July 10, 2010


How do people become friends on Facebook??

I’ve sort of been wondering this for a while. Ever since I started to actively use Facebook in February 2010 (thanks, cousin Mike!!), I’ve noticed that I have a lot more friends than I ever knew I had.

Many of these ‘friends’ of course, are family. That goes without saying. Sure, there are some family members who I have no idea who they are. I’ve been away for a while, out of touch, whatever, and life has gone on. Some of these family members are relatives who I know about, but have never seen. So that takes care of the family part of Facebook friends.

I’ve also noticed, once in a while, people’s names being added to my list that I have not authorized. What is this all about? Why do people want to become friends with people they don’t know? Okay, in a face-to-face situation, I can understand. There are a zillion and one reasons people want to become friends. Work, school, friend-of-friend, etc. But when a name suddenly appears who I have never seen or heard of before, it makes me wonder.

I have recently had one of these people. Now, I don’t know this person. I’ve never met this person. I don’t even know the people this person knows. However, every single day, I see a message on the newsfeed about this person becoming friends with people. I looked at their profile page again. This person has over 3,000 friends???

Including all the people I know – students, colleagues, family, the guys at the scooter shop, the mail delivery person – even if I DID know the names of all these people, I don’t honestly think, I could include 3,000 people in my list of friends.

I heard it said that the average person, over their lifetime, will come in contact with just over 1,000 people. These people are people that you actually will talk to for a period of time. AVERAGE!! Of course, depending on your status in society, your notoriety, how outgoing you are, this number will obviously change. Even still. 1,000 people. That-sa-lotta people! Put them all together, and see if you have a hard time trying to remember all their names.

Hell, I have over 400 students, and there are still some I can not remember their names. Once you have an Amy1, Amy2, Amy3, and Amy4 in one class, it’s hard to figure out which number is which.

I guess the thing that bothers me most, is not so much that this person has miraculously become a ‘friend’, but how this person is towards me. As I said, we have never met. I don’t know any of their ‘friends’. Every day, without fail, this person comes online and begins a chat. What am I supposed to say? This person can barely remember anything that we’ve talked about in the past. They have become neighbours (again, somehow) on some of the games that I play. They never do anything like sending virtual gifts that one needs to progress in these insidious games.

The last straw was, for the past couple of days, signing off with ‘xoxo’, or leaving messages that are, in my opinion, a bit forward for someone that doesn’t know me or vice versa. From what I’ve gathered, this person (oh, and I may as well mention, it is a woman), lives in the United States, somewhere. I don’t remember and don’t care. She is always online. There is never a time, when I am online here in Taiwan, where I don’t see her online leaving messages or sending out notices of some level of game play of hers.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind when family or friends that I do know, send messages that are a little crazy. I don’t mind when my ‘friends’ comment on my messages. I don’t mind when I get little ‘xo’ from the people that I know. But when complete strangers, who have somehow become networked into my group on their own accord, make these kinds of comments, it makes me a bit, how shall I say, nervous?

Not that I’m afraid of this person. Not that there will be any retaliation or stalking or anything like that. I just don’t appreciate it.

So, what have I done to try to stop this. Rather than write back any nasty notes, it’s easier just to delete or remove this person from list of friends. Will that help? I suppose in the short term it will, until they decide they want to get back into my network.

As with most of you, I’m sure, I’ve enjoyed Facebook. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the games, no matter how addictive they are. I’ve enjoyed the social aspect of keeping in touch with friends and family, both here in Taiwan, and in Canada and the States. Even though it is not as personal as being face-to-face with these people, the live interaction (chatting) is the next best thing.

I just hate to see a system like Facebook, become something negative, a system to be avoided. I guess the best thing to do, is like anything else in life – houseclean. Once in a while, go through the games and ‘clean out’ the ones that are no longer used. Go through my list of friends, and remove those contacts that are not supposed to be there.

It seems that no matter how secure or safe a network or system on the computer may be, there are always those that have WAY too much time on their hands. They want to create havoc, for whatever reason. The find ways to circumvent the security features that are intended to keep them out. There will always be those that want to ‘bring down the system’, and find a reason to say it is not good.

I do believe that most people are good. Most people do not want to figure out how to plant a virus or break into someone else’s personal information. Most people just do not have that kind of time available to them.

After my ‘housecleaning’ of my Facebook friends, I am now down to a mere 190 contacts. I still find that number to be a bit insane. But most of these ‘friends’ are, yes, relatives!!

Now, if only I could get 190 people to read this blog every day…

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “July 10, 2010

  1. Good thing you didn’t delete me because I lOVE reading your blog every day… Hell how else am i going to know what’s going now…lol.. about this person that you were talking about block her out… Hell i must have at least 30 people blocked on here…Take care and keep up the good work

  2. Pat

    hope I am still ” in”. Totally see where you are coming from.On facebook I only have family and close friends, being self employed with no co-workers helps too. I too have what I prefer to call a stalker. She sends a friend request daily and I ignore. Is there a way to keep her from sending these or am I destined to be her pal?

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