#314 Surviving the digital ‘meat’ and greet.
Monday 17th March, 2008
I bumped up against someone in the non-Facebook offline world and am heading for a date. After ‘friending on Facebook’ there are more ‘freak’ than ‘chic’; what’s the best course of action from here?
Being open and available to new friends and the potential new friends ‘content’ (i.e. what is on their Facebook profile) is one of the wonderful things about social networking. Chance encounters at a party, on the tube, whilst trudging through the various security checks at the airport are all the perfect social arenas to meet and greet someone new and to become Facebook friends.
Recently, I had a similar experience. I had become nod and smile friends with someone that worked in the same city as myself and was invited out for post work drinks. I pride myself on being savvy and safe in these incidences so ‘dragged’ along a friend for support and possible escape protocols (i.e. one nod, nudge, nudge, wink, wink means ‘lets get outta here!) The experience was not a disaster. However, it was when I returned post, post work drinks and did the obvious Facebook ‘google’ that I regretted my attendance. Images that were unsuitable even for a MySpace profile adorned his profile page. There were more ‘friends’ than was humanly necessary, or Faecbook acceptable (4000+) and too many third party applications that advocated a ‘hotness’ rating than could be counted as good taste. In my case, said individual was in my network and so I could view their profile without having to ‘friend’ them. For future reference I have will be accepting a ‘friend’ status should this situation arise and will continue to avoid their particular post work culture until they have forgotten about me, or are too taken with one of their other 4000+ Facebook companions – whether ‘hot’ or ‘not’.
Facebook provides a veritable feast of information. Some of which can verge toward the ‘too much information’ span of things. If you fall into the situation of having ‘friended’ someone who now appears more than they should, or were not as they first were seen to be, I recommend that you ‘limit profile’, and / or ‘block user’. Check the privacy settings (top right) of your Facebook page and go from there. That should stop any future harassment and social trauma / damage in terms of your own sensibilities. I would not recommend ‘poking’ them either. If their profile is, as you describe, such an ‘eye-opener’, imagine how a poke would be interpreted?! Leave alone!
The cross-over from offline Facebook world and a connection that is part of your own personal network bridge the two very personal centres of ‘You’. Social networking has come a long way from the ‘friend farming’ early days of MySpace and has entered a phase of sophisticated decorum where who you are friends with says as much about who you are, as their own profile page.
In future, before any agreement for a future meeting, as a matter of course check out their ‘real’ meat on Facebook. No matter how far your ego has come, safe-guarding yourself in this manner should ensure there are more delights rather than frights at your next potential rendezvous.Tweet