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Friday, April 27, 2012

Facebook and Friending

I know that Facebook has been around for awhile now so this topic has probably already been discussed but I would love to hear your opinions.

When I first joined, I had a rule that I wouldn't be friends on Facebook with anyone I wouldn't want to be friends with in real life. It seemed like a simple rule but it's not really that easy. Take for example people that I was friendly with in high school but not really friends with. I didn't think twice about those requests at first but when I really thought about it, the only thing some of those people and I have in common is that we went to the same high school. On the other hand, some really good grown up friendships have formed that make me wish we were better friends in high school (D.W. and J.B.). Then there are the people that I have been friends with for years that I have never met in "real life" but I hold dear to my heart. They have helped me through some of the worst times in my life through online support groups. I am thankful to Facebook that we can easily keep in touch with each other. There are friends and neighbors that I am friends with on there and again, those were easy to accept. Sometimes it is the only way I get to actually talk to them with everyone being so busy these days. My favorite friend requests come with a message saying, "I love your blog and am having a hard time following it on your site so would you mind if I friended you?" That was before I had a Facebook page for the blog but I still appreciated those so much and always accepted. I drew the line with being friends with Nico or any of his friends because I didn't want them to have access to my blog (Nico's friends, really) and if I ever wanted to post anything like "These kids are driving me freaking crazy," I didn't want it to show up on Nico's wall.

Then there are other situations: ex-boyfriends, guys/girls you once dated, friends you had a falling out with, people that you were never friends with to begin with or relatives you don't get along with. Those are some sticky situations. For the first three, if you don't friend them, it looks like you are still hanging onto old feelings but if you do friend them, they have access to your life right now and maybe the past should stay in the past. it stranger not to accept? I wonder why some people (the ones I wasn't ever friends with) friend me to begin with. Some I knew who they were but didn't think they had any idea who I was. If I don't accept, I look like a jerk but what reason other than to bulk up their friend list would they have to want to be friends with me? As far as relatives go, thank God I don't have this issue because I genuinely like all of my relatives that are on Facebook but what if the ones I don't really like were on there and friended me? I can think of one very specific person that I would have a hard time giving access to my Facebook but how do you not accept? It's like inviting drama into what you would like to be a drama-free life.

Don't even get me started on kids and Facebook where the object is to have as many friends as possible. I can't tell you how many times I have asked Nico who someone was that he was friends with and he said, "I'm not sure. I think she's a friend of so and so." The worst example of people trying to friend me was when Leo's high school reunion was happening. I had about 25 requests from people that were trying to locate him. At the time my profile picture was of the two of us but was private. Friends of both of ours (after 23 years there are many of those), I accepted but if I didn't know them, I didn't. The one that I still can't believe was from a girl that he was friends with in high school. She sent a message that she missed seeing his face the last 20 years and please tell him she looked forward to seeing him at the reunion. I mean that is ballsy (I don't know if that is a real word). Looking up a guy through his wife. Perhaps a more even-tempered, less jealous wife would have friended her but I did not (admittedly, the double standard lives and breathes over here).

How do you decide who to friend? How do you decide who to accept friend requests from? Do you do the friending or do you wait to until someone friends you (I tend to do the waiting but not always)? I think it should be a rule that when you friend someone, you should have to send a message along with it like, "Hi, wish we knew each other better in high school or we used to talk on the support board." (I would for sure would accept those). It would be nice instead of getting a friend request, accepting and then never hearing from that person again other than seeing their statuses.

Edited to add: I should have let you all know: If I am friends with you on FB now, it is because I wanted to keep in touch with you. This post was prompted by requests I have gotten in the last month. I did a clean-up at the beginning of the year. :)


At April 27, 2012 at 2:34 PM , Blogger doseofreality said...

I think I would probably be a lot pickier about my FB friends if I didn't keep a public profile or have a public blog, but I figure, hey if you want to friend me, friend me. The more the merrier. That being said, I have had two instances in the last couple months based on some blog posts that led me for the first time in FB history to have to block someone. They were both people I did not know in real life.
Very interesting post, I really liked it!

At April 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM , Blogger lamb said...

typically I only accept friend requests of people I at least knew at some point. admittedly, I have friended people I don't know well but knew of them or know them through someone else. I have also friended people that are friends with my husband but mostly if I had at least met them. I will look for people I know but otherwise I don't go friend requesting just anyone. AnnMarie I feel like I have known you for so so long considering we go back to the Queen Bee days. I know we weren't always necessarily close friends but I was happy to see you on FB. I have also really enjoyed your blog. BTW, love the knew look of your site! Oh and I do agree somewhat about the kids. although I am friends with my son and if I am cranky about him I don't care if he sees it lol! but seriously if I don't want him to see something I can exclude him from the post. ;)

At April 27, 2012 at 3:49 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Thanks for the kind words. My FB is private but my blog's is public. If I wasn't getting such strange ones lately, I might not have even thought about it. I do think the more the merrier (especially with the blog) but even saying that, some give me cause to wonder.

At April 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Lori, I feel like we go so far back that I don't remember a time that I didn't know you! I have enjoyed keeping track of you on FB and love that you follow my blog! Definitely wasn't talking about you! :) I didn't know you could block someone from a post. I'll have to look into that.

At April 27, 2012 at 9:55 PM , Blogger Kimberly said...

I keep my Facebook profile private but my blog is public. I'm selective with who I add on Facebook now. People from high school that I was barely friends with before, or those that I don't talk to anymore? I try to keep them off of FB. To me, it kind of gives me a creepy feeling, like why do they need a glimpse into my current life?

At April 27, 2012 at 10:49 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Kimberly, I remember having this issue and talking to you about it. You were the one that gave me great advice about mixing past with present. I appreciated it then and appreciate the comment now. :)

At April 29, 2012 at 10:41 AM , Blogger Adrienne said...

I do not have a personal FB account. I keep an account open for my blog, and in order to have a page I need to have an account linked to it. However, I use "Adrienne MommyMess" as my name, and do not connect with anyone from HS and so forth. It's just too much for me. The endless status updates,family drama, wasn't a positive for me. On the other hand, I love connecting with my blog friends. It's sort if funny that I prefer my blog friends. None of which I know IRL. GO figure

At April 30, 2012 at 7:14 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

You are right that Facebook isn't always a positive. That's a good idea to have one open just for the blog. I'd miss the friends that I do chat with or keep in touch with, though. Leave it to a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. :) I have to admit that now that I have entered the blog world, it's easy to see how you feel that way. :)

At May 3, 2012 at 9:42 AM , Blogger Kharlie Bug said...

I actually have 2 facebook accounts not including my fan page but I use one FB for family (the long lost family that I never see, talk to or care to keep in touch with ;)) bc let's face it, I don't really need them in my business, then I have my "real" FB which I have my "friends" on that I chat with regularly and actually want to be in contact with. That page is private so I don't get a lot of creepers trying to friend me just to see what I'm up to 20 years later.

p.s. just discovered your blog through the SITS forum and am enjoying it!

At May 3, 2012 at 12:37 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Kharlie, that is a great idea! Thanks for the kind words! Glad you are enjoying it. I'll head over to yours and check it out. :)


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