#280 Friend Farm
Friday 3rd August, 2007
I have received friends requests from a number of people (primarily from high school) whom after I accept their request ignore my standard social nicety message ‘thanks for the friends request…glad to see you are doing well…how do you enjoy working in industry X?’. I must assume from this that they have no interest in sparking up even a net acquaintance, and are simply friend farming or curious about my life. Is the correct approach to then remove them from my friend list?
Friends and friendships are vital to Social Networking Sites (SNS), without them you simply would not be linked up, ‘in the know’ nor have anything to read and distract you from during your morning, lunch and tea breaks. It is the height of rudeness then when once you have ‘recommenced’ a friendship with someone that they do not reply to your ‘social nicety’ query. Naturally people will gravitate toward one another on SNS’s, sadly not because you ARE the most witty, intelligent, charming individual in the pack, but you are ‘known’ to one another and who wouldn’t want to be part of such a mutual connection.
Since no-one is immune to the spell of spontaneously looking up ex lovers, friends, hairdressers and the like that have occupied space and time in your life and various diaries it is your duty to ensure that such requests are managed in a sensible way. As I have written before ‘friending’ everyone whom is ‘known’ or linked to you in some form or other is the way of MySpace teens. For the most part the Facebook user is a confident and grounded individual secure in their social networks. BUT being seen to be a ‘good’ friend, or ‘re-acquaintance’ is more problematic. Loyalty is reflective of your particular friend style and wider social graces, you have responded in kind to offer of ‘friend request’ and have become stuck against their apparent ‘rudeness’ or unobserved social reflexivity to respond to you. Hardly seems fair does it?
I am a great believer in thinking that everyone deserves a second chance. So whilst their image may be tarnished for the time being by lack of social pleasantry, one more simple message, wall post, or even more ‘subtle’ poke could stimulate, or at least remind the offending party that they should respond to you.
Of course what you are up against here is the very artificle (re)creation of a friendship that has either run its course, or was not up to much in the first place (you lost touch for a reason right!). Another factor to consider is how much time do you have to devote to such connections, remember they went searching for you, you were first to have occupied their time and efforts to get in touch with you. Hence in this instance for the new connection to be maintained this is rather dependent on their motivation for getting in touch with you in the first place. A result of a wine-fuelled zip around the information super highway, burgeoning lunch break curiosity, or just to be able to see you and read your profile ?… well only they really know. This puts you in good stead though for setting the ‘limits’ of contact. If after your second attempt at contact (another good method is to stipulate ‘how you know this person’ and in doing so post back their own friend request to them) they are still MIA a wise manoeuvre would be to remove them from your friend list. Not before you scope out their page, subsequent friend connections and current partner. Don’t think of this as ‘snooping’ as hey they started it right!
This take me back to those friendships that were reminiscent of those ‘fair weather’ friends at school. Remember them; the type that only want something when They were in need, and were rarely happy unless you were unhappy. As in those cases where a friendship has previously broken down , this time round things are much easier! With the mere stroke of the keyboard you are without the ‘I’m sorry I don’t think that we should be in contact with one another’ formality. So this way you get to end a friendship without having to manoeuvre yourself through those social duties of ‘we should get together/catch up’ etc. And consider your ego suitably massaged as they were interested in getting back in touch with You – and if only part of a ‘friend farm’ programme then you have no time to waste on this person and they should not be on your friend list anyway! So there!Tweet