Monday, April 27, 2009

Why I Decline Most Friend Requests

I tried to make this as clear as I could within the limited character constraints of my XBL bio, but recent events have led me to think I should try to explain why I decline most friends requests I receive. I'm NOT trying to be a giant asshole, and hopefully what I say here will make sense.

First, I get a LOT of friend requests, at least 3-5 a week (that feels like a lot to me, considering the pace is pretty constant, and I'm not exactly the type who likes a lot of friends... I prefer fewer friends, but deeper relationships). Most don't come with messages, so if I don't recognize the tag, they get instantly deleted. I have no idea who you are, so why should I accept?

Now, the people who send messages with their FRs always get my consideration, even though most also get declined. I truly thank you for reading my reviews, or this blog, and liking what you see. Words cannot express how grateful I am that the time I take to write is appreciated by others, as well. However, enjoying my work isn't a ticket to my friends list, for the following KEY reason:

Xbox Live is a recreational space for me, where I go to play games and have fun with friends. I consider it a PRIVATE space, where I reserve the right to limit my friends to those I know and play with or work with. Can I emphasize the word PRIVATE one more time? For me, being a fan and wanting to be on someone's friend list is similar to being a fan of a sports star or actress, and wanting their cell phone number (no, I know I'm not nearly as cool as a sports star or actress, nor as well paid). I like to maintain my privacy and a layer of seperation from everyone out there, and I think that's reasonable.

However, I wouldn't dream of being elitist and shutting people out. I consider the x360a forums and this blog PUBLIC SPACES. Anything I write here I'm okay with anyone seeing. This blog is an open forum of sorts, where anyone can leave comments, and I'm willing to discuss issues with readers here. Likewise, I don't get that many PMs on x360a, so I'm pretty good about returning messages. If you're looking to communicate with me, those are the bese spaces to do it, and I'm happy to correspond with you there.

I feel like a bit of a jerk to decline so many requests, but for reasons of privacy and wanting to know who my XBL friends are, and out of general concerns for keeping my account safe, a spot on my XBL friends list is tough to come by.

Two messages I recieved earlier today brought this issue to a head. Keeping true to my policy of trying never to make people look bad, this individual shall be refered to as "Gamertag X"

Gamertag X: been reading your blog, good stuff. keep up the good work, take it easy.

This message came with a friend request, which I declined for the reasons mentioned above. Before I post the second message, allow me to respond to the first in the spirit I believe it was intended. I'm glad you read my blog and enjoy it. I put a lot of time and effort into this, and it doesn't get old hearing people really read this stuff. Despite busy-ness on my part, I'll do my best to keep things interesting here.

Now the second message:

Gamertag X: thats what u get for being nice, fuck u too.

Gamertag X, if you're still reading this blog after I snubbed your request, I hope you now understand my reasons for doing so. It wasn't a personal snub. I'm not trying to be mean to you or anyone else by turning down the requests. If you're interested in reaching out to me, this blog or x360a PMs are currently the best way to do so. If our positions were reversed, I think you'd probably feel similar after receiving so many requests. That level of anger wasn't needed or merited, so I hope this makes things clearer.

This is all perfectly reasonable, right?


  1. Selling my spot on Thrawns Friends list to the highest bidder! I take paypal, checks, and money orders.

    In all seriousness I too have seen an increase in random f/r. I think with the popularity of x360a that having a high post count and a Green/Blue/Red forum name brings attention. I try to accept most if they come with a message. However after the discussion with Silva about the friends list and the dashboard I went through mine and got rid of a lot of people.

  2. There's aboslutely nothing wrong with declining friend requests, especially with Microsoft having a 100 limit (I've been at that for years now!).

    I too do get quite a lot of random friend requests and when they come without a message it's usually an automatic decline (unless I can be bothered to send a message back asking who they are and why they added me in case it's for boosting). The worst for me is on Youtube, I'm a unique skater and people seem to dig it on there so I get friend requests every other day from randomers I don't know, I have a message in my bio on there similar to yours.

    Finally I think the friends list should be enhanced. I know it is going to be eventually but no word has been given (I believe) except that the total amount of friends allowed will rise. I am hoping for groupings to be created allowing you to split up your friends in to groups with "authority" levels granted on how they can access you. We all have family, friends and online friends but I also get random online people who seem cool add me and others that want to boost. The latter two would be added to my list just so they could see I'm online but features such as game invites, party invites and other features wouldn't be granted until/unless they get into my "authorised" list.

    Now I've blabbed loads here and apologies for doing so, it's just a problem that bugs me.

  3. I was able to turn my long reply into my own mini lil blog post lol, thanks for the idea Thrawn! :)

  4. You're more famous than any sports star , or movie star, I know Thrawn. Just kidding, I've been starting to have problems with random friend requests just because I have x360a in my tag, so I know what it is like.