Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Friend Requests: How soon is too soon?

We're at a point where you don't get to know people organically. Sure, you may meet someone in person: in class, at a party or at work, but most people take to the Internet to break the ice. It seems like it only takes a hello and introduction to warrant a friend request these days, and I'm not sure if I agree with that.

Instead of having a conversation back and forth, finding out someone's likes and dislikes, you send a friend request, then "creep" on her profile. You can find it all there, where she's from, where she went to school, her favorite bands, and who her siblings are. It's almost as if you don't have to talk to her at all! And the thing is, most people don't.

After two days of working with someone new, I had a friend request on my Facebook. Sure, this wouldn't be such a big deal, but this person hadn't said more than two words to me in those two days. I didn't even know that she knew my name well enough to find it online. So there it sits, pending in my requests until she actually tries talking to me more - - in person.

And family members? I've had requests from family members that I haven't spoken to. If they lived on the other side of the country and we never had time to visit? That would be one way to catch up. But requests from family members who live in the same area, but don't take the time to get to know me? I don't think you deserve to know about my life the easy way if you haven't paid your dues in other ways - - by actually getting to know me.

So is there a point in time when it's socially acceptable to click "Add Friend?" Maybe it's once you consider them a friend in real life. Maybe it's after you've spent some actual face time together. Maybe it's best to wait for them to send the request. Maybe there's no right or wrong answer. But for me, if I've hit "confirm" it means that I do actually know you, and I'd like to keep getting to know you. Sites like Facebook should be used as support, not as the driving force.

What do you think? How well do you have to know someone before you can send a Facebook friend request?


Alyx said...

You make a very interesting point! I definitely agree that people shouldn't use Facebook (or any other social network) as a way to genuinely get to know a person or spend time with them. However, people do it because it's easy and doesn't involve making very much of an effort to put yourself out there and be vulnerable.

If there's one thing I can't stand it's "message me on Facebook!" when trying to make plans to get together with someone or having a conversation with them. Really? Whatever happened to exchanging phone numbers? I can understand young teenagers who were born when the internet was replacing phone conversation. But for those who remember a time when people actually spoke on the phone or didn't have their lives revolve around Facebook, that's a little superficial to me. But that is just my take on the situation.

Jayelle Marie said...

Facebook has become the entry way into Facebook. I once really enjoyed it as tool to keep up with people, but now, it has just become an easy way out of communication.

silverthoughts2 said...

Recently I got friend requests from two different people I don't know at all. One was a friend of a friend and the other was the girl friend of a former coworker of mine. It was odd, and I don't care for those types of people friending me. I don't mind coworkers, family, blogging friends, real friends, etc. friend me. I like getting to know people a little better but when it comes to friends of friends...that's when I start to draw the line.

$|<@77€®|\/|1|\||)€|) said...

I agree! I think that we all should go back to the way life was and get to know people in person. The internet isn't supposed to make friends for you, like over Facebook, you should have to meet someone and find out a lot about them before finding out the big picture stuff over Facebook and such.

As far as a right or wrong answer, I would also say there isn't one simply because one person will always disagree and say that you should request someone first thing. I personally don't think that you should until you generally know the person, like dating for example. You would never say that you are going to date someone unless you truly knew who they were.

Why request someone just to find out they are a creep? Why not talk to them in real life and figure out what their driving force in life is. It is more interesting to talk to someone than to type to them to figure out who they are.


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