Monday, February 07, 2011

Facebook Fatigue

I'm a bad Facebook friend.

I had no interest in Facebook until my sons reached high school and wanted to have Facebook pages. My first answer was no.

Upon reconsideration, I said yes on one condition: you must allow me access to your Facebook page. It caused some heartburn, but both boys accepted the condition.

The truth is, I visited their Facebook pages right away to show them I knew my way in, and then once or twice after that.

To do even that minimal activity, I had to join Facebook. I stumbled in, put up a mug shot, and called it good.

Then I started getting messages and "friend" requests. I didn't want people to feel slighted, so I tried to keep up. I soon gave up. It's impossible.

But the friend requests showing up in my regular e-mail kept reminding me that a growing number of people -- 40, 50, 60 -- were awaiting replies from me. The guilt drove me to jump into Facebook to avoid seeming rude. About once a year I swing through and say yes to everyone. I hope I am not "friending" terrorists or porn stars. Some of the names I do not recognize.

But each time I do it, a quicker and larger wave of requests seems to follow. And I seem to be "confirming" or somehow acknowledging people who have agreed to "friend" me in my response to my request.

Huh? I'm not requesting friends. Does Facebook go trolling on your behalf? Does it use your friend list as a basis for recruiting more people to your page?

It's either say yes to everyone or get out of Facebook. If I disappear from Facebook world, please don't take it personally.

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