Spacebooking myface

From someone I went to high school with, who just sent me a THIRD Facebook friend request (I’ve ignored the first two):

Do you not want to be my friend?

Here’s the problem with Facebook: just because I’m on it and you’re on it and we went to high school together 20 years ago doesn’t mean that we have to be “friends” on the Internets. If we’re not friends in person and haven’t seen or spoken to each other in 20 years, there’s probably a good reason for that, and I don’t really want you privy to my online activities. That’s why I don’t attach my name to this blog, my Twitter updates are protected, and I utilize just about all of the privacy settings on my Facebook profile.

I don’t understand why people think that just because we knew each other once or just met in passing a few years back, we have to be “friends” on Facebook. Hell, right now, I’m Facebook “friends” with people I don’t even LIKE! (However, if you’re reading this blog and we are friends on Facebook, rest assured I’m not referring to you here.) And I don’t understand why people who won’t even say hello to me in the halls at school send me multiple friend requests on Facebook. Sometimes this social networking thing baffles me.

Maybe I’m being uncharitable or curmudgeonly. Maybe the person from high school who is sending me all these friend requests truly wants to be my friend both online and in real life. Maybe they’re a collector, like a lot of people on Facebook. Why do I feel like such a troll because I don’t want to accept this person’s request?

How do you approach Facebook friend requests? Do you accept them all, regardless of your actual relationship with the person, or do you have criteria for accepting them?

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  1. BetsyD

     /  January 13, 2009

    I think Facebook requires good boundary-making. And I will never be guilted into adding someone I don’t want to add. Even though I also get into the “collecting” thing a bit.

  2. When I want to talk to someone from high school, I’ll call one of the five friends I kept from that era. If I haven’t talked to you in 20 years, there’s probably a good reason.

    I’m not on Facebook, but that whole “Do you not want to be my friend?” thing is…sad. Not “sad” as in, “That new Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercial makes me sad,” but more like, “You sad, sad bastard.”

  3. wuh

     /  January 13, 2009

    I have filters for various friends, including one for friends that only get to see the most basic info – one person with whom I need to maintain extremely strict boundaries, and a couple of folks from high school that I didn’t know too well (not in my grad. class, but friends of friends–maybe we were in band together–and probably FB-collectors). That filter doesn’t get my phone number, address, friend list, etc. I haven’t turned down friend requests from people that I actually know (or knew in HS), and I am fine with friending all but a handful of people should a request come my way.

  4. I have real friends on Facebook, and some people that I would consider acquaintances, I have not accepted a few people. For example, a guy that I didn’t really know in high school who was a total asshat, a girl who wanted to beat me up in Jr. High. Oh yeah, and my emotionally abusive ex-bf from high school who is doing the 12 Step thing. I guess he didn’t realize that I’d be embarrassed to actually have him listed as a friend.

  5. I used to have standards and I’ve recently accepted 2 highschool people – I didn’t want to but I did – and one I really regret …. ugh, facebook … I used to feel SO picky about who I “let in” and now …. I feel like it’s gotten ruined but I don’t dare “unfriend” someone ….


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