Etiquette and Facebook Part 8 – From the Mailbag

Until I have a regular internet connection, it’s going to be a touch quiet on the blog front this week (I’ve got a week long pass at a local internet cafe which doesn’t have access for my laptop, so I’m stuck on PCs that are still running IE6 … for starters, god bless tabbed browsing and next, good grief, there are a pile of hoops to jump through with PCs … yes, I’ve fully converted to Mac, I didn’t think I would, but I’m starting to grumble about the mere seconds longer it takes me to do things (like open new windows and navigate through applications) so it must have happened along the way) … so this week we turn to the mailbag which is quietly moulding due to neglect.

Today, boys and girls, we hear from regular correspondent and gold star wearer (thanks to sorting out the international enrolment of her flatmate … yes gold starts for Lotte too) Lou:

Dear Facebook Guru,

Somebody has just friendsded me and I have absolutely no idea whatsoever who they are.

Sometimes this happens but then I realise via mutual friends or other names in their list that they are someone I have met at a party or someone I went to school with who has changed their last name.

This person has no mutual friends, is not someone I have met at a party, and is not a guy so isn’t just being randomly sleazy after falling prey to my hot-sauce-ness.

They do, however, have 222 friends so are obviously a compulsive friends-collecter.

Should I, for curiosity’s sake, reply saying “do I know you?” or should I completely ignore them and be left wondering?

Yours sincerely,


Oh mystery friendser, why do you tease us with your invitations of friendship and yet not have the courtesy to add a small note of explanation with your request? You know, something along the lines of ‘Hey Lou, remember me? You held my hair back while I was throwing up at All Bar One last Friday night and I thought that, in order to say thanks, we should be friends so that I may return the favour one day’

My instinct would be to ignore an unknown, no message, invitation outright, or at least sit on it for a few days as I try to track the person through my failing memory banks. Sometimes it may be a case of mistaken identity (happens a lot with me), sometimes it may be because while you have a lot of friends in common, you’ve never met each other and sometimes it may be to collect friends as one collects fridge magnets (although 222 may sound like a lot, I’m close to hitting that number and I’ve done at least three culls of my friend list so far … we’ll cover culling in our next edition). Of course you could give into the curiosity and message them with a polite ‘why hello there potential friend, I do not believe we have been acquainted, however if you can recall the occasion to me then I will happily welcome you into my general society” or “was I drunk at the time? Cos it happens a lot” …

I’m going to throw this one open to the floor – do you have a suggestion for Lou? Have you had this experience yourself?


3 Responses to “Etiquette and Facebook Part 8 – From the Mailbag”

  1. I’d do this:
    * Accept them as a friend but with restricted view
    * Put the message in your acceptance “YOU’D BETR NOT B HU I THINK U R”
    * Unfriend them the next day without explanation.

    This is known as “Putting the ball in their court”.

  2. I can enlighten that I happened to do the guru’s first suggestion – sat on it waiting for some memory to float back; none did; deleted the request.

    Will probably remember her in the middle of the night in one year’s time or something!

    In other news, Debrett’s has just released an online social networking etiquette guide that is both a) very embarrassingly behind the times (but, in that way, befitting Debrett’s), and b) from the extracts I have seen both boring and obvious.

  3. I love the first suggestion.
    Saw a good blog post where someone had transcribed an entire text conversation some anonymous teenager had started with her. Funny stuff if you have credit and are totally bored.

    I’ve only had one total mystery friend request, which I ignored because I wasn’t feeling bored and curious, but did have one from a school mate who has the exact same name as another school mate and no face photo. Took me ages to figure out which one it was.

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