Most of my Facebook friends are colleagues, and most are not people I have met in real life. I especially enjoy the artists/illustrators posting their wonderful work and the kid-lit writers who post well-worded witty status reports. I know of them, but this is not the same as knowing them.
Facebook has been a miraculous connector to people from my past, half a world away. It’s been the most convenient way to message my kiddos, also half a world away. Maybe 20% of my Facebook friends are people I have met outside of the virtual space, and I designated them as “close friends” per Facebook lingo, as opposed to “Acquaintances.”
I get friend requests almost every day. It used to be enough that we had many friends in common (always kid-lit related) and I could find something about them on the internet to verify they were the real deal. But I have learned that isn’t enough, through some less than positive experiences.
So, if you want to friend someone, may I suggest that –
A. You have a photo of your face (not a flower or your dog) as your profile picture
B. You make sure to have a banner photo, not a black hole, and hopefully your banner is personal
C. You are not selling “Author Services” or “Life Coaching,” because this is essentially spam even if you are a real person doing this one friend request click at a time. I’m not arguing with colleague friends who approve these sorts of friend-requests, (as I can see on the request that we have hundreds of friends in common) but it’s not for me, thank you
Otherwise, I look and carefully approve individuals who in some way may contribute to the life of my Facebook community, and I love hearing about the many blessing (as well as join in the struggles) shared on the site.
I have come to value what Facebook offers.