Tuesday, December 7, 2010


More and more often I am getting Facebook friend requests and Twitter follows and so on from people I don't know. They are sometimes (the Twitter followers) banks I might use, bands I might like -- or who think, anyway, that I might like them -- and occasionally porno advertisers. If they are none of these things they are writers.

For a while this made me really uncomfortable and now I have accepted it for what it is, though I do not know what it is. I confirm everybody, as a rule -- for a while I tried to make rules about who I would confirm and who I wouldn't, but the rules were too confusing and complicated and I worried about hurting feelings, though I doubt anyone cares. I usually follow the writer back, on Twitter. Why not? Sometimes I "hide" the person in Facebook if I think they are boring.

When you "friend" someone you have never met or spoken to what are you trying to accomplish? Is this a way of saying you want to talk to a person or be closer to them, or only that you want them to become a component in your self-promotion network? I often wish that people who wanted to talk to me, if that's what they want, would talk to me. Of course I'm very shy myself. I never talk to the writers I admire if I can help it. I remember going to a panel at AWP and avoiding looking directly at the faces of the speakers so there could be no chance of accidental eye contact.

Why do I have so many "friends" and yet so few conversations?


  1. People do get pissed. I deleted over 3,000 people from FB and later when a real friend of mine posted a link to something nice about me there was a string of angry comments from people who I'd "deleted," and their sentiment was screw me for being the jerk. Still, I much prefer being able to follow people I actually know--have eaten with, cried with, shared something real with. And even those few have such filled lives they are difficult to keep up with. It's like, a day away from FB and I'm so behind!

  2. I have felt conflicted about this as well. I've never been ultra-private but for a while I felt weird about friending or accepting friending from people I didn't know, but then I enjoyed reading updated/etc. by creative and intelligent people, and learning from them things I wanted to know were happening, etc. A good test might be to ask yourself if you've had a moment in the past week or month or whatever when you saw something they threw up and said to yourself, Interesting.

  3. For me everything just feels too chaotic when FB is stuffed with people I don't know at all.

    I decline almost everybody that tries to friend me that knew me in high school, because high school sucks.

    I'm losing faith in FB. Seems like a very long time since I had a fun conversation on there.


  4. Yeah, I do actually decline people I knew in the past sometimes.

    FaceBook is an inferior twitter for me, these days.