Facebook Dilemma

May 19, 2009 by admncc

I was reading a post on a blog called “Giftedly Outspoken” (which you should absolutely check out if you haven’t already done so) and it really hit home with me.  The author, Jenny, was discussing her Facebook profile and an example of an issue that came up when she deleted someone from her friends’ list.

The way I view Facebook was similar to what Jenny had outlined.  And bear with me if you don’t have a Facebook account, as I’ll keep this easy to follow.  Anyway, I use Facebook primarily as a source to reconnect with friends from my past.  I’ve often said that I give kudos to Facebook, because it has allowed me to reconnect with people who I might not otherwise have been able to.  That’s a good thing.  Plus, it’s pretty easy to navigate and talk to people I see all the time as well.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m not into all the hug requests, drink requests, flower requests, sports requests and many of the other optional networking features they offer.  That’s just me.  If someone sends me one, I might or might not accept it.  But I’m mainly on there to communicate.

Here’s how detailed I am.  If I see someone that I would like to reconnect with, I’ll e-mail them, catch up a little and then send them a friend’s request.  I do that because I’m legitimately interested in knowing what they’re up to, if they have a family now, where they’re living, etc.  Or if someone sends me a friend’s request, I’ll typically do the same – send them a message to catch up a little bit first.  You might think that’s overly anal and unnecessary, but that’s my thing.  Because I don’t want to be the guy who just sends friend’s requests to everyone to build up the number on his profile.  That may be the complete opposite from the way that most people think, but I think part of it depends on why you’re on there in the first place.  If you’re marketing your business, sure, connect with as many people as you can.  If not, you might choose to be more selective.

But nothing irritates me more than someone who just sends me a friend’s request, but then never responds to any messages.  Or vice versa, when I send them a request and they accept, but never respond to anything else – which is why I implemented the new process I discussed earlier.

I don’t say this to intimidate people or make anyone feel like they have to respond.  I’m just pointing out that I have very little free time as it is, and I want to spend it with people who have a mutual interest in talking…

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  1. The Constant Complainer says:

    On a completely different note, it’s fair to say that I was a lot different in high school than I am now. When you’re in college, you realize who you want to be friends with and who you don’t. But along those lines, the other thing that annoys me on Facebook is seeing the few people from high school on there that weren’t my friends then, will not be my friends now and should be lucky that I don’t e-mail and tell exactly what I thought about them back in the day. LOL. How’s that for a little bottled up frustration…

  2. LOL. Love the post and the shout out 🙂

    I have to admit that Facebook has brought me a lot closer to people I went to HS with. I moved across the country mere days after graduating and FB has allowed me reconnect with them and I speak to them often! I hate the “lurkers” the ones that add you and then just see everything you do and never comment on it or whatnot. I delete them. I like to actually KNOW the people that I’m linked in with. There are very few people on my list that I don’t know in real life or haven’t made a good friendship with over FB.

    Very good post! Don’t you hate having to answer those messages: “Hi do I know you? You look like this person I went to school with but they went by a different name….” Honey if you went to my high school and there was a student there with my last name…chances are its me. How many Greek girls do you think went to Sam Houston in the middle of Arlington Texas? LMAO.

  3. I echo your thoughts about Facebook. I was all into it for like the first two weeks when I would find old friends from high school or college, but after the honeymoon period, I only logon when I get a few friend request alert through email.
    The drink requests and what nots freak me out, particularly since the ‘virus’ that was in those little buggers.

  4. Tristan says:

    I also do not understand the “friend” concept on Facebook. Most people who add me to their friend list have probably said one thing to me and even that is usually in response to my asking how they’re doing or congratulating them on a baby, etc. In return, I get their broadcast updates about how they can’t wait to watch American Idol or how they feel the need to rank their top 5 grocery stores or say what flavor of popsicle best personifies them…

    For my part, I broadcast desperate attempts to get people to see the sad state of our nation and the likely all-but-collapse of our economy. I am ignored as sure as I ignore the nonsense other people spout, so at least it’s even…

    My solution to the friend thing is organizing by groups. I have groups for close friends or people I knew in high school or people that I have no idea why they are friends. Different groups in turn can see more or less than others. Facebook is pretty weak with this sort of thing, but it’s some separation at least.

