Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2016 1stHELP: The etiquette of friending in virtual worlds

The Etiquette of Friending in virtual worlds
Updated 5/22/2016
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Is it OK to offer  a friend connection to someone 
Why would someone offer a friend connection?
  • friendly gesture
  • easy recontact in IM
  • shared interests
  • easy to exchange notecards or objects
  • give or get help
  • follow posts on MySL
  • do business that needs recurring contacts
  • give or get notices of events 
  • get notice when the person signs in
  • locate friend on the map: Communicate: Make and maintain contacts 
There is no generally established etiquette about inviting people to be your friend., probably because, as shown above,  there are various reasons for offering the invitation.  Here are my suggestions.
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Is it OK to offer  a friend connection to someone I have not contacted?
Probably not without some explanation of why.  You can send an instant message with a reason before you send the friend request. 
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Is it OK to offer  a friend connection to someone I just met?  
Yes, but it would be more polite to ask if that is OK with them
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Is it OK to offer  a friend connection to someone I have recently had a conversation with?  
Yes, but it would be polite to remind them of the conversation and say why you want the friend connection
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There are also possible reasons why people might want to limit their friends list.  Some people like to have their settings such that they get notifications whenever their friends log on or log off..  The setting is (on Viewer 3):
  • Me (top left) 
  • Preferences
  • Notifications 
  • Tell me 
  • When my friends log in or out.  (Check box) 
I have lots of people on my friends list, so I can't leave that box checked or I get a constant string of notices. People who do want to get those notices have to keep their friend's list short.  
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Several levels of assertiveness:
1. Just send the invitation.
Pro: Fast, simple
Con: Might embarrass a person who does not want you on their  friends list.
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2. Ask "May I invite you to my friends list?" 
Pro: Fast, simple,  gives the other person an option to explain, “I have to keep my friends list short.”
Con: Still might embarrass the person who does not want you on friends list.
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3. Ask “Do you keep a friends list?”
Pro:  Gives other person an option to invite you or to decline without rejecting you.
Con:  May seem a bit standoffish.  New people may not know what to answer.
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4.  Send a message such as
  • “I have enjoyed chatting with you.”
  • “I look forward to working with you on this.”
  • “If you need help, send me IM.”
Follow this with “Feel free to invite me to your friends list if you want.”
Pro:  Leaves the decision up to the other person. 
Con: May seem a bit standoffish.
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The other hand
The other side of the friend offer is that people, out of courtesy, may refrain from offering it to people they have just met.  Too much courtesy can make you miss friends you would really want to know. 

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