"A unique, wry and often satirical look at the Internet, the modern age and life in general" (there is way too much search-engine competition for the phrase "incoherent ramblings")

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I scorn your Facebook "friendship"

Having firmly established that Facebook is better than MySpace, I must comment on something I feel warrants the attention of you Future-Phobics. It is the friend-collecting phenomenon, which was absolutely rife on MySpace and which you need to actively consider if you are to avoid it on Facebook.

Facebook is quite different from MySpace in that the connections you make are strictly "friend of a friend". In other words, it is not possible for anyone to request to become your Facebook "friend" unless they either have your email address, or they are already a "friend" of some friend of yours.

The problem is, all too often these friends of friends for some reason known only to themselves will send you friend requests, even though to be perfectly honest you are barely acquainted. In fact, let's be even more perfectly honest and say that you are actually NOT friends at all.

Now what do you do? Think carefully, do you really need a Facebook account packed with dozens and dozens of people, many of whom you do not know in real life, and have nothing to talk about with? Or do you want a Facebook profile that really is a reflection of your circle of actual, real-life friends and where there is a fighting chance you will have some benefit from the service?

I know what my answer is and I say, next time that "friend of a friend" sends you a request, politely press that "ignore" button. Trust me, they won't be offended. In fact, if I have correctly assessed the psychology of such people, chances are they won't even remember they sent the request...

2 comments:

Marija said...

I absolutely agree with you. I have, however, some friends on Facebook that have never been my real, active friends, but I like to have at least some sort of link to them. But you're right, we shouldn't avoid the "ignore" button.

BTW, you took beautiful winter photos of Fruska Gora, I've never seen it from that perspective (I've always gone there in spring).

markowe said...

Hi Marija,

You must mean THESE photos of Fruska gora! I try to spend a lot of time up there, but unfortunately snow is all too rare these days...

Good detective work connecting my blogs! I had a look at your Women in Tennis blog actually - looks great, you seem to put a lot of work into it - I haven't seen all that many people in Serbia with serious blogs like that!

As for Facebook, yes, I suppose you need to have SOME way of contacting people that you might otherwise totally lose touch with. I guess it's when your "online life" begins to take over, then you're really in trouble!

I still haven't figured out if your "former friends" can tell if you've deleted them on Facebook, though. I'd like to be able to do it kind of quietly... :)