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I Be Ur Freeend!??!? - Jessie T. Wolf
May 26th, 2004
04:20 am

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I Be Ur Freeend!??!?
Kay, I’m noticing a new trend here with a lot of my more recent fans, and that is the fact that a good number of them come from countries that don’t speak English. O.o In the past two months or so, I’ve been getting e-mails from folks in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Albania… Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it just makes me wonder how on earth I keep getting all of the fans who don’t really know much English. X.x

I suppose the reason this makes me feel kind of awkward is the fact that I have a hard enough time as it is talking to my English-speaking fans (I SO don’t know how to talk to people who send me mails praising me and my art ability…). Generally I’ll get a mail saying something along the lines of, “Hey! I spotted your artwork on such-and-such website, and I think you are very talented. Just wanted to drop a line to say I am now a fan, love your stuff, keep up the good work.” To which I normally reply something along the lines of, “Hi there! And thank you very much for the compliments! I’m glad you enjoy my work. Always a pleasure to hear from new people, and thank you for your wonderful e-mail!”

Now, I find that the non-English speaking fans tend to all be quite similar in the way they approach me. These were from some actual e-mails: “i am writing this because I hope to be ur frind, i really like ur draws.” Or, “Hi, can we speak on MSN, I like to chat, I would like to be your emotionally friend!” Or, “Hi Jessi! I am big your fan, I love wolfs. You are from Canada? I like Canada. Can I be your friends, PLEASE Jessi!!”

Notice that in each example, for some reason the person really expressed an interest in wanting to be my friend. O.o Now this kind of bothers me a bit, simply because… HOW do you reply to these people WITHOUT hurting their feelings?? I do get some fans wanting to be my friend, yes, and I usually have to explain to them that as much as I like meeting new people, and I don’t mind swapping e-mails once in a while, I really don’t have the time to make new friends. I mean REAL, CLOSE friends here.

I know a lot of people, and the level of friendship I have with each person is different. But try to explain to a total stranger that you’re really not looking to meet any new “friends” right now… try to explain that a “friendship” requires time and effort and trust to build, and that it’s not something that just happens automatically over night, and they think you’re an insensitive snob or something.
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Kay, I’m noticing a new trend here with a lot of my more recent fans, and that is the fact that a good number of them come from countries that don’t speak English. O.o In the past two months or so, I’ve been getting e-mails from folks in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Albania… Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it just makes me wonder how on earth I keep getting all of the fans who don’t really know much English. X.x

I suppose the reason this makes me feel kind of awkward is the fact that I have a hard enough time as it is talking to my English-speaking fans (I SO don’t know how to talk to people who send me mails praising me and my art ability…). Generally I’ll get a mail saying something along the lines of, “Hey! I spotted your artwork on such-and-such website, and I think you are very talented. Just wanted to drop a line to say I am now a fan, love your stuff, keep up the good work.” To which I normally reply something along the lines of, “Hi there! And thank you very much for the compliments! I’m glad you enjoy my work. Always a pleasure to hear from new people, and thank you for your wonderful e-mail!”

Now, I find that the non-English speaking fans tend to all be quite similar in the way they approach me. These were from some actual e-mails: “i am writing this because I hope to be ur frind, i really like ur draws.” Or, “Hi, can we speak on MSN, I like to chat, I would like to be your emotionally friend!” Or, “Hi Jessi! I am big your fan, I love wolfs. You are from Canada? I like Canada. Can I be your friends, PLEASE Jessi!!”

Notice that in each example, for some reason the person really expressed an interest in wanting to be my friend. O.o Now this kind of bothers me a bit, simply because… HOW do you reply to these people WITHOUT hurting their feelings?? I do get some fans wanting to be my friend, yes, and I usually have to explain to them that as much as I like meeting new people, and I don’t mind swapping e-mails once in a while, I really don’t have the time to make new friends. I mean REAL, CLOSE friends here.

I know a lot of people, and the level of friendship I have with each person is different. But try to explain to a total stranger that you’re really not looking to meet any new “friends” right now… try to explain that a “friendship” requires time and effort and trust to build, and that it’s not something that just happens automatically over night, and they think you’re an insensitive snob or something. <:/ I just can’t talk to these people! Especially since I’m afraid that anything I say might be taken the wrong way, simply because they don’t know English very well. I don’t want to offend anyone!

