‘Huh?’ you wonder when you get yet another Facebook friend request and can’t help but have no clue who this person is and how you know them. You click through picture after picture of them, trying to jog your memory with the hope of making some connection, to no avail. You can’t seem to put the face to the name, nor can you seem to put the name to the name. You check out your mutual friends, but they aren’t people who you are close enough with to ask who the @*&# this person is. Tough luck.
Some people accept friends without thought, but many of us cautious twentysomethings have tighter security measures, or a red rope (if you will) that one can only pass if we know them, are friends with them and well, to be blunt, if we like them. Done are the days of accepting friends to create a larger number of Facebook friends and in are the days of making your friends more of an elite group; a group of friends who you actually know and are comfortable sharing your life with.
When you have a Facebook friend request from someone you can’t seem to place, you have some options. You can:
1) Message the person asking how you know one another. Level of risk: High. Not only do you run the risk of looking like a cold-hearted bitch, but it can go the opposite way as well. You can start an on-going back and forth conversation with them thinking you are flirting with them. Since they know who you are (they requested you after all) they can likely recollect the first time they met you/saw you/spoke to you. Perhaps they think your message of curiosity is a coy game. Oh and when they connect the dots for you, you also run the risk of feeling like (for a lack of a better word) a dumb blonde.
2) Do nothing about it in order to bide yourself (and your failure-of-a-memory) some time. Level of risk: Moderate. You ignore the friend request for now and let them sit in your ‘waiting for approval’ section. If the person tries to request you again, they are certain to see that they are still waiting for approval, and if the day comes that you remember who they are and click ‘accept’ they’ll have the opportunity to see all your Facebook activity over the course of the days, weeks and perhaps even months they’ve waited.
3) Deny their request. Level of risk: Easy. Life is tough, but not accepting a friend on Facebook isn’t the end of the world. When they request your friendship they run a 50/50 risk of getting rejected and they put themselves in that position. If you don’t know who the person is and you have to do intense research to find out, chances are there will be no hurt feelings (and no awkward run ins). Sometimes people add you because you appear on a mutual friends Facebook page. Once their request is denied they have the opportunity to re-request friendship in the future. If you cross paths and they bring it up, laugh it off. If they re-request you after that and you ignore it, well, perhaps you then deserve any flack they give you when referring to you as a bitch to their friends.
So, when that next request rolls in, what are you going to do?
– Jenny Jen