Proper Facebook Etiquette

#222 Friend or Foe?

Sunday 8th July, 2007

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Help! I’m being asked ‘why’ I denied a friend request, how should I respond?

So you went down that murky less travelled road of actually denying people into your ‘network’. Or maybe you just forgot to add someone – opps a social taboo if ever there was one!

Well if the ‘offended’ party are refusing to ‘let it go’, careful that you do not turn this person into a potential wall-posting, spam-message-sending enemy. Feelings and, more likely than not if the potential ‘friend’ candidate was male, egos have been injured.

Ok so the right thing to do is to send a message explaining why, perhaps point them in the right direction of digital social etiquette that does not require that you ‘friend’ everything in sight, sorry that they feel so offended, or that they were overlooked (how remiss of your!) etc.

Responsibility really does not lie with you though, you are not the site for their grievances as ‘friended’, or ‘defriended’ or otherwise. Of course such social neediness and emotional blackmail does rather suggest to me why you did not bother adding them as a ‘friend’ in the first place, but probably best not to mention this to them!

If the number of collective ‘friends’ is that important to the offended you could point them in the direction of MySpace where it is all the rage to have spurious networks of ‘known’ and ‘unknown’ friends. Plus they would become distracted by all the ‘flashy’ and ‘pretty’ profiles and be so caught up with modifying theirs that they would be unlikely to hassle you again.

Another solution is to post a Code of Digital Responsibility on their wall thus establishing what they need to do to normalise ‘friend’ requests, and being part of networked culture. This could be too subltle an approach though.

Sadly some people are just trying to get a ruse out of you. Do not worry about it…they are on Facebook for all the wrong ‘friend collecting’ reasons anyway.

Otherwise to save social ‘face’ you could just ‘friend’ them and be done with it with only access to a ‘limited profile’ though!

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