Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

You know what really grinds my gears...

Facebook friending. Don't get me wrong. I love, love, love my Facebook time. But I don't enjoy being friended by people I do not know.

Why do they do this? Why do these strangers feel the need to join my collection of networked people? Is my profile that interesting? Are they secretly the friend of someone I despise who wants to stalk my pictures and memorize my favorite movies? I don't know. I just don't know.

And that terrifies me. Because I'm a rational person and I'm not needy, but lots of people are. Plenty of my friends accept these invitations instantly with no qualms about having no idea who that person is. As if to say, "Oh, yes, perfect stranger... here is my address, cell phone, personal pictures, and daily activities. Stalk all you want. I enjoy that my online friend count has just gone up."

So I have three suggestions to remedy this situation...

First suggestion: Clean out your friends list. If you can't remember who someone is simply by reading their name, they don't belong on your list. You shouldn't have to read their profile and history to remember them.

Second suggestion: Do not accept these people to begin with. It does not make anyone cooler to have 350 friends. It just makes you an easy target. How many of those 350 "relationships" are actually meaningful? Maybe five percent? Less? You are not mean for declining someone. You are smart.

Third suggestion: Do NOT post your cell phone or home address on your profile, especially if you're one of these 350+ friends people. MAYBE posting these things is acceptable if you privatize your profile so only your real confirmed friends can read it. But a private profile is useless if you're overly nice with the confirmation button. If someone you know needs your cell or address, they can email you discretely.

... and that's what really grinds my gears.


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