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“Should I Join Facebook?” a friend asks.

Via email, from my friend “Alice”:

To FB or not?

“Okay people I am counting on you to give me some honest answers.  I keep going back & forth, back & forth about wanting to join Facebook.  There is a huge part of my curiosity that is making me want to join.  There is also a side of me that does not want to worry about people in my past requesting to be my friend.  Basically, there is only 1 person I keep in touch with from high school & that is how I want to keep it.  What is the whole etiquette about denying friend request? Has it been a more positive experience than a negative one? Does it suck up a lot of your time?  I am a computer addict, so I worry that this will be another thing to soak up my time that could be spent elsewhere.”

So many great questions covering so many current issues we all face.  I asked this question on Twitter; my podcasting buddy Michael Gaines (@istarman) reminded me that Alice could avoid her fellow alumni by registering under her married name only.  (Sidenote: Annie Boccio, another Push My Follow podcaster, wrestled with adding her maiden name to Facebook a few weeks ago.  Her high school friends weren’t finding her, so she added it.  On Twitter, she mentioned she felt odd using her maiden name again.)

Alice is not one of us; she is what I call a ‘normal person.’  She isn’t a social media person, but she is Generation X and computer savvy.  She’s a stay-at-home-mom and she is relatively shy and private.  She’d like to use Facebook as a way to keep contact with her real life, intimate friends.

What are your suggestions for Alice?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cade Long 9 December 2008, 4:01 pm

    Facebook has gotten a lot better about allowing more privacy. It’s up to the individual what they put on their profile. You can always ignore requests to be friends with people and after you become friends with people you don’t know very well; you can always ignore their posts and questions. It is also a great way to see a lot of general info about people you care about or just getting to know.

    Just go to the account settings and you can set them up to where your profile won’t be seen by the general population and where you can only request friends and no one else can see your profile.

    Just be patient and it will be fine.

    Cade

  • Otir 9 December 2008, 8:01 pm

    I have been using Facebook the way you described, I consider myself as a computer savvy Generation X although I am older than that, but I guess the age of my children gave me the privilege to allow myself to be included in the younger Generation X.

    I use it with my name, which is my maiden name, as a matter of fact according to the laws of my native country, my only real name. I can be “found” by online friends if they know my email address I guess, but I generally do not accept requests. i have also taken off some contacts from my contact list, just because I did not feel like I needed to cross all my networks absolutely. This is completely painless since it is not notified to someone that you would remove them from your contacts, and if they actually cared, well it’s up to them to contact you again: frankly, it has never happened, my guess is that those people who had added me just could not care less and were never in contact with me.

    So now, after several years of practice, I am actually having people from my social life networks, and it is a way to keep in contact with what we are at besides our sometimes too brief encounters. It is a way to participate from remote places to their life events, and I find it pleasant.

    I know some of them have a lot more activities on Facebook, I just don’t have the time nor the inclination, the privacy settings are pretty flexible, the ignore button is convenient, and it’s just a matter of learning how to navigate the maze. I find it important to start with adding the minimum and setting the maximum privacy, then if needed and desired open up more if someone has reasons and inclination to do so.

    Some of my friends’ teenagers have added me as their “friend” because I was friend with their parents, I found that really cute 🙂

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