I admit it. I added people just to have enough players in games. I might have created lists for different kinds of trust levels in the network, but I still added people I really only knew in a superficial way, or didn’t really know at all.
One list is for people from high school – whatever happens with any of them is what people used to call “a trip” -always a journey of some kind, sometimes delightful, sometimes challenging. Sometimes I discover that there is really a lot more to like, or to learn, about someone. Sometimes it seems that whatever used to resonate between us in friendship is just gone. Another is a set of sometimes-intersecting groups of people who share a type of religious or organizational history with me, or perhaps even just an idea or interest. Some are friends from places I’ve lived, learned, worked – or just in the pathways of life. There are folks who are recommended as a potential mutual friend. There are, of course, the apps people. And others where the reason has escaped me; some of those have become friends over time.
I’ve defriended some people. I’ve been defriended too. It’s all good.
However – after two nights under a full moon – a moon of love, after all, in the spirit of Diana or Athena… I had an idea. It might have been the lightning. The thunderstorms. The synergy of thoughts.
I decided to respond to a friend add request with something more interesting than usual. It’s an experiment. Some may call me a snob or an elitist (do I care about your defensiveness if my response is “yea, I don’t think so?” A little. Not much.). Time is short, and thriving is difficult. It’s ok to have placeholder keep-in-touch Facebook friends. I don’t need to be in close contact with everyone. However, I want friendships that are fun, enriching, beneficial – or at least entertaining. There are all sorts of levels of interaction. From now on, there must be a reason that you’re not on the chaff list, to be – eventually – defriended.
There is a whole world of new etiquette through social networks, especially Facebook. It’s in development, changing rapidly. This is a time when such an experiment – just for my own interest, curiosity, and occasional amusement – might say something. What? I don’t know. Let’s see.
As a thought experiment, imagine if you sent your own version of this as a response! Oh, and current FB friends: Feel free to message me there in answer to this too – that would be interesting!
Do Your Own Version of a Friend Request Response
Thank you for the friend add request.
You look from your picture as though: Pick all that apply (you might have a sense of humor, you’re a fan of KISS, you’re part of a trusted group of mutual friends, etc.).
I’m responding because: Pick all that apply (we have mutual friends that I like, trust and respect; we have mutual interests; Apps; or other – specify).
Did someone recommend me as a friend to you? Are you using “Friend Finder?” Why, in fact, are you requesting to be added as a friend?
If I should decide not to add you – or in the future decide to defriend you – would you be interested in a farewell note in which an authentic explanation is offered to you? Or would you choose that I depart silently? Please indicate your preference.
Pros and Cons: If I’m wrong about the interpretation of a quick read from a photograph, it could be embarrassing. However, since I have no idea who the requester might be, other than what I can derive from a photo and any viewable pieces of the profile, I think it’s fair to describe first impressions.
Would such a response to a friend add request yet shock the recipient? I think it might, but I’m not sure.
Would posting this on the blog attract trolls? Maybe, hope not. I deleted something like “If you don’t follow my thought process, speak now.” It’s kind of mean, and needlessly antagonistic, for a first encounter.
Such a note is what I will send henceforth (can I get a trumpet, some graceful uncurling flag?). I can’t believe something like this didn’t occur to me before. I had a very basic version, but nothing that got to the heart of the matter.
I’ll keep the responses to myself, until such time as there is anything to say about it. If there is anything worth writing about, that would be fab.
Is there anything you’d add to this? Something I’m forgetting? Comment with your thoughts and ideas!