10 FaceBook Friend Requests You Should Reject

All of a sudden since the release of the movie The Social Network (2010).  It seems like the number of friend requests that I get is skyrocketing which leads me to believe that FB usage is spreading like wildfire.  I guess it could be just due to the fact that my account has reached a critical mass and is starting to snowball, I’m not sure.  In any event I find myself hearing from people that I vaguely knew or maybe didn’t even like at all from as far back as 20+ years (okay I didn’t say I was especially young when I started this article).  Anyway, I started to think through some basic rules about who I should consider “friending” and who I needed to avoid.  This is the list that I came up with:

  1. Co-workers.  This is just a really bad idea.  If you become FB friends with the wrong people at work and send a pic or write something on your wall at 2AM on a Saturday night.  Well, you just never know how that could end up harming you on the job.  My real life experience comes from when I broke this rule and accepted a request from a female co-worker.  Well, let’s just say she has a different reputation now after several documented nights out on the town.
  2. Parents or Grandparents.  For many of the same reasons this is actually a bad idea in most cases.  Mom and Dad most likely don’t want to know the types of things that most people put up on FaceBook.  Plus, again sometimes you might forget that they see your messages and then you could have some serious explaining to do.  Just email, call, IM, or find any other way to keep them looped in on your life.
  3. Pastors.  I’ll bet you can guess my line of reasoning here.  Although the good news is that they have most definitely heard worse things if you do slip and broadcast a bad message or pic.  In the end this is a judgment call based upon your relationship with the pastor but tread lightly.
  4. Social outcasts from High School.  There is no need to feel guilty about the way you may have treated them in high school (or maybe you just did nothing to stop others from treating them poorly).  If they were outcasts in high school chances are good they are still and/or they will send you updates about things you absolutely don’t want to know.  For instance, I had one such individual blast out how much they enjoyed doing illegal drugs (and that was the end of that FB friend).
  5. Ex-junior or senior high teachers.  For whatever reason teachers from my junior high and high school (ages ago) are interested in becoming FB friends with me.  I have only one real question, why???  I mean it seems pretty harmless but for various reasons it hasn’t worked out well for me.  I am pretty confident it is because they still see me as a snot-nosed kid that sits in their class.  It’s just awkward.
  6. Ex-friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, or spouses.  Ummm…  They are in your past for a reason in most cases unless you are terribly confused.  That’s where they should stay.  Explaining any communication with them to your current replacements is just not worth it at all.  You need to remove them from your FB account as soon as the split happens.  This led to one awkward conversation for me that I choose to never happen again so this rule is an easy one for me to keep.
  7. Friends of your children, spouse, or significant other.  This should go without saying.  If they are not your friends you should most likely keep it that way.  This goes to the point of respecting the space of the people you love and in most cases you really don’t want to know.  NOTE:  this does not mean to let your children do what they want on FB!  Just don’t accept friend requests from their best friend.
  8. Your doctor, dentist, or other healthcare worker. Well this one is pretty selfish.  Basically, I don’t want to necessarily have to explain how I got some new medical issue knowing that they may have more information than I would want to normally give them.  Some things are meant to be a mystery.
  9. Babysitters, maids, other household service people. Again, these are people that you don’t really want to know about that big party you are having at your house that they may have to deal with at a later time.  I mean for their sanity let’s just leave the surprise for when they arrive at your door.
  10. People you barely know. So lately people that I spent maybe 5 minutes with my whole life want to be friends on FaceBook.  I know for sure that I don’t want to hear about their successes or failures on Farmville!  Basically unless I have a desire to get to know someone better I don’t see a reason to accept their friend requests.

Okay so now that I look at that list it seems to cover a lot of people.  Maybe my FaceBook will completely stop growing.  I’ll tell you that is fine with me.  It’s far better than getting updated on every trip someone I barely know takes to the bathroom.  Honestly , the only person I want to know that information for is myself.  So I would encourage you to think about this and potentially make your own list.  If you feel I missed any great examples please let me know.



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