I did this because I have the problem with internet 'friends' that some people have with soap opera characters. I feel like because I know and care about them, they know and care about me.
In my occasionally friable mental/emotional state, due to my ever-delightfully changing and evolving mental illness, the resulting disconnect when reality intrudes is unpleasant and potentially damaging. It's easier to manage things if I can make my world reflect reality a little more clearly. So news-of-interesting-people now comes in through my newsreader feed. LJ is for people where there is at least a small electronic token of return interest.