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?