Recently, I posted about how much I love the diversity of my f-list, and how much all of you have enriched my life. I still feel that way, and it's still entirely true.
There's a flip side to that diversity, though. While I know some of the people on my f-list well, there are a huge number I really don't know at all.
It's not because I don't pay attention (I try to), or because I don't have time (although often I don't), but rather due to sheer numbers.
Fandom has (or used to have, perhaps it has passed? Please, god, let it have passed) a real love/hate relationship with numbers -- how big your f-list is, how many comments you get, or whether you're that eternal bogey the BNF (how I've come to loathe that whole concept and how it's used) -- so we don't tend to talk about the effects of large social networks. But I can't make my point without giving you some actual numbers...
Livejournal: You are watching 535 friends, communities, and feeds. Mutual Friends (386). Also Friend of (297) (hidden).
Dreamwidth: Mutual Access (109) ... Mutual Subscriptions (138) ... Other Subscribers (40) (hidden).
Even with double-ups and dead journals, that's a lot of people. I know maybe 50 of you in real life, and another 50 pretty well through online interaction, and another 100 by fannish osmosis. The rest... I honestly don't know very much about.
With the best will in the world, I never will know all of you. I vacillate between wanting to know more, and letting it go (it's clearly impossible).
Many of you must face this too. How do you manage?
ETA: I'm breaking the mini meta word limit to add another question, because I've always wondered... is it as frustrating on the other side of the equation? Are there people you'd like to know better, but it's difficult due to the traffic on their journal? I know that I've felt that way.
This entry was originally posted at http://cupidsbow.dreamwidth.org/344618.html.