Okay, fans are nice. I still feel a little odd having fans... since I just see myself as simply another body, and don’t really wish to be on any kind of “higher level” status. People are still people, no matter what their talent is. I am a friendly, open wolfy, and I certainly don’t mind chatting with new folks from time to time. But I just wish that folks wouldn’t slap on such strong expectations so soon. It’s frustrating as all hell. >.< *flicks her ears in annoyance*

Current Mood: perplexed

(27 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:blackwingdragon
Date:May 26th, 2004 01:50 am (UTC)
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aww, dozzat mean I bother you?;_;.

I can speak English pretty good, but nyow if I bother you then ;_;...
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From:wlfdog
Date:May 26th, 2004 11:14 am (UTC)
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I'm referring to my latest e-mails, hon. :-P It's just getting to be a bit weird for me, that's all. O.o But no, you haven't bothered me so far. S'all good. :}
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From:theome
Date:May 26th, 2004 01:53 am (UTC)
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¡Te gusta! Te amo! Por favor, estarás mi amigo!
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From:wlfdog
Date:May 26th, 2004 11:17 am (UTC)
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Haha! Theome, you suck. ;) *huggles!* You're going to AC right??
From:bemanidog
Date:May 26th, 2004 04:28 am (UTC)
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That's easy. Just don't reply. Put their e-mail on your spam list.
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From:wlfdog
Date:May 26th, 2004 11:26 am (UTC)
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But that's rude!! I don't want to IGNORE people who go out of their way just to try and be friendly with me. X.x That would be like me ignoring you, if you hadn't known how to speak English. YOU wanted to be my friend TOO, remember?? :-P *NOOGIES!*
From:ck_whitehorse
Date:May 26th, 2004 09:19 am (UTC)

hehe :P

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you...you mean you don't love me? *tear*

but we've known each other for almost a WHOLE MONTH!

Just giving ya a hard time Jess, it does sound like a problem. That's the price of fame, I guess. Plus you're almost too sweet for your own good.

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From:wlfdog
Date:May 26th, 2004 11:34 am (UTC)

Re: hehe :P

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I'm NOT Famous though!! O.o

Meh... I'm not really complaining or anything... it's just... weird to me. >.> And I'm just really not sure how to handle it. The last thing I wanna do is hurt people's feelings, but sometimes it's just unavoidable... :/
From:ex_falderal367
Date:May 26th, 2004 09:32 am (UTC)

One who does not consider you a "friend"

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I don't know what to say now (mainly since i clicked on something accidently and my original 'killer' comment got lost *grrs*)
But, I can't say I am your 'fan', mainly since I haven't looked at your artwork. How does one define 'fan' anyways? Paper fans are cool, especially the chinese ones :-)
Can't say I'd really consider you a 'friend' anyways, I mean, look at what it says on my own friends.
I consider myself truely the only 'friend' of myself and that carries high prestige. Sheesh... I don't even consider my own mom my 'friend'.
I can say I've found your journal from wereavarnus and have added you to my so called 'friends' page.
Yet, I may think twice from now on about who is 'influential' from looking at the amount of 'friends' they have on livejournal. No offense.
I am from an english speaking country and english is a freaked out language that I have not mastered either.
Long term relationships on the internet or any close relationship online is something I tend to steer away from. I've had real life 'acquaintances' that tried relationships over the internet. Only one worked for one of my acquaintances and that was because the person was living in the same city. But, he had to go through a distant one before that one of which he was very close with until he broke up with her.
But, it's your journal, i'll let you deal with it.
As for me, even though I accidently deleted the original comment I was going to post, I will have to save this one and put it on my livejournal. I'm impressed with myself :-> *shrugs*
[User Picture]
From:wlfdog
Date:May 26th, 2004 11:48 am (UTC)

Re: One who does not consider you a "friend"

