think i'd have a problem if anyone asked .. i tend to answer questions ;/


i'm confused. ETA must expand differently - that [] makes no cents.
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
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Edited To Add - simont pointed out in the first comment that what I'd written to start with made no cents.
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 19th, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
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Edited To Add - [info]simont pointed out in the first comment that what I'd written to start with made no cents.

If I *did* make a cent for every confusingly worded sentence I perpetrated :)
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From:lifes_a_dream
Date:May 19th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
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It does sound like a bit of a stupid meme to me. A bit like receiving a valentines card and NEVER finding out who it was, which is pretty pointless as well as frustrating!! Could be done as a bit of a joke though, with really obviously funny statements. That would be better...

xx
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From:teleute
Date:May 19th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)
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before he became my hubby my hubby sent me a card from him, and another card anonymously which he wrote in different handwriting. Sadly he managed to pick handwriting suspiciously close to another friend of mine (who I knew was interested). I was both chuffed to receive a card but really worried about offending said other person that I wasn't interested in. This stress continued for a couple of weeks, at which point hubby admitted they were both from him.

Then I was just sad, because really only one person had sent me a card...
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From:mostlyacat
Date:May 19th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
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Ah the dangers and complexities emerging from what is supposedly a simple meme. Perhaps people could create memes that at first glance seem harmless so people do them but which have a dangerous flaw or side effect which ends up causing world war 3. Meme warfare.
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From:francita
Date:May 19th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
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Off topic, but: Aww, no wedding post? Hope you had a fantastic day, and congratulations! :) xxx
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From:atreic
Date:May 20th, 2006 09:06 am (UTC)
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I'm getting there. It's Loooonnnnnnnnngggg
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From:filecoreinuse
Date:May 19th, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC)
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You, like many, many, many, other people I've met in Cambridge definitely worry too much about things — especially for a Christian who, presumably, has some higher entity looking out for you.
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From:samholloway
Date:May 19th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC)
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I'm not a memes fan anyway (hey, I'm not a blogging/LJing fan - you'll notice my journal is used only to post podcast notifications!). But I know one person for whom this ten persons meme has been an incredibly beneficial experience: they used it to open up and say things that they really needed to say.

In general, though, you're right. 'Tis a silly thing. :-)
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From:megamole
Date:May 20th, 2006 08:43 am (UTC)
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Just for the record, I feel exactly the same about this meme. For God's sake, if anybody has anything they want to tell me, please do it to my face, or at least via a trusted friend.
[User Picture]
From:sphyg
Date:May 20th, 2006 11:13 am (UTC)
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IMO, memes are mostly dull.
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