    Other than keeping in touch with a few distant people and sharing occasional ideas, I find it to be pretty useless. Decent discussion is pretty rare and vanishes as quickly as it appeared. No blog, news, or networking site has ever managed to match the old BBS of the 90s, in my opinion. No offense, CC…

  5. I also like Facebook to stay in touch with people. I like seeing their photos and reading their status updates. Yes, some are a bit mundane and can be ignored. I don’t turn down anyone as I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

    It’s a tool. Use what you need. Leave the rest behind. I’m not interested in receiving gifts or joining the mafia. Maybe I’ll do this when I get really bored.

    I do find it frustrating when I take the time to regularly comment on someone’s status and they don’t comment on mine.

  6. Reforming Geek,

    Don’t take this the wrong way but maybe they don’t find your status updates to be interesting? I often get replies to my status updates or something I’ve done but I don’t do it to everyone. I will only comment on something I find to be truly interesting.

    As for the apps that annoy you, you have to love the “Block this application” and “Block all invites from this user” as well as the filters to see what you want from people and hide what you don’t want. I often play games, do quizzes etc on FB so my updates may show up in their news feed often, I don’t get offended if someone wants to hide my stuff. Like you said, its a tool and you do what you want with it.


    I find putting people into groups has helped so much. There are some things I don’t want certain people to see (Like one of my co-workers is a bitch so she can’t see my status updates or my blog), my boss’ son can’t view my status updates.

    I’m planning my HS reunion so I’ve recently added a lot of old classmates, some I was chummy with others not so chummy… they can’t see my pictures, where I work, or whatever else.

    The most important thing though, KEEP YOUR PROFILE PRIVATE! Seriously! And your ‘default picture’ should be something rather tame. I say this because when we went to hire someone the first thing we did was google them. Her facebook page was the FIRST thing to show up. A lot of companies will look at social networking sites to try to see the type of person you are. You need to put your best face forward!

  7. NeoConDon says:

    I love facebook. I would compare it to the greatness of Net Flix, Walmart, MacDonald’s, and Subway; all excellent companies.

    The one thing that cracks me up is the stupid save the rain forest patches. Does anyone really think that by accepting a cartoon flower on a computer screen is really going to save the rain forest?

  8. Chris says:

    I’m with you. I’m genuinely interested in catching up with people I know … not reaching 3000 friends like some people. I’d rather have 3 people I know rather then 300 I don’t.

  9. Jen says:

    I have written quite a few posts on my blog about the perils of social networking. I find Facebook to have some limited utility when it comes to reconnecting but all of the meaningless drivel put out there does get old. I suppose I should learn how to block items as someone noted above.

  10. Extreme John says:

    I use Facebook in the same fashion, to connect with people I already know or people I have not seen in forever. I am super selective about friend requests there, and I just about never request anyone (or search for that matter), I just dont have time.

  11. Marissa says:

    Yeah, Facebook has been a big letdown for me. It’s not as entertaining as reading blogs.

    Once I was really bored and I emailed several other Marissa Kesslers and told them it would be funny if we all became “friends” on Facebook. No response. Then I sang out that song “Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends…”

  12. Dan says:

    Marissa, that’s awesome. Try Twitter CC.

  13. I have some cousin “friends” and a few people from high school and college. I have to say, though, I have never asked a single person to be my “friend”. I just can’t bring myself to do it! I feel so wierd and high school saying, “please like me, be my friend.”

    Except the family friends, it seems that most are drive bys who just want to be nosey and maybe see my pictures so I’ve become more selective in accepting “friendships”.

    Facebook is just okay in my book, nice to connect with family and lost friends, but those are people I would have found a way to connect with anyway.

    So, lukewarm on facebook.

  14. thinkinfyou says:

    I don’t have a facebook account,nor would I want one…..I don’t want people to find me!!

  15. as soon as anyone does one of those ridiculous quizzes, they are deleted from my status updates.

    i mean, are you kidding me?!?! i don’t care what freaking color most describes you or what country you should live in.

  16. Heather says:

    My main pet peeve about facebook is when people request me to be their friend then never respond to anything I write to them. Seriously, why did you request me?

    I have to laugh when people are new to facebook and take all the quizzes etc. because I did the same thing but now I’m over it!

  17. I used to think Myspace was way better than Facebook and actually really disliked Facebook however after using it for awhile I find that Facebook is a lot more interactive and positive. Myspace, for me, is very negative, a lot of drama, and no one wants to interact with you.

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