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"Acquaintances." See? Now THAT's more like it. :) I'm very picky about who I consider a "friend." And even then, I have friends on different levels... some VERY close to me, and others who are just people that are fun to hang out and talk with, but I may not know everything about them, and vice versa. Why do people have to put things in such categories anyway? Can't we all just be happy being able to talk with one another, and enjoy each other's company, without depending on a label of some sort? Same things with the whole LJ Friends list thing... I've had people ask me if I'll add them as a friend, and I feel bad for not doing it, because then they'll think I don't like them or something. Originally I wanted my own LJ List to stick to people I actually know in real life, other artists I talk to online, or people who's journals I just find interesting. But because I don't want to offend others, I now have a lot of people on my Friends List who aren't exactly "friends." But oh well, I deal. Again, I certainly welcome anyone to send me an e-mail, or LJ post, and chat about whatever. In fact, I know a good few people I do that with on a regular basis, but I still don't necessarily consider them "friends." They're just people I like to talk with on occasion. O.o Time will tell if that will eventually become a friendship or not on it's own.
From:ex_falderal367
Date:May 26th, 2004 01:15 pm (UTC)

Re: One who does not consider you a "friend"

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I don't know but see I committed the sin of teleporting to your website and the picture on the homepage of yourself was a surprise and a half o.O
I'm dumbstruck. I now thoroughly feel like a fish outta' water.
Yes, I cannot keep up with Iming and emailing people. Shreeve, I can't even keep up with Livejournal at times. Too many influential and inspirational people to keep track of.
Everyone likes love and everyone should accept love given to them. Love hurts, scars, scolds, and does many many things to a person. As for me, because of what I am I'd best sit back and watch the show. I am not the actor in this scene, the world may be a stage but as far as the internet goes I'm best staying in the audience. I've tried to get mixed up before deep into this internet and I've gotten and I've come away from it thoroughly scalded.
Gool darn, here's another comment worthy to be posted in my livejournal. But, i'm probably going to add your post as a memory...
[User Picture]
From:prismo
Date:May 26th, 2004 09:39 am (UTC)

The 'friend' angle.

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I've had some people ask if I can add them as a friend on my LJ. I tell them, "I'd like to, but I don't think we know each other well enough to be considered as such. Hopefully sometime we might be able to meet up and talk, but until then, I will have to decline."

Because it's true. If I were to add everyone who wanted to be added, I'd never be able to read my real friends' daily posts. There'd just be too much filler.

I have the same issue on the mucks - people want to be my friend and page me out of the blue. I don't KNOW these people and already they want to start one on one conversational relationships. No thanks.

When people say they want to be a 'friend' with you in that instance, all they really want is to know that they can have someone pay attention to them. Because if the 'friendship' occurs, they tend to make it rather egocentric. They ask how you're doing, and if you reply back, they start into their 'not too good' spiel. And if you don't reply back, they repage and ask if you're mad with them or something. Either way, you're forced to reassure them in some manner. And they win.

My advice? Just be yourself - let them know your feelings about it. If they truly want to be your friend, they'll work to establish a strong friendship that satisfies you both. If they just want a hug-slave, then you can figure it out and focus your energies on more important things.
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From:wlfdog
Date:May 26th, 2004 11:59 am (UTC)

Re: The 'friend' angle.

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I can be your hug-slave, if you'd like. ;)

Yeah, I know what you mean though... I've been thinking about editing my LJ Friends list as well, because I've had a few people ask if I'll add them, and I've done it simply because I didn't want to hurt their feelings. :/ I'm so bad that way... I hate offending anyone. >.< But I think, rather then edit it, really, I'll just NOT add anymore, if asked, unless I find the person interesting enough to actually want to get to know.

I'm glad I got to meet you though. :) My levels of friendship vary from person to person... sometimes I make friends quicker with certain pople than with others. I think you and I hit it off pretty well at NARFA though. So yeah, I likes da walla, and I DO consider you a friend, but I don't really think I needed to justify that now, did I? ;) *HUGS*
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From:prismo
Date:May 26th, 2004 12:06 pm (UTC)

Re: The 'friend' angle.

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Mmmm...hug slave... ;)

People can add me as much as they want - if they're really interested, and post thoughtful replies, I tend to reply back to them and at least get their names in my head, so when we meet up, they have a better chance of being a friend than someone coming up and saying "OMG U R PRIZMO I LUVE YUR IMPROV BE MY FREND?". Those I just pat on the head, and walk by. :)

I think we hit it off well, mostly because of a couple things:

1) We're both nice people. Such people tend to gravitate to each other.
2) We had a mutual friend as a shared interest, though I think your interest supercedes the intensity of mine. ;)
3) We're both rather huggable and affectionate. Also helps.

