As I’m sure all of us do, I get a lot of Facebook friend-requests. Usually they’re from people who’ve read something I’ve posted in a helicopter forum or on someone else’s wall. Trouble is, many of these requests are from people whose profiles are set to Private. This means that when I click on their name to see who they are I am met with the digital equivalent of a stony silence. Oh sure, we can look at “some” of their pictures, but anything meaningful that might tell you about them is hidden. Yet they want to know all about me. These requests always get ignored.
I do not automatically approve friend-requests – either from strangers or even from people I know. I’m kind of selective in that regard. Then again, even my own brother, Patrick has not approved my friend-request to him, so it works both ways. And I don’t blame him; we’re not close. But it sometimes ticks people off…people who think that because they have met me it entitles them to be friends with me online. It does not. I have 128 Facebook “friends.” I think that is quite enough…maybe too many.
When you “friend” someone on Facebook you are letting them into your world. They can learn things about you that perhaps they should not. And vice-versa. I keep my profile set to Public, mostly because I don’t have anything to hide and I don’t post anything really controversial on Facebook. But still… You’re opening yourself up.
Anyone who is curious about me can click on my name and see whatever they want. But that doesn’t mean I want all my posts and pics and “likes” and tags automatically showing up on their news feeds. On the other hand, I do not want everyone’s random burps and farts cluttering up my news feed. And some people do post waaaaaaaay too much trivial bullshit.
I got a couple of friend-requests the other day and I ignored them as usual. But it got me wondering: How many pending friend-requests did I have? Turns out the number is 107. It may be more, as I’ve actually clicked “Ignore” on some which makes them disappear off the list (I think).
I like Facebook…like the whole worldwide social aspect of it. I like how it can bring people of so many different cultures and locations together. I cannot imagine doing without Facebook just as I cannot imagine doing without a telephone.
But I limit the number of people I call “friends.” I like to meet and get to know people, but I don’t want them all in my house at the same time. So I guess that makes me a bad Facebooker.