Who Are All These People on Facebook and Why do They Want to be My Friend?

Kim kept bugging me. “You should join Facebook. Everybody’s getting on Facebook. You’ll find people on Facebook that you haven’t talked to in years. You should join Facebook.”

Facebook is a social networking site, meaning that people that you talk to already on a regular basis can now have another way of talking to you on a regular basis. You can chat, email, do little applications (I have book reviews for books I’ve read/am reading on there) and other stuff. It’s pretty easy to connect with people but not so easy to always find people you’re looking for. Say you have a friend named “Bill Smith”. Good luck finding the correct Bill Smith, especially if he didn’t include a picture of himself in his profile.

And people who are friends with other people that you’re already friends with will then try to add you as their friend (yes, it sounds complicated). Someone will want to add you to their “friend list” and then they’ll email you asking your permission. You can ignore, deny or approve their request. If you approve it you get added to their friend list, and then you two are “friends” in the virtual sense.

It only gets weird when someone that you don’t know suddenly emails you asking to be friends. I got a request the other day from someone that I literally had no idea who they were. Some girl. Supposedly we went to high school together. Did I recognize her? Nope.

So what do you do then? Be a jerk and not add her? Deny her? Or just ignore her? Or do you say, “Okay, let’s take the plunge and see where this goes.” I more often than not ignore these people. I don’t think of myself as a jerk; I just don’t want to be friends with everyone. I’m pretty selective. If I like you and I have some idea of who you are, then sure, I’ll add you, but if you’re like this girl that I’ve never met before, forget it sister, ain’t gonna happen no matter what tangential link we share. It’s like someone walks up to you on the street or in a bus and just starts talking to you. “Hey, you look familiar.” Can’t place them to save your life. Then they say, “Let’s be friends.”

I like to know who my friends are and those who aren’t my friends. What’s so wrong with that? So if I don’t know you and you want to be my friend on Facebook, think twice.

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2 Responses to Who Are All These People on Facebook and Why do They Want to be My Friend?
  1. Bill Smith Reply

    Were you trying to reach me? I’m confused!

  2. John Selzer Reply

    To date, I have managed to avoid the lure of joining Facebook. Although many friends have tried to pressure me into creating a profile – I know, I am so, like, 1992 – I have stood my ground and kept myself free of the evils of Facebook. I have never seriously considered joining, to be honest. I briefly pondered the opportunity of re-connecting with long lost friends, but it is always the thought of being innundated with random friend requests or getting poked – or God forbid, super-poked – that has kept me away.

    Just to put a frame around the overextending reach of Facebook, let me regale you with a recent tale of Facebook-induced woe: I have a friend who is regrettably separated from his wife. Sad, but they will most likely get divorced. During the mid-stages of their separation, he innocently updated his Facebook profile to hide his marital status. He did not delete it, nor did he change it in any way. He simply made it so that the status would not show up on his profile. To him, it was a sad little reminder that things were not going so well. But, Facebook takes this as a cue to say “Hey, everybody! I have made a change to my profile!” Within minutes, he began to receive e-mails, texts and phone calls from a whole host of “friends” inquiring as to what was going on. Including from his (soon-to-be-ex-)wife. And his (soon-to-be-ex-)father-in-law. And these were not the sympathetic inquiries of his close friends, but more along the “you are a son-of-a-bitch” line. As if I had any doubt, but this series of events reinforces the fact that Facebook has crossed the boundary between social networking and pure evil.

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