Monday, March 02, 2009

The facelessness of Facebook

So this morning I have a gazillion friend requests - ok, an exaggeration of course but yes, you get my point, I have several friend requests from:
  • people I don't know
  • people I don't remember - yes that happens with age
  • people with whom I won't know what to say beyond ' oh hi, its been a long time...'
Do I actually add them as a friend simply because they have requested me to do so on Facebook, or can I simply press the ignore button without feeling absolutely guilty? Chances are most of these people would walk past me on the street without even knowing it was me. Why then should I bestow on them the title of friendship in a public space?

I do want to keep in touch and even in some cases get re-acquainted with people who I have not seen for a while, and I will be the first to admit that Facebook does offer that, and it is pretty cool. But I certainly don't have or want two hundred friends in real life - yes, I do know a lot of people, but I am talking about real friends not acquaintances. Could of course write a whole other post on what is friendship, but no, won't go down that route. Bottom line is my friendships are important to me and so don't come easy, whether on-line or off-line.

I think Facebook should have 'classifications' of friendships that people can graduate to over time. Better still they should allow you to create your own classifications. Hmm, can just imagine some.
Could even have a 'previous-friend-but-now-sworn-enemy' category - my, my, would that beg a juicy tale or two? In one click of a button you could tell people where exactly they fall - and even better find out where you yourself are 'classified'.

Anyway, will try and over come my irrational fear of pressing the ignore button, and check mid-week to see how many people have withdrawn or deleted their requests because of this post. Lol!


Anonymous said...

I hear you! What started as my page where I would intimately share with those I truly love is no more. I felt like I couldn't reject workmates because it would be too awkward yet I don't want these people to be privy to my inner most thoughts so now I don't use my page they way I would really like to. Oh well that was my choice in the end.

Denise said...

Hey Anon, I too am guilty of the same thing :-)
Thanks too for stopping by.

Jade said...

There's an option in between, too. Just leave the request hanging....

Obviously I haven't become so popular that I get so many requests, and if I'm not sure I just leave the request in limbo. Sure, there are a bunch of people who I haven't seen or spoken to in who knows how many years, and that I had to dig deep in the recesses of my mind to remember if I actually even know who they are, but since I don't really use Facebook more than for fairly basic communication, there's no problem of how much to share.

I like the idea of categories, though - have you sent the suggestion to Facebook?

Denise said...

Hi stranger - good to see you here - one of the nice things about the whole issue of social networking and the technology uh? My daughter patiently explained that I could still have some categories - but yes, am not all that convinced. Yes, have been leaving the requests hanging.

Should be seeing you guys in the Easter, hope you will be around. Will send an email on that.