Friending friends in facebook

So something weird happened to me in facebook.

I made a comment on someone’s post. The someone was a neighbour whose child is in Sonja’s class. We talk casually to each other in person, and now, occasionally, in facebook.

It’s kind of neat to have neighbours as your facebook friends.

So she said something and I commented. Another person who knows her commented as well, and I noticed her name was the same as my maiden name. I asked my neighbour in facebook who this woman was and she said they used to work together.

The woman with my maiden name saw my question and responded in that same thread. We briefly discussed our fathers’ histories, and another woman who was friended with my neighbour chimed in.

It’s this second woman who then sent me a friend request.

I’m completely stunned.

Confused.

Why in the world would I accept this woman whom I have never met, have never heard of, as a facebook friend?

It’s just so…weird.

Her connection to me, in her mind, is the fact that we Canadians have fathers who are from Italy. But this woman who wants to be my facebook friend doesn’t have my maiden name, nor is her dad from the same place as my dad. Her dad is from the same place as the other woman, the one who shares my maiden name.

It’s just so….wacky.

Anyway, I ignored it. My facebook page is in my real name (and not associated with Javamom or Javaline). I usually only accept people whom I know in real life (and yes, this includes neighbours). I don’t accept random people who may know my brother for example, and therefore think I should be friends with them because I’m his sister, kind of thing. That’s not me. I only ever accepted one person whom I’ve never met in life, only because we have a somewhat personal email relationship (you know who you are, Australia). I’m ok with that, but I’m not ok with just adding random people to my list of facebook friends just so I can show everyone how popular I am. (I’m not popular. I have 78 friends in facebook, about half who are either family or people I went to school with in Switzerland when I was a child).

I have 78 friends in facebook. Compared to some people, this may seem like a tiny number. But to me, facebook is not about popularity. I actually hid several people I’m friended with in facebook not because I want to unfriend them, but because their endless drivel over the games they play there is cluttering up my wall. (I don’t play games).

Facebook is fun. I chat with my European friend (you know who you are, Germany), I marvel at the pictures family sends me of my cousins and their kids, I laugh, or commiserate, with my neighbour’s quirky comments. Facebook is fun, and manageable, with my intimate little number, and I want to keep it that way.

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2 thoughts on “Friending friends in facebook

  1. You and I are of the same mind on this issue! I have a hard enough time keeping up with people I actually know and care about. I have no desire to see the daily minutiae, musings (or especially the silly game statuses) of some stranger who I have never actually met in real life.

    Same thing happens on LinkedIn: link requests from people in other cities (or my current one) who I don’t know and to whom I don’t even have a peripheral connection, like friend of a friend or co-worker. My standard reply to their queries is now, “Your name isn’t ringing a bell. Have we met?” I don’t understand the ones who reply, “I just thought you were someone it would be good to know/link to.” Huh?! A digital “link” to a stranger doesn’t mean you know them and it’s useless unless there’s something shared, e.g. info, links, industry news, interesting tidbits, an online connection built over time, etc., which is kind of the whole premise of Twitter. But Facebook seems too personal for that.

    Some people also have different standards for “a friend.” My husband has a habit of referring to people I would only consider an acquaintence as “my guy from back in the day.” He usually refers to this person by some frat-style nickname. “What’s his real name?” I ask. “….Uh…we just always called him growing up.” Then in my book, that person is not a “friend” they are someone with whom you are acquainted, even if it’s been for decades.

    My 5 year old also refers to every child with whom she plays for more than 10 minutes as her “best friend.” Again, “What’s her name?” “Uh… what’s your name again?” :-) Ah youth. And acquaintences.

    • It’s amazing, isn’t it. I completely agree with you. I find myself being more than just a little careful not just whom I friend with, or link up with, but also what I say in social media. :)

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