I’ve been getting a lot of Facebook requests lately that just sit in my request section. I haven’t deleted them, because I feel like if they sit there then I’m not outright rejecting those who have reached out to me. Which is silly, because it’s not like they’re ringing me up to hang out. They just want to look at my page which happens to be private.
When I was in college, I would friend just about anyone I knew. I’d also get requests from people I didn’t know, and to avoid being a complete bitch, I’d email them “Sorry, I don’t remember meeting you. How do we know each other?” Then when they’d say “we don’t, you just HAWT,” I could feel better about the dialogue I’d started about why I wasn’t going to friend them.
But now I don’t friend people that I do know. So why do I do that? What’s my reason behind it? How can I explain this to them without inciting some long dramatic back and forth?
Below are some of the reasons I’m not friending you under the categories of how we know each other.
We Went to School Together a Million Years Ago
You and I had nothing in common when we were 12 and went to the same school. But you drudged up that old Throwback Thursday picture, and now you’re reminiscing about all the good times.
Remind me what good times those were? When I threw a piece of cheese in your eye during a food fight that YOU started, and you got pissed off and called me a bitch? Or when you told me to wear a bra during gym class in front of everyone? What about the time we never talked to each other except during that group project where you angrily argued about why everyone should go with your idea? We have never actually hung out one-on-one, but we did once have desks that faced each other.
These are not good reasons to friend me.
One of my friends and I were recently talking, and she told me she un-friended someone we attended school with when we were kids.
“I thought he was my friend, but then I tried to remember the last time we hung out. I couldn’t. He’s not my friend…he’s just someone I went to elementary school with. He’s never been there for me. There’s no point in having him on my list.”
We Worked Together
Sure, we both hated that job. Maybe we even hung out a couple of times outside the office. We were blowing off steam. I wanted to watch the Blazers game, and you wanted to rant about all the clients I’m trying to forget.
Of course, you were the first one to assume I was faking it when I was legitimately sick. Maybe you were even partially to blame for why I got fired. You got promoted, I didn’t. But you’re right, we were basically inseparable when we were forced to share a cubicle. None of this is compelling me to believe that you should be allowed to judge my new life.
After months of mutual flirting, we finally went out on that date. It got intense. A little weird. Okay, a LOT weird. I said I wanted to be friends, and you kind of freaked out. Understandably so. Because we aren’t actually friends, so we weren’t stepping back to a comfortable place we were before this night. So please stop saving my pictures to your computer.
We Lived Together
Freshman dorms brought us together, and a storm of failed communication plus close quarters tore us apart. You wanted your tv in our dorm, not mine. I wanted to go to bed without the radio on. You wanted to have lots of sex in your bed with my boyfriend. Living together is hard. But let’s not pretend that the Facebook request is going to suffice for an actual apology when you literally shit on my comforter. It’s still not funny.
We Are Family or Friends of Family
Okay, this one is really hard. I still haven’t actually figured out the best way to handle this situation. You really do want to stay in touch. Or you just want some hot gossip to report to the rest of the family or my parents. Maybe you are parents. Awkward, perhaps we should discuss IRL?
This is Really About You Wanting…
- …social admittance. Perhaps you are legitimately cool, but you didn’t used to be. Now I need to realize that by being your social media buddy. (Which plays into…)
- …for me to realize that you have something I don’t (kids, marriage, a FANTASTIC job, gobs of money you burn on a regular basis just because you like the smell and how evil your laughter sounds). In order to do this, you need to friend me.
- …to rekindle something from your past that you miss.
- …laughter. I’m pretty funny.
- …for all of us to be friends, because we have the same friends.
- …to preach to me about all the things you care about that I do not. I care about the opposite things you do. Like minding my own business.
- …to raise money or awareness for that thing you’re passionate about.
- …to feel close to someone you’re not.
- …to feel more important than you are.
- …to know what is on my damn wall.
I don’t want to hurt your feelings. In some of these cases, we did have some fun together. We did work together, we did date, we did go to school together. I don’t want you to feel like you’re less popular or smart or funny than you think you are.
But we’re not legitimate friends. So I’m not going to friend you.