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

Via Waylon Lewis
on Mar 7, 2013
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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.

How to be content all by yourself // Walk the Talk show:


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 | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


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

  1. 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. 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.

  12. steph says:

    Years ago I avoided someone in the grocery store, but later relized we were "friends"! that became my new "barometer" oddly enough.. But it works, if I'd be thrilled to run Into you, you stayed… I deleted several people that week, and even more recently. Friend requests from colleagues I encouage LinkedIn connection as an alternative

  13. Carolyn says:

    Surprised by the catty tone of this article. Your site usually does a fair job of coming up with interesting ideas so I was not expecting this kind of “high schooling” article. Being kind is way cooler than snarky in my book. Thanks for all the good your blog normally attempts.

  14. Karissa says:

    This article was disappointing to read. I, too was un der the impression that elephant journal was an advocate for loving kindness and compassion. It seems to me that whoever wrote this is displaying an attitude of arrogance, along with a strong lack of humility. I’m working on riddding myself of judgement of others, and things that I view as character flaws. Easier said than done, at times. This article, I suppose, is the perfect opportunity for me to practice this…

  15. Ninz says:

    100 % spot on. The only advice I would offer to anyone is kindly decline those friend requests rather than leave them pending. In the event that your Facebook account should get hacked and aaaaaall those friend requests are then accepted, it creates a slightly awkward virtual situation (assuming most of us are not at the 5,000 friend limit 😉 ah well, live and learn 😀

  16. James says:

    Some of the things you've said here are spot on, but I agree with some of the others who felt some points and the tone was a little snarky. It's odd that you would speak down about people using a photo of them doing yoga as a profile pic on a website that seems to promote yoga so consistently. To that I'll say, thanks for showing your true colors that I may be able to put your future posts in better perspective. Erring on the side of compassion might better suit the overall content of this publication. Just sayin'.

  17. Ana says:

    I’m trying to find words to describe how I felt as I read this. I can’t say hurt because I never asked to be your friend on FB. But perhaps I put myself on your readers’ shoes. I mean the ones who did try to be your friend on FB. I think you could have simply asked everyone to like your page instead and then simply accepted invitations from your friends in real life. Just like anybody else.

    Never explain, never complain – Johnny Depp (this is what he told Kate Moss when the media accused her of being a drug addict leading her to lose several contracts – she never explained or complained and after 6 months of silence and no work she came back and still is on top of her game).

  18. Ave says:

    You nannering on about your own judgements & have a 'real connection' w/ `5,000 people/entities has turned me off to your website. I smelt a holier-than-thou odour in some other articles & your article put the lid on the wastecan.

  19. Laura Loveland says:

    Can you expand on # 7? Specifically you wrote: " You like to post profound quotes by yourself." I had visions of just posting away by myself, which means that my posts would never be read by another because I am the only audience, which is a possibility with FB privacy controls OR posting away with all the ego that I have, however that would leave only an audience of one because who wants to read stuff like that much less interact with said posts? 😉 I enjoyed your writing and watched one of your videos with your yogi teacher. The deep belly laughs were appreciated! Snarky snarky! Isn't that the snorting noise that one makes when laughing? 😀

  20. Dawn says:


  21. L_A says:

    “So you mean to tell me… that you want to meet people who like yoga, but they better not have a profile pic of themself doing YOGA?” (pretend it is a meme with a picture of a very puzzled/irate looking baby)

  22. Lisa says:

    I "liked" the Elephant Meditation Facebook page because I thought I would receive positive, uplifting, insightful posts on my newsfeed to hopefully brighten my day or give me some perspective on something I maybe hadn't thought of. To read such a demeaning, disrespectful, hateful, judgmental diatribe about people who want to be the friend of whom I assume is the creator of this Facebook page is very disheartening. It makes me realize that even the people who claim to want peace, beauty and love in this world most likely secretly (or not so secretly, apparently) dislike everyone who's a part of that world. Every number on the list in this article systematically discredits and excludes pretty much everyone out there in FB world, which is A LOT of souls. There are people I choose not to associate with but I still love them and want the best for them. I would never stoop to such pettiness in describing why most of the people in this world will never be worthy of acceptance by me. I highly doubt all 5,000 of your "friends" meet the criteria of this list. Hopefully they realize it and give you a taste of your own medicine. And, I'm out. Peace and love.

  23. Billie says:

    a place of kindness may also hurt – truth sometimes does that…