Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Friend Request

"Want to be my friend?"

My daughter would utter those words to other toddling little beasties while strutting around the playground. Never did she display a fear of being rejected. In her head, I'm sure, it just wasn't an option.

She ALWAYS made friends.

I started thinking about the idea of 'adult friendships' and how much it has morphed with social media, specifically Facebook.

The Friend Request - So very different now than it was back on the playground. How I admire people who meet someone out in the real world and then BAM!! they are Facebook friends. 

There are 146 'friends' on my Facebook page. A relatively small number, compared to much of what I see on Facebook. A few of my 'friends' are family, some are real life friends that I see somewhat regularly, there are the friends I knew through work or other on-line venues and friends I've met through OTHER on-line friends - meaning, you 'chat' back and forth via comments on a post and eventually someone takes the plunge and sends a friend request.

I'm a shy friend-er. If you get a friend request from me, you can pretty much equate that to the experience of sighting Bigfoot. It isn't because I don't want to have more friends, it has to do with me fearing that you don't want to be mine!  

I will sometimes get friend requests from someone simply because we have a mutual friend - I blame it on Facebook and their incessant insistence that SuchandSuch Person is someone I "might" know. STOP PUSHING PEOPLE ON ME, FACEBOOK!

I don't (normally) accept requests from a person just because we have a mutual friend. There needs to be some kind of interaction/connction - enough for me to get a vibe about who they are. There are exceptions, of course - there is ALWAYS room for exceptions.

I'm also selective because I am a Facecrack  Facebook Addict. My page has my family on it. I sort of put myself out there on, I have to protect myself (somewhat).  I need to feel that the person on the other end of that 'request' is really going to be my friend and that I'm not just some notch on their friend count belt.

 And, also...there is a bit of shyness. I've sent friend requests that have been ignored by people that I never suspected would do so. And no, I don't just suspect I was ignored...I KNOW it. That may be why I'm reluctant to extend myself. But, let me be up front and say that I've ignored my fair share of requests as well...all from strangers.

I think that is why I want potential 'friends' to come to me. In my mind, if they make the effort, then THEY want to be MY friend - somehow that seems more legit. I do realize how flawed this logic is and that it is entirely likely someone isn't friending me for the same reason! But, that's the way it is.

Friend requests are personal. I know that isn't the case for the majority of the Social Media Universe, but it is for me. Weigh in...what do you think....

Does this sound wrong?
Am I investing too much thought into modern friend-making?
What are your thoughts? 
Do you freely 'Friend' and why?
Or are you somewhat reserved...and why?

This is NOT a  request for more friend requests. Just an observation and a hope that more people will confirm they think like me and that I'm not nearly as crazy as I think I am. 

Kthxbai and have a nice day.


  1. When it comes to Facebook, I'm an awful lot like you. I rarely send a friend request and, when I do, it's usually because I have already asked them in person if it's ok. I've had a couple of people I know in real life not just ignore my requests but hurt my feelings and that's made me more cautious about sending requests. As for accepting requests, I won't accept requests from someone I've never heard of but I generally will accept requests from people who have commented on the blog or with whom I've exchanged witty banter on a mutual friends posts.

  2. I am an extremely slow and shy friender. I NEVER accept request from people I do not know, even if they are a friend of a friend. I have to have some idea on who you are, before I will extend my life out to you. Hence why I don't offer fb up on my blog. But I will friend people whom I've talked to in great detail under other friends' status updates. Hence how I started stalking you. ;p It was easier to just stalk ya then to keep hijaking others' pages.

  3. Interesting how people's views of friend-ing play out. I'm also a tad protective of who I friend because my family and some selected coworkers are on there. I usually don't have links to my blog, since I tend to spill my guts more on my blog than I would to some of my FB friends.
    Maybe when I'm a big girl I'll feel more free about who I friend, but I'm okay with a small group of friends for right now.
    I would friend you any day, Melissa! But I know that's not the point of this post! :)

  4. I've always been somewhat liberal in my friending policy on Facebook. Really, my only requirement is that I've met you at least once face to face OR I have had significant back and forth with you elsewhere online (forums, blogs, or open source projects, generally speaking). I generally don't take it terribly personally if someone declines a friend request seeing as I'm so liberal about requesting them.

  5. Jane - Yes! That is exactly what I mean by 'connection'.

    Emily - That is why I don't like to my Fb on my blog either. Through comments/chatter/etc I can start building a friendship that way, which is how I prefer it.

    Melanie - I like keeping tabs on my peeps. If my friend list got out of control, then I'd have trouble knowing what everyone is up to!

    Nikkiana - Declined friend requests don't usually bother me, unless it is from someone that I 'really' know...then it makes me question the friendship (especially when we have mutual friends). That, however, is extremely rare!

    Thanks for checking in, everyone...and for the comments! :-)

  6. Tried to post a comment via my Google account here earlier but interwebz ate it and I don't remember the entire thing... ugh! Anyhow, the gist was:

    *nods vigorously* I'm VERY cautious about sending or receiving facecrack 'friend' requests... but follow (aka: STALK) I do, heh... I wouldn't have "met" some of my favorite "soul sisters" otherwise! (*waves at Mel from 3k miles away*)

  7. LOL. I am the type of person that likes to make everyone a freind because I don't want anyone to feel left out or uncomfortable. HOWEVER - when it comes to FB, I also feel a little strange sending friend requests and will usually only do so if someone says "Find me on Facebook!"
    When it comes to accepting requests I am more particular due to the fact that I have pics of my kids and my nephews and my friends kids, and well, you never know!
    BUT Mel - I LOVE YOU MY FRIEND!!!! xoxoxo

  8. Kim - You are the bomb, baby!!! I often wait for an 'invitation' as well. Too funny!

  9. Well I'm glad I friended you, and now I know why you didn't friend me!! ;)