Everybody uses Facebook differently. Just like all of social media, there is no one right way to use it. Still, I’m often asked how I use it. One of the common questions about Facebook concerns friend requests. How to choose which to accept and which to ignore? My own criteria may or may not be a fit for you, but here’s my best attempt in articulating my very unscientific process:
I’m kind of picky
I currently have about 600 Facebook friends, which is probably too many for me. I think I was much looser in accepting friend requests early on than I am now. Part of this is due to my own learning curve and part due the evolution of my own idea of how I choose to use Facebook. This isn’t because I’m posting scandalous content that I don’t want people to see or that I’m having controversial conversations I’m afraid will rub people the wrong way. Anyone who knows me knows that I am incredibly dull and really don’t have much to hide. For me, it’s really a matter of where and how I want to have particular conversations and connections.
Not really a person
Have you seen Facebook profiles for organizations or businesses? They really should have set up a Facebook page, not a profile. Most of the time, the mistake is usually made due to a misunderstanding of the difference between pages and profiles. Still, there are many businesses which have done this intentionally as it allows them to directly contact their friends – something which can’t be done as easily from a Facebook page. I don’t accept friend requests from businesses, period.
Do I know this person well? If not, it would be really nice to receive a note along with that friend request. This helps me to know (or remember) who the person is, how they know me and why they’d like to connect. Even if we have friends in common, if I don’t know you, if you are still new to me.
Friends in common
Speaking of friends in common, yes, I do often look to see if we have have some of the same friends. What’s more important than how many friends we have in common, is which friends we share. I know which of my friends are relatively selective about who they connect with online and which tend to connect with everyone on the planet. If our common friends are those planetary connectors, I’m less likely to accept a friend request.
Facebook friend requests that arrive with gushing compliments about how cute or sexy I look have zero chance of being accepted. Seriously, no one I know would actually say this to me (especially in a friend request). While these compliments tend to play to one’s vanity, I know full well that they are coming from spammers. (On a side note: It amazes me how many people are actually accepting these friend requests and giving spammers access to their accounts.)
Almost Savvy page on Facebook
The place where I most love to connect with people on Facebook is on the Almost Savvy page. For those who’ve come to know me through my blog, twitter, or at a speaking engagement, this is the best place to continue the conversation. The community on the Almost Savvy page is extremely friendly and helpful. It’s the best place to post any social media questions you have or share any tips. Like Twitter, the barrier to connection is virtually nonexistent. Anyone can join and participate. In fact, if you are reading this and and haven’t yet joined the page, why not do so right now by going here and clicking the Like button at the top of the page?
So there you have it in all its unscientific glory. Not exactly rules, more like general guidelines. How does this stack up against your own criteria when accepting friend requests?
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