Friday, May 14, 2010

Friend Request Denied!

Social networks! Friend me! Follow me! Twitter! Where will it all end???

I have 653 friends on Facebook. I probably know 80 of them. Maybe another 10 are family members. And that leaves...563 people who want to be my friends. Of those, I'm slowly getting to know another 15 or so. And then there's the fan club for Jacquelyn Frank's Nightwalker series. I appear to be friends with most of them. Since they seem to be a fun bunch, I've been enjoying being their friends. They're easy enough to spot. Every one of them has the last name of Elemental Nightwalker.

I recently attended a workshop on viral media networking at the Maryland Writer's Conference. The presenter, Mindie Burgoyne recommended limiting your friends to a manageable sized group. Now you might ask how to determine what's manageable. And here's the answer: How many friends can you have a relationship with? Realistically.

I came home from the workshop and scrolled through my list of friends. That's when I realized I didn't know at least 400 of my friends well enough to have a relationship! Oh, no! What should I do?

Obviously, I must remedy the situation in some fashion. I know! I'll unfriend some friends!

How shall I determine who to unfriend? Maybe I should do it by lottery. Or spin a wheel. Or ask for volunteers.

MAYBE I should insist on a letter of introduction! What if I asked all my "new" friends to write to me explaining why they should be accepted as my friend?

I think I might do that...just send a little note telling all new applicants that I require a note of introduction and explanation. It would be very interesting to see what happens. I'll let you know. Who knows? Maybe I'll actually make some new friends for real!

Wanna be my friend?



  1. What I like about facebook is the whole crazy melting pot element. Letters of introduction scenarios? That's what's wrong with the world. Some people we actually know suck and we make ourselves put up with them. Some of the 'friends' I have met on facebook have made my think and laugh more than people I think I know...

  2. I tend to agree with Amarinda -- I like peeking in to the stream of consciousness on Twitter and Facebook. It's like having a glimpse into other lives.

    As to "Friends": I just set up lists of 'real' friends -- writing friends, family, people I know. I can go to those updates quickly. The rest of my 'friends' are ones whom I glance at now and again.

    Friend management, a growing trend...

  3. Ah... trust you to know how to manage friends. Perhaps I'll try that!

    I do find the streaming list a lot of fun.

  4. I've not had to unfriend anyone, but a friend of mine decided to 'unfriend' anyone who hadn't been an active commenter or 'like' anything he'd posted in a 2-month period. He decided they weren't invested enough in what he was posting, so therefore, not 'real' friends.

  5. I don't check my facebook account much. Maybe once a week. I ignore most friend requests unless I know the person or I've heard of the person from someone else. I have enough to do without worrying about my facebook friends.

  6. I don't have facebook. I still consider you a friend. ;)

  7. Yep. I do too, Amber and Julia. I find it interesting how wound up some people are in the social networking world, but I'll take friends wherever they are.

  8. I have facebook...I started using it last year...until then I was kind of out of the loop with blogging and social networks...since then I've hopped on the facebook, blogger and a whole host of other cyberworld activities. I kind of enjoy using facebook b/c it gives me access to real-life content from authors plus it's kinda cool to find out what others are upto in their day to day life...I've found out new books, contests, foods, it's like a miniature travel world.

    I have to admit though that sometimes if it's a random person who friends me I try and look up their friend group to figure out how I know them...most of my friends on facebook are actually just authors as well as reader groups or publishers...sad I know but I don't really have a lot of "real" friends in my everyday life so this is as close as I'll get.


  9. I really don't use facebook as much as I should. But as for the friend thing, me, me-waving madly.

  10. I have a mere 87 Facebook friends. Sometimes that makes me feel like the last kid picked in gym class all over again. But even though my cyber friend world is small, I find it hard to keep up with sometimes.

    Here are some of the positive things that I have experienced on Facebook. The most dramatic one was tentatively friending a 'friend' that I was barely speaking to anymore in real life. On Facebook, I am different, less reserved. It surprised her. But she liked it. We began bantering back and forth. Then we began talking on the phone again almost everyday. It saved a friendship I thought was unsalvageable.

    I've met people on Facebook I might never have otherwise met. Some of them, I feel, have the potential to turn into real friendships.I have actually gotten together with one Facebook acquaintance in real life twice now. She was just as smart and funny and interesting in real life as she was on the page. If not for this strange Facebook world, we would never have met.

    I have had some bad experiences as well. There were two women I knew equally well when I lived in Florida. I sent each a friend request. Both accepted. But one claimed she only had a 'vague' memory of me. I could tell you why this woman married her first husband, tell you the name of her son and her daughter, tell you about the very rare disease she suffered from as a child. Yet, she only had a 'vague' memory of me. Okay. The other woman sent me a lovely message saying how she had never forgotten me and had always wondered what had happened to me after I moved.
    I could go on and on. But, bottom line, I think that they aren't all 'pretend friendships' that we make on Facebook. It is another way to get to know people. And, sometimes, a way to get to know people we thought we already knew and did not.

  11. I too, have reconnected with old friends, though I do it using my pen name. Then if they make comments about my writing, my family doesn't scratch their collective heads and wonder what's up with that?

    Some are more responsive than others. That's the way life is in general.

    I should tell you, Elizabeth, I find you a never ending delight even if I don't always comment on your observations of life. Thank you for friending me.