I’ve got several lingering friend requests on Facebook. On the one hand, I feel kind of badly leaving anyone hanging. On the other, I don’t feel too badly, because I know the likelihood of me running into any of those people out here in the real world any time in the next few days is really, really, really small, so it isn’t like they are going to call me out for ignoring them.
I need a little time to come to terms with that sneaking suspicion that I’m not really a friend, but just part of a friend-padding strategy.
In the euphoric wash of whatever chemicals are released by high school reunions, I friended some folks I’ve not seen since graduation. Several of my FB friends are college students I was connected to only briefly for a project—they were the ones who brought me to FB, actually—who now probably wonder who I am and how I got connected to them.
Rarely does anyone admit to friend-padding, but I do think that my relatively modest 238-person friend list supports my contention that I have, for the most part, only friended people I actually know and could interact with unhesitatingly in the real world.
I’ll probably accept the friend requests, even if having me on their lists is more about them reaching critical mass for their message than their longing for a deeper connection to me. After all, I’m not afraid to defriend if push comes to show. Plus, now they’ll have to feign interest in my natterings and arch observations. And maybe they can help drive traffic to my blog . . .
I have 46 friends requests unanswered. I don’t “ignore” them, I like to visit them sometimes. See what the list is up to. My rule of thumb is: I have to know your name (and I’m not good with names), I have to have had a conversation with you, and you have to have a profile picture of you. Exceptions to all rules, but few. One of them has 36 common friends with me.
There are a few that meet the above I’m sure, but I don’t recall any meaningful conversation.
I don’t thing too many people “pad” their friends lists. I think some people use Facebook differently than others, and some are trying to figure out how to use it at all. An unrequited Facebook “friending” should never be taken personally.