3 years ago I was a friender virgin on Facebook….
…..promiscuously approving requests as they came in. My defense? I’m in the marketing field and networking is an essential tool in my career, so why not? As long as I had at least 1 mutual friend and the bio didn’t resemble the journal of a desperado then fine by me. Or so I thought. Thing is, I was so thrilled when I found long lost primary school friends, high school chums and university mates that I got caught up in the adrenalin of friend requests.
Then the inevitable followed, my friend list started proliferating – friend’s of friends starting adding me based purely on association – resulting in an orgy of mutual friends. Not before long, I had to start censoring my personal thoughts from close confidants, professional colleagues, randoms from the local bar, exes, parents, cousins, aunts and nieces, friends and foes – the list rattles on. Now that the list has come to a bulging number, each new request holds a pinch of cynicism and awkwardness . The 669th request might not break a camel’s back but it in fact should when you hardly remember a huge slice of that friend list pie chart. So I’ve come to the conclusion that when you have too many friends, you have in fact, little to none. Poor Paris.
And now it’s becoming increasingly awkward for me when someone I’ve just met, asks if I’m on Facebook. I know they intend to add me and I’ve no way to politely decline in person, so I conveniently ignore when the request comes in. It’s also rather unnerving when said “friender” sends a friend request after a 5 minute conversation in less than 2 hours of meeting me, without pre-warning. Worse yet, when despite my good judgment, I approve their request and they never utter another word to me again – unless liking my posts from time to time and leaving such comments , “LOL!” “Awwww” “Cool babe :)” counts as constructive conversation.
3 years later, I’m wondering why the hell did I even accept your request? Now I’ve put myself in the awkward position of deleting. Yes I know there’s the ‘hide’ option but hiding someone from the newsfeed is just visual censorship. Within the layers of “older posts”, they’re still there as potential lurkers so, no thanks. It’s weird bumping in a distant FB friend I hardly know and being asked if I managed to sort out my Visa . My bad. I shouldn’t have added all these people in the first place. Yet there’s no denying, there’s a small itsy bitsy minority of people that I’ve only met once whom are now dear mates of mine, thanks to our “Facebook friendship”.
Although I have to admit, there’s something incredibly voyeuristic in following a friend’s break-up drama and relationship woes on my “Top News” each day, there comes a point where you scroll down and go….I think I’ve had enough! That point came this morning when I got irked by a friend’s FB status. That was when I decided….
…..no, actually, I don’t want my aunt’s friend’s sister to add me, just because she’s in Melbourne. And don’t get me wrong, I’m totally over the fact that you back-stabbed me to the brink of depression back when, but seeing posts of your sister’s wedding and your cute new puppy isn’t my idea of fun. No I don’t want to be tagged as a piece of jewelery you’re trying to sell. Did I ever tag you as my ex when I was trying to get rid of her? No. By the way, you’re lovely and all but I don’t want to know your daily fortune cookies and astrology readings or what kind of lover you are and when you’re going to die?! Oh, and …. No. More. Farmville. Updates. Dear. Lord. Please!
So to the 39 pending friend requests (a drop in the ocean compared to some people I know), I have decided to ignore your requests and unfriend the rest which I’ve picked up along the way like pebbles in a Japanese garden. With each click comes a twinge of guilt but the sweet liberation and sigh of relief assures that I won’t go to hell for this. Socializing is not just a one-click affair. Instead of just adding me on Facebook, why don’t you ask for my number and call me up for a drink or to exchange some music, play some board games….yaknow, stuff people used to do as recreational activities before being Facehooked. Otherwise, we’re just going to be another statistic on each others friend list – and honestly, I’d rather a genuine hug than a click of a ‘like’.
On a separate vein of rant,
here’s a list of my Facebook peeves.
1. Being tagged as anything other than myself – food, unwanted goods, a funny t-shirt, a wrongly spelled sign that inherently becomes a crude word, a location, a promotional poster, a cute soft toy, a product that needs my vote so you can win something to make your skin whiter – you get the idea.
2. Being sent threaded messages that I can’t delete myself from and the messages grows into a monster and takes over my inbox!
3. You adding me then not bothering to answer my message(s).
4. RSVPing an event list as “attending” and not having the decency to let me know when you can’t make it. Verbally passing on the message through someone doesn’t count. No more invites for you. Free alcohol and food for REAL friends.
5. Tagged in God ugly photos – like, hello….if my eyes are half closed, mouth open with food hanging out the corner and sitting in the background of a badly taken picture – please do not tag me.
6. People going about their jobs, deals they closed or how busy they are – every.single.day. Fact being, if you have time to update your status, it probably means you’re not that busy so shuddafarkup.
7. People who share obscene and violent videos. Not the first thing I want to see on my newsfeed before 8am. Or ever.
8. People who swear unnecessarily – this extends beyond social networks.
9. People who add me and then delete me for the same reason why I’m writing this article.
10. People who add me again after deleting me. Seriously?!