Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Facebook Friends...One is Silver and the other Gold
Okay, so this whole Facebook friends thing...
I just helped my mom get a Facebook account. I was explaining to her how, if you want to be friends with someone, you have to send a friends request.
"You have to ask them if you can be their friend?"
"Well. Yes... sorta. It's just a formality."
She asks a little worriedly, "But, what if they say no!?"
At seventy-five, you don't want to be dealing with school yard rejection.
When I first got on Facebook, EVerybody was my friend! I had tons. Then I realized that I was friends with 11 year old neighbor boys, people I really didn't recognize and some people that, frankly, I had no desire to be friends with. So I culled my list. I immediately felt very guilty and I really did mistakenly get rid of some keepers.
"What if I hurt someone's feelings?"
After I consulted with my kids, they all agreed.
"Never get rid of your friends mom."
"It's a networking thing."
" You want to have friends that you don't know and really don't want to be friends with".
You want to be friends with EVerybody!
So I wrote an apology of sorts, contritely explaining that I had accidentally deleted some people and invited them to come back, and some did.
So far, I have only experienced the humiliating indignity of Facebook rejection once.
Recently, an old school mate, a school mate with whom I was never friends, requested my friendship. By friend, I mean someone I knew, ate lunch with, had sleepovers with, talked to regularly. She was on the edge of my outer circle of friends. But despite all the above, I received a friends request. It came after I had converted back to the EVeryone can be my friend ideology, so I accepted after looking her up in my dusty yearbook.
"Ah yes, I think maybe we had a P.E. class together once." I read her profile.
Married to Ron Seaver. (all names changed to protect...)
"Ron Seaver! She's married to my old high-school sweetheart!"
Of course, like any old flame, I wanted to see how he's held up over the years. I mean, anybody on Facebook can see that I look like what I am, a fat, 54 year old school teacher. So, I wanted to see if he'd fared any better. But no pictures were posted on her page and, wouldn't you know, his is a "friends request only" page.
Now, here was my dilemna, although I really was not interested in being friends with his wife, I wanted to find out about "Ron". He must know I am Facebook friends with his wife. He's on Facebook, right, so he knows I'm on Facebook. But no request to be my friend. So I let it lie. In the meantime, Facebook was sending me little friend suggestions, "you should be friends with"Ron". You have friends in common! Ron is nice, be his friend!" But I, erring on the side of discretion, ignored them.
Then, throwing caution to the wind, I hit the button. I requested to be his friend.
"What the hell, all he can say is no, right?"
I got no reply.
I figure maybe he doesn't get on that often but after a week, I felt like a fool.
I felt like I had been turned down for the Sadie Hawkins dance.
I was embarrassed and, somehow, ashamed. But I got over it swiftly.
Are you taking a risk, asking if you can be someone's friend on Facebook?
Should you just be friends with EVeryone?
Did she only want to be my friend to tell me she married my old boyfriend?