Reciprocal, one of those words I cannot pronounce out loud without breaking my tongue. Admitting the Dutch word for it (wederkerig) is so old-fashioned,  I doubt anyone born before 1960 knows what it means!

Why this pondering over a word I cannot pronounce properly and which is so out of date in my native language? Well, this is caused by Flickr. And a script.

The other day I ran into a discussion on Plurk, in which someone asked if it was possible to see, on Flickr, if persons you follow are following you back or not. Ergo, how to identify or filter non-reciprocal Flickr contacts.
This intrigued me and lead me to an old Flickr discussion, in which Thomas Leuthard had posted a ready to use script,  which makes it possible to show your non-reciprocal contacts.
All you need is that script added to the GreaseMonkey add-on (if you are a FireFox user) and tataaa….:after enabling said script it will show you the people you follow on Flickr, but do not follow YOU back in red.

I installed it, because curious!

Hanging on
Curious Caity is curious

So yes, I saw contacts in Flickr I follow and whose work I love and enjoy and saw some of them did not follow me. OMG! Non-reciprocal contacts, I haz them!
I follow them for several reasons:

  1. I love their work
  2. They are a creator/designer/event-owner and I love to be kept updated on their releases
  3. I love their work

Am I disappointed to discover they do not follow me back?
No. I am not. Because I would like to think they have the same reasons as I have, to follow or not follow someone.

Am I happy with this magic script, telling me who is a non-reciprocal contact?
Not really. Because I do not care.
Do not get me wrong, I appreciate and love it when someone finds my work worthy enough to follow. But I am not at all offended if I follow someone and they do not follow me. As much as I decide what I want to see on my Flickr feed, it is everyone else’s choice as well.

I do believe in (social ) networking and all that- very much, but I do not believe in the blind and strict: I only follow you when you follow me!
Love what you love, do not expect or demand followers. Un-following someone, whose work you love and enjoy;  just because they do not follow you…meh:it makes your (flickr) world small and exclusive.

PS: I’ve disabled the script, because all of the above.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. neybahblog says:

    Totally agree, and you couldn’t explain better that. Thank you

    1. Thank you for your reply, Neybah! :)

  2. Totally agree. The idea Facebook follows ought to be reciprocated is the harbinger of Virtual Needieness.

    1. Hi patricia! Thank you for your reply! Though, for Facebook it makes sense – as that is a social network in which you need to be mutually connected, otherwise one would not be able to see each others posts. This is not the case for Flickr :)

      1. Clumsy phrasing on my part. I ought to have said “The idea that being followed on Facebook deserves a reciprocal response in every case is the harbinger of Virtual Neediness”. There are people I don’t mind a bit following or friending in Facebook from, say, previous jobs or school – but the idea I must follow everyone who follows me on Facebook I find disturbing. Is that clearer, because I see how what I said could be taken in the way you did.

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