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.
But…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.
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