Proper Facebook Etiquette

#703 A certain Facebook friend disappoints

Wednesday 3rd December, 2008

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I keep trying to add a certain friend as a Facebook friend but they never respond. Can I poke them into action?

Depending on your subject sometimes it’s not simply a case of ‘Adding Friend’ on Facebook. The potential friend needs to be suitably open and receptive to such a request. It could be that in ‘real life’ you’re not such great friends after all – as a rebuff on Facebook is as real as it gets! Perhaps time to look for a healthier connection – one-on-one in the pub/following a leisure pursuit/incidental meeting in the street, rather than a forced ‘be my friend’ show. This interpretation is generally for those more casual Facebook users who may simply not be as ‘networked’ or enthusiastic about Facebook as yourself – and hence have lost or not noticed your request as opposed to demonstrating a fairly major social statement by ‘ignoring’ your request.

‘why haven’t you messaged me back?!’ even I have found myself hastily (after two months of ‘no reply’) asking one of my ‘friends’. His explanation was that whilst he had indeed read and received my message his absent of a posted reply was because he had simply forgot about its existence and contents. I blame myself. First I know that he is not a particularly adept Facebook users (logs on about once every two weeks) and my message was not particularly interesting anyway.

So as a suggestion, you could add some style to your Friend Request. Instead of a pending ‘Add as Friend’ prompt attach a message to this action – perhaps with a ‘secret’ or appropriately mysterious intrigue. A friend of a Facebook friend attached the following to their request to an ex of her boyfriend – ‘Add as Friend’ came with the message ‘because we’ve both let our standards slip and rolled in the sack with a limp loser’. Harsh – and yet strangely effective. Like a tale that best befits a Bette Midler led ‘First Wives Club’ by the end of the week there was a further six connections made off the back (or rather front) of the shared familiarity of ‘a limp loser’. Whether these are friends one would want in a network is another subject for debate.

Otherwise avoid derogatory name-calling/wall posting as a reaction to an ignored request – you might want to continue your connection off Facebook.

Also the situation could simply be a conspiracy against you. ‘They’ not only ‘don’t like’ and are ignoring you, but this is led by two-faced action, lies, deception and potential of a ‘double life’ that would be at risk of being exposed if they were to accept your friend invitation. for this particular situation I would rather not know. So no, do not ‘poke them’ into action.

6 Responses to “#703 A certain Facebook friend disappoints”

  1. Ozie says:

    What is your line on Facebook jokes?
    I ask as in Oz think you are in UK there is a bit of a scandal about public school students making a group called Jew Parking and other related name calling. It has been taken down following protests but students say it was a joke not racial.
    Point is can you joke on Facebook?

  2. Mariann Hardey says:

    @ conflicted – a ‘fine line’ situation… longer blog post on this to come…

  3. Conflicted says:

    I’ve discovered that my employer has been checking my facebook entries – small company and when I joined I made colleagues friends. Trouble is I cant unfriend my boss but I can’t connect with friends in the way I’d like because I might be seen as unprofessional. Question do i go to another SNS but how do a take people with me or should I just brazen it out?

  4. Conflicted says:

    I’ve discovered that my employer has been checking my facebook entries – small company and when I joined I made colleagues friends. Trouble is I cant unfriend my boss but I can’t connect with friends in the way I’d like because I might be seen as unprofessional. Question do i go to another SNS but how do a take people with me or should I just brazen it out?

  5. Mariann Hardey says:

    @mrowe, oh the heady m/f debate – where will it all end?!… funnily enough i was just having such a discussion only yesterday with a (f) friend of mine who is yet to sign up to Facebook and shares a similar sensibility of social slackness vs social guilt and then all mixed in with the inevitable social obligation of it all.

    in short we decided that if you have to ‘force’ yourself to be ‘on board’ then whether your m/f, animal or mineral you’ll share similar social anxieties and issues. That’s if you can prise yourself away from Topgear… (opps did i just make another gendered assumption?…)

  6. mrowe says:

    Interesting blog Maz. In relation to the “not replying to message” topic, I tend to be guilty of this. I always read the message, but as I am male and therefore naturally lazy I play it cool and don’t bother replying. Then I forget for ages to reply and have to be prompted as you described!

    Have you seen a trend emerge like this where males tend not to reply, or must be prompted to do so whereas females do not?

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