And no, you didn't have to justify it, just as much as I don't have to justify that I likes the wuffie. :D But it is good to hear from time to time. *HUG*
From:ex_falderal367
Date:May 26th, 2004 12:41 pm (UTC)

Re: The 'friend' angle.

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Amen to that ;-P
From:khakiwolf
Date:May 26th, 2004 10:28 am (UTC)
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Czechoslovakia!!

You should tell them," It's ok! This is Canada, not the USA> We're not going to invade you!" Such paranoia!
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From:wlfdog
Date:May 26th, 2004 12:03 pm (UTC)
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I so don't understand that comment, but okay. O.o *perks one ear and flicks the other*
From:khakiwolf
Date:May 26th, 2004 12:34 pm (UTC)
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Oh... sorry... they're trying to be your friend right away so you won't get mad at them and invade their country. =)
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From:aubrin
Date:May 26th, 2004 11:39 am (UTC)
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But I very want much to social friends be with you forevers! Why you not want to am my friendly?
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From:wlfdog
Date:May 26th, 2004 12:36 pm (UTC)
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Because you're a PENGUI! And Pengui's SUCK! Cos they eat fish heads and they can't fly. :-P So there! *drools on da pengui* ^^
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From:aubrin
Date:May 26th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC)
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*sniffles, moping over into a corner and crying little icecube tears* Nobody luvs me!
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From:wlfdog
Date:May 27th, 2004 12:39 am (UTC)
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Awwww... *poor cute little pengui* No worries. Just cos you suck, doesn't mean I don't luv you! ^^ *hugs!*
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From:aubrin
Date:May 27th, 2004 02:18 am (UTC)
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Um.. thanks.. I think.
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From:l337_0n1
Date:May 26th, 2004 01:26 pm (UTC)

A Slightly Different Perspective

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I hope you don't mind me adding my own comments to the lengthy set you've already received. I thought I might share a slightly different perspective on this issue.

At the place I work white, english speaking people are in short supply. In fact, on Welding Day Shift, my shift, I am one of maybe 2 or 3 people who speak English as their primary language. Many have a great deal of trouble with English, including the Polish woman I most often work with.

Now, a couple of weeks ago I was working with a woman who, I beleive, is from China. English is definitely not her first language. Most of the time we just say 'Good morning'. About twice a month we have a conversation that lasts maybe 8 sentences. Well, as I was saying, we were working on the same machine a couple of weeks ago, and she turned to me and said, "Stephen, we're friends."

I was kind of caught off guard by this comment, because, as I said, we really didn't talk much. I realize though, that what she meant was I was someone she coul;d talk to at work. Basically, I was a friendly guy, and she apprecaited that I would say 'Hello' when I saw her, and that I would chat once in awhile, and help her out if she needed something carried at work.

Some of these people may simply be looking for something similar. It might be they just want to say 'Hi', and maybe drop you a line every now and again. Something along the lines of 'I really liked this new picture you drew.' Perhaps, at most, something like an email penpal.

You'll have to try to judge for yourself what each one is looking for. My advise would be to let them know you apprecaite hearing from them. It might be helpful to say something like, "I love hearing form my fans. Though I am also very busy, so I can't reply as often as I would like." I know of several authors who did things like that when their books started to become popular. *chuckles* Who knows, maybe you'll have to hire a secratary to answer all your fan mail one day. ;)
From:secateur
Date:May 26th, 2004 03:31 pm (UTC)
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As these emails typically come from non-English speaking fans, language has to be part of it, say, they might use the term 'friend' in a broader definition than you. That said, having friends is good to get yourself some attention, but having famous friends will pretty much validate your entire existence. And this particular wolf is famous.

I don't think you can say the fans have expectations. Some might have them, but I think it's mostly begging. That won't make you feel better about turning them down, of course, but you can't really avoid that entirely. The best way is probably is a polite indirect 'no', like others have suggested. (Too busy to answer, etc) They're your fans, they'll try to interpret you as positively as they can.

By the way, it couldn't have been Czechoslovakia, because that country was divided into two countries some time ago. I guess it was a czech, not a slovakian.
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From:wlfdog
Date:May 27th, 2004 12:46 am (UTC)
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Hellooo new LJ person. :) *wags*

And I am so not famous. O.o I dunno... having fans in general is still just a bit weird for me, that's all... :-P
From:secateur
Date:May 28th, 2004 08:46 am (UTC)
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:)

...I suppose I should have manners...

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