Etiquette and Facebook

Ok, so far, Facebook has turned me into a bit of an internet stalker – long story, isn’t it Mum? That part aside … It’s this whole friending business (is that even a word? “Friending” not “business”. “Business” is a recognisable word, obviously).

Firstly you’ve got the People you are actually friends with – no issue there and particularly useful when they’ve change email addresses every time they change jobs, or are just useless with email but are addicted to FB.

Then you have the Long Lost Friends. This is where FB comes into it’s own – no more tending to both Old Friends and Friends Reunited, FB is global, hooray, long lost friends from my lost year at Royal Holloway (the university not the prison) are finally found alongside high school friends of yore or theatre graduates who have gone AWOL into a creative wilderness …

We now move into the tricky section of friends who typically drop into these categories:
People who I’m obliged to be friends with but aren’t actually my friends
What do you do here? Obviously you accept their request, it’s rude not to … but, and it’s just a theory and it certainly isn’t about you … if you haven’t actually spoken in a year and you really don’t like them, would you quietly drop them off your list without them knowing … Yeah, that’s right, I’ve said it, but I know you’re thinking about it too …

People who used to be my friends but actually knew me through my boyfriend of the time and now we’re no longer together are not sure if they are meant to take sides
Ah well, there have been a few instances of this already. There are people with whom I have a perfectly good relationship with offline, but no FB invite to be friends – some of that has to do with being out of NZ, some of it may have to do with taking sides. Of course I could friend them but even I’m unsure if that would just make them feel awkward … of course if anyone finds out that Mark Cleary has a FB profile than I am as sure as hell that he is not going to get away with avoiding me – you read me Mark (see below)? Then you get his friends who you’re pretty sure you didn’t even meet them, but they invite you (and in my case, didn’t realise who they were until you chose to ignore the request and then suddenly had a flash of recognition and have invited them in return because you felt rude ignoring them in the first place and maybe you would have been good friends if David had let you be friends …)

Where as David … yeah, well aside from it being entirely implausible that you would even be on FB, I just don’t think it’s healthy for a girl to know what her ex-boyfriend is up to everyday and vice versa.

People who are related to my now ex-boyfriend
For which there is no hesitation – of course I accept their invitation or I invite them myself, for a short time we were family and that’s harder to break than the relationship which started it all – that’s where you fit in Mark. And as I type this I get a request from Anna (she put down “Anna knows you through a friend” … tee hee).

People who have mistaken me for one of their other friends
I think this is me being paranoid, but I do have an incredibly common name … it is possible.

Any one had any other dilemmas/solutions while facing Facebook invitations? Or am I the only one who worries about these things?


8 Responses to “Etiquette and Facebook”

  1. Whole etiquette books will soon be written about social networking. It’s a whole new life-layer of awkwardness and minor crises of social propriety! Hurray!

    My theory is, ask yourself “What Would JaneAusten Do?”

  2. I’m not on FB, but it’s kind of like this with blog rolls, so I get it. So funny!

  3. I call it ‘friendsing’ or ‘friendsed’ rather than ‘friending’ or friended’. Or, more commonly, I call it ‘facebooking’ or ‘facebooked’, as in ‘this guy I know facebooked me’.

    I have not refused a friendsing request, but haven’t had a sticky one. There’s just a couple that were drunk ones from people I met once, but I figure there’s no harm having them appear in my news feed.

    I think the thing to do is to just ignore the request, but then it sits there waiting and waiting and waiting… actually refusing it would be a bold gesture. So in a way, you just kinda need to do it – BUT you could do it so that they see only the limited profile.

    Another element of facebook is that it’s a whole new realm for overthinking. I was friendsed today by a guy I used to work with but whom I never spoke to until the drunk night two weeks ago and I sort of in my drunken haze remember there being a conversation in which it seemed he was coming on to me. I thought ‘don’t be narcissistic, he probably friendsded everyone’ but then I looked and he only has a limited number of friends, including not having several people he has worked with for ages who are in my friends. So now I’m stuck fantasising that he has a crush on me (an attractic, decent, psychologically-balanced, lovely guy with a crush on me! Holey moley! If only he wasn’t 21 and we weren’t just connected via facebook!).

  4. Lewis (Mistreated) Says:

    Dear Sonal,
    is thre any particular etiquette or protocol on leaving kisses with wall posts? Does it mean anything to leave them for someone? Does 3 x’s mean more than 2?



  5. Dear Lewis (Mistreated),

    Who the hell leaves two kisses (xx) instead of three (xxx) or one (x)? They have a terrible eye for artistic form and symmetry! Unless, they’ve signed it “xX” or “Xx” in which case they are being alternative, indie hipsters or psychotic – best avoided.

    Always steer clear of anyone who uses multiple kisses (xxxxxxxxxxxx) with wanton abandon, these people are sluts (both male and female) who think nothing of spreading around kisses in exchange of friendship … or they could be aunties who have a tendency to do the same thing.

    s x

    [Um … Lewis … I don’t actually know you and I can’t tell if you’re being satirical, so in case this is a real plea for help here’s a mere opinion from me: if you’re not receiving them on the face, it means squat. Well it doesn’t mean squat, it’s just someone being nice is all. Don’t read into it. And if you are reading into it because you have feelings for this person then, for the love of Lewis, do something about it! Life is short, live without regret, the worse they can say is no. Also, if they say no, be the good person that you are, accept it and move on – there are always others who will see the light in you and love it.]

  6. Lewis (Mistreated) Says:

    No satire, just autism

    Cheers, I shall take your advice

  7. My exboyfriend, of 4 years, current girlfriend who I have never met, but who he was cheating on me with, has been harassing me on facebook for the last 10 months, since we broke up. Although I have blocked her she finds the most in-ovative ways of communicating with me, so that she can tell me how much my ex hates me and how happy they are. Either by getting her friends to invite me, usually after one of my friends has already accepted her, so that I am not suspicious or she creates ficticious profiles so that she can view my profile. OR she sends messages to my friends or my current boyfriend to give me. They live 700km away otherwise I would have confronted her in person. Although I ignore her, she keeps on and on. I don’t see why I should set a higher security level, just because of her.
    What I would really like to know is why she keeps on harrassing me, what is her problem?

  8. Jan,

    Some people are dicks.

    Really. That’s all I got … I know sweet fuck all about relationships, I just write cos I think I’m funny and procrastinate on facebook. A lot. I prove on regular occasions that I’m really not funny and that I really do procrastinate on facebook. An awful lot.

    For serious advice you could try

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