Eight Reasons I don’t want to be your friend on Facebook.

Via on Mar 7, 2013


You’ve requested my virtual friendship. Thank you! But I decline. Why?

Below is a more or less serious list of real reasons I don’t accept friend requests on Facebook…I write silly social media things, more often, since this whole subject begs two questions:

1. who cares! And I’d answer: right on. None of us should be too self-serious. That said, social media is the marketplace, the virtual bookstore or cafe, where the world meets and shares and connects, these days. For my web site, it’s where we connect with our readers, much in the way magazines connect with readers in a grocery aisle or bookstore. So, it is important.

2. who cares! It’s more fun to make fun of ourselves than answer seriously. For serious.

Photo Courtesy Loren SztajerBut…for more than two years I’ve had 1,000 to 1,500 pending friend requests from people I don’t know if I want to “friend” on FB, and no real bulk way to reply or deal with them, so I figured I’d just let a few of you patient folks know that I’m sorry I haven’t accepted your request, but…

1. Social media protocol 101: you haven’t chosen a profile pic. So you got that Darth Vader hair thing goin’ on. Can’t be bothered to choose a profile pic? Clearly, you’re either computer-illiterate (which is fine, but get help if you’re interested at your local library or with a friend, if you can) and don’t get FB or are too cool for FB, which is also fine—but then your virtual friendship won’t mean much…because you hardly use the thing. Active friends make for interaction, and as in real life, two-way friendship are best in digitalland.

2. You’re a bit…stalkerish. Either for reals, or you’re merely casually desperate for interaction. You’re a huge fan/hater of me, and I had to block you because you’re a stalker/fan/hater in real life and/or you leave weird comments and/or you text me randomly, full of emotionalism, pre-judgement, and preconceptions. So…no, thanks.

3. We don’t have any friends in common, and you don’t work for a company I work with and you don’t seem to know anyone I know, or you only know people I don’t really know, so you’re a third degree removed kinda virtual friend. Let’s keep it real.

4. You have a picture of yourself doing yoga as your profile pic, or a pinteresty quote , or a picture of crop circles, or a marijuana leaf, or a photo of yourself topless (from the back) at Burning Man, or you’re wearing a bikini or flexing your six-pack. All real-life examples, and all are fine and dandy, but…a bit tacky.

5. You’re…not a person. You’re a corporation, my friend. If you’re a business, get yourself a business fan page, and if I’m a fan, I’ll fan you. I mean, it.

6. I can’t. I can’t accept your friend request, because I’ve been over Facebook’s arbitrary 5,000 friend limit for 2.5 years. Yes, I actually know or have a real connection to just about all of those people, through various communities and jobs and activities. So: I wish you’d fan my fan page, but it’s awkward to say “hey, I’m just about over FB’s friend limit, fan me on my page?” But I do anyway, since it’s my only choice…though, now, FB charges $1 to send a message to someone you don’t know or something…even if they friend requested you, first.

7. You like to post profound quotes by yourself.

8. I know you in real life…and don’t particularly like you in real life or you don’t seem to like me in real life  or we do know each other but never say hello…and I’m not sure why we want to be virtual friends.

I think that’s it. Did I forget anything? If so, offer your reason/s in comments, below.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom


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11 Responses to “Eight Reasons I don’t want to be your friend on Facebook.”

  1. Jennifer S. White Jennifer White says:

    I think I'd add to this list that, especially if I don't know you, and you don't send a message or something describing why you're bothering to "friend" me then know that for sure that I won't respond. By the way, thanks for accepting my friend request.

  2. Donna says:

    Wow, what a strange and rather cruel article…I am surprised to see this here on EJ. I think you could have gracefully gotten away with just posting reason number 6 and left it at that.
    I don't use Facebook because to me it just seems like an uglier version of high school, and this post pretty much confirms my belief.
    I do believe you are kinder than this, Waylon.

  3. Nancy Talley says:

    Right on target as usual Waylon! I would add:
    9. Yeah, we went to high school together (or yoga teacher training/college/whatever) and didn't really talk then, why connect now?
    10. Some folks just seem very concerned in having a large number of "friends" regardless of who they are choosing to friend. Let's connect because there's a reason….like we've met or have a common interest….
    11. Let's not forget the guy/girl who took one yoga class with me yesterday and found me on FB…perhaps that is covered under #2….
    P.S. I have a profile pic of myself doing a yoga pose….not an awesome asana, just something simple. it's my life. I put it out there to hopefully filter out some of those people I mentioned above! Guess it's not really working. LOL.
    Thanks again for keeping it real!

  4. Scott Robinson YesuDas says:

    Facebookemon: gotta catch 'em all!

  5. Julie says:

    I have a false name on fb because I do not want friend requests, my only 2 friends are my children. I tried doing it properly but didn't like it, I am not interested in the rubbish people post.
    But, I have a busy newsfeed full of everything I am interested in. All my hobbies and interests are represented by countless pages, many of which I have 'liked'.
    It's a fantastic read, like a personal daily newspaper, printed full of only things I want to read about. I have 'liked' all the EJ pages, there is art, literature, music, Buddhist stuff – all sorts. Brilliant.

  6. Susie says:

    I know you from a business group but I don't really know you. I post family and close friend stuff on my personal page. SHOULD I friend these people?

  7. Joey says:

    I must say that I was disappointed to read such an article on EJ. I was under the impression that this was a place of kindness and compassion, a place of caring and understanding. It looks as though, like all of us, even our beloved EJ is subject to wrong thought, wrong action, and wrong speech. I realize that in this digital age it is not always prudent to make yourself available or vulnerable to every person that wishes to ‘friend’ on Facebook. I personally deny people on a regular basis simply because I do not yet know them well enough to share my personal life with them that readily. It is not however, in my opinion, necessary to berate them, disrespect them, or mock them. I hope that the folks at EJ can find peace and loving kindness with for themselves, and these potential friends on Facebook.

  8. Victoria says:

    Yeah, some of this I just have to think on. I like what Rachel Brathen said once. Someone was posting or commenting on her wall/posts a lot and said something about maybe it being too much and she said "No such thing as too much. Just love, love, and more love"… or something along those lines… might have changed up the wording a bit.

  9. Carla says:

    I don't know what it is lately (well actually I do know) why I'm no longer impressed by the FB or any other Social Media posts from pretzel yogis or Cirque Du Soleil yogis., etc.. They look cringe-worthy, contrived and very transparent. They come off as needing a tremendous amount of attention. After 13 years of practicing, teaching & owning a yoga studio I would, however, be floored and even save the picture if I saw a yogi in Savasana!

  10. Gloria says:

    My entire family ( my husband and adult children) are friends with someone we do business with. This person will not accept my friend request. He is always on and has friends with many other parents. It's very odd. I need to sign on my husbands account to see whats happening with our venture. I just dont' get it.

  11. Alissa says:

    I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you have hit tthe

    nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough people aare speaking intelligently

    about. I am very happy I came across this during myy hunt for something relating to this.

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