It's the tacit mixi rule that only the members know. In other words, there is an "oyakusoku" here like anywhere else. And this oyakusoku is HEAVY.
*The tacit rules in mixi aka mixi's oyakusoku*
1) You have to browse through all your registered friends' diaries and regularly leave comments:
Make sure you read through your friends' diaries everyday. After you finish reading, don't forget to
leave comments. Your footprints remain as proof you have visited. Don't sadden your friends by
not reading their diaries or not leaving comments even if you read them.
2) If you see a comment on your diary, you must make a response:
When somebody kindly left a comment, don't forget to write back. Your last login time is marked
so if you don't write back even if you've logged in, your friends will get worried or feel lonely.
3) You have to be friends with your friend's friend:
Your friend's friends are your friends. No matter how rude they are to you, never treat them with rude
attitude thinking you just can't get along with them. If you misbehave, you will bring shame on your
friend. Be friendly with everyone.
4) Never ignore any diaries even if the content is boring.
If your friend writes one day that she "wants to die", calm her with kind words. If another friend writes
his original poem, give him great compliments like "Wow!" and "That was really moving." Diaries filled
with answers to questions somebody else has asked, or those with dozens of "My Favorite --- " might
not interest you at all but try to give some comment with all your brain. Importantly enough, say
congrats to the 'web traffic diary' which is announced everytime the access marks hundred.
I'm not surprised if many of you are like, WHAT THE HELL!????? and I'm like that.
Sadly or not, this is Japanese. In an environment where your true self is known to others, you have to wear a nice-person mask even if you have to sacrifice yourself doing so. Of course, not all Japanese are like that but I wouldn't be surprised if this is the majority.
Well, a little exaggerated, but as you continue mixi, this oyakusoku silently starts to kill you like poison. Cozy relations can turn into heavy burdens if they become obligatory. The company mixi did not set these rules so the company is not responsible for the problem, but because the responsiblity is not of a single entity there is no concrete solution. Additionally when real human relationships come into this the troublesomeness doubles up.
This is one case of not being able to enjoy the true purpose of mixi which is casual communication and making new friends, because of the power of oyakusoku restriction.
Well then, what does oyakusoku bring to Japanese that is not torture?
I'll think about it and write about it some time again. If you have any comments regarding my blog or this topic just throw them to me.
BTW the newest chapter of ChamaTama is up. Come see it at Japan Mode.