I have been trying my best to not get involved in Facebook. I very quickly get technology overload and since I have email, this blog, obligations at Blood Red Pencil and I now know how to send SMSs, I feel I’m just about at my limit as far as technology goes. But there is a problem with Facebook. You get emails from people asking you to be their friend. That’s quite a big deal. I’ve never been someone with a big group of friends. I have a few friends that I am dead loyal to. So when I get these requests for friendship I always hesitate. What should I do?
Accepting seems to be such a big step. Initially, I was getting requests from kids, mostly children of adults that I used to teach with and who have since moved away. Do I really think it’s acceptable to be a friend to these young people? They are nearly half my age.
Then you’re stuck with ‘Confirm” or “Ignore”. I can’t quite confirm, but to actively ignore by pressing that button seems so antisocial. So for a long time I just left the messages in my email inbox.
Then I got a request to be a friend to an editor. Well you certainly can’t ignore that. So I joined up properly and friend requests started piling in. Still I was in a quandary when each arrived. To compound this, I have no idea how to work anything at Facebook so I never really know if I’ve been successful at anything I’ve done.
This weekend I was asked to be the friend to Colleen Higgs. Well that was no problem as Colleen is my real friend. Then in a wild frenzy I got a bunch of requests from Colleen’s friends for me to now be their friends. I’m beginning to realise that friend on Facebook is not like friend in real life. You don’t have to be a real friend to these people. They just want to get a bigger list. When I saw my friend list going towards double digits I panicked. How on earth would I have time to be friends with all of these people? Now I realise they don’t expect me to, so I feel much better.
On the left side of the Facebook page, the folks there like to write people they think you might know and that you’d like to invite to be friends. This morning I was shocked to see they thought I might like to be friends with Chimamanda Adichie. Who wouldn’t? But I certainly wouldn’t have the audacity to ask her to be my friend, it’s so forward. I’m not ready for that just yet.
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