I Will Not Friend You on Facebook If…

Sorry friends, I hope you’ll pardon a little Monday morning rant (yes, it’s still morning out here for another seven minutes)…

Monday is sort of a “catch up” day for me. One of my weekly to-do items is to review the Facebook friend requests I’ve received for the past several days. I find I enjoy doing that all at once rather than sporadically throughout the week. And honestly, for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to recapture my use of my Facebook profile for my “real world” friends and family and to share more “professional” (if you can call it that) information via my Facebook page (find it here). The goal is to have a newsfeed that I can actually navigate and to be able to be more effective in general with my social networking.

This morning, while declining the many gracious invitations I received in the past seven days to connect with new “friends”, I came up with the following list.

We’ll call it…

I Will Not Friend You on Facebook If…

  1. Your profile picture is a holy card. I love holy cards, and actually collect them, but on Facebook I’m looking to friend real people, not holy cards.
  2. The first three items in your news feed all relate to score updates for that totally awesome game you’re playing. Sorry, I’m not a gamer. I don’t begrudge you your right to game, and I know I could hide your score updates, but I’m lazy.
  3. English is not your primary language. Again, see that “I’m lazy” statement under #2. I’m looking to have real conversations on Facebook and it’s tough to do that if I have to paste everything you write into Google translate. Next year, when I dive into my planned goal to learn to speak Spanish, I will likely regret item #3.
  4. You accompany your friendship request with a private note that tells me you’re lonely and looking to meet someone just like me. Yuck.
  5. Your name is the name of an organization — I’d rather “like” your organization’s page than “friend” an entity.
  6. You post anti-Catholic hatred on your profile. Trying to convert me? Not likely…

So you can see, I’m a bit picky when it comes to Facebook “friends”. If we’re friends on Facebook, then it means that I’ve put some thought into the decision and you’re more than just a number on my profile.

Am I doing Facebook perfectly? No, probably not. But I believe in the power of my social networks — I pray with and for my Facebook friends on a regular basis. They are my “think tank”, a bureau of trusted advisors who never fail to come through for me when I’m in need of information or support. As I continue to pare down my list of contacts on Facebook, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you do and don’t approve friendship requests.

And one last question: Is “true friendship” possible on social networks? I say yes…

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About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of CatholicMom.com and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at LisaHendey.com and connect with her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

  • lisahendey

    Just want to point my friends to Kathy Schiffer’s awesome post at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2011/03/no-your-friend-can%E2%80%99t-sleep-on-my-couch-a-facebook-manifesto/ on this topic. Ditto, what she said….

  • Pingback: Can we be (real) friends? | bothand()

  • http://www.bigbluewave.ca SUZANNE

    I won’t friend you if:

    * You’re a complete stranger and you have NO information on your profile. How rude to expect me to be your friend without letting me know who you are.

    * You’re male and your only friends are nice-looking females… Especially applies to men from men from foreign countries, especially in Africa… gives me the impression you’re looking for a ticket to my country…

    * You don’t write in a language I understand.

    * You’re a liberal. I have a few liberal friends but… don’t really want to add.

    * You expect me to friend you based on the number of mutual friends we have in common.

    • lisahendey

      Suzanne – that “mutual friend” thing is becoming more of an issue for me. Now when I receive a friend request, I’m often concerned that if my friends see someone is a “mutual friend” with me, that serves to encourage them to accept the request… I’m just trying to be more careful in general, but this is a big issue for me. Thanks for commenting.

  • http://www.soundmindandspirit.com Lisa@SoundMindandSpirit

    Lisa, I just had to laugh out loud when I read # 4! Oh no. It just sounds so creepy. But I have had a few of those myself. Great list!

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com Sarah Reinhard

    I’m just gonna steal your list, cuz it’s right on.

    I started honing down my FB about a year ago, because I couldn’t find my nieces in all the clutter of “friends” and their games and rants and wow! They were people I DO NOT KNOW.

    Though I do share some professional stuff in my personal feed, that’s as much for distant family (and I take a bit of a different tone than I do on my professional pages).

    I feel you on this. I’m right there with you.

    And if you call THIS a rant…well, I’d hate to see what you call me when I’m feeling pretty cheerful about things! :) Love you Lisa!!! :)

  • Cheryl Albernaz

    Dear Father Finelli; Paul and I like your style. You stand up for God and what you believe in. Keep walking in your truth my friend. God will reward you.

  • Kristi Kille

    Here’s my list, just to let you all know:

    1. I no longer accept anyone who is not from an English-speaking country, if I can tell that they’re not—sometimes I can tell just by looking at their name. But, if they’re from a European country, I usually accept them.

    2. If they use a Saint’s name, name of an organization, or any non-human name, I no longer accept them.

    3. And, generally, we must have at least 10 mutual “friends”.

    I used to not have any limitations. But, since I’m close to my 5,000 friends limit, I now have to set limitations and go through my friends list as well. After all, why should I keep someone, whom I never correspond with, who does not understand English and whom I don’t understand, when there are other people out there, who do speak English and would need to read some of the uplifting, Godly, stuff that I post?

    God bless you all!!! :)

  • Fr. Andrew, OFM Conv.

    close to 5000 friends? Wow. I work at a midsize university and so my friends list includes many students. If you’re not a student or staff member then in order to make my friends list we had to have had an in person interaction. The only exception to that rule is Joanne McPortland and Elizabeth Scalia…I just love their columns and what they post in their news feed.

  • Jeanne

    I do the same thing. I don’t like to befriend an entity. Sometimes companies make that mistake because they’re new to facebook, they want people to befriend them, but they don’t realize that it is better to have them like your page, if only for the simple fact that people who are really thinking about it, would not want to let unknown, random people have access to everything they themselves post on facebook.

    I also do not accept just anyone on facebook. I want to know who they are first, and if I don’t know them, I want to know why they want to be friends with me. I have actually made a couple of friends through facebook, either because they are friends of friends and have seen my comments and were interested in getting to know me, or because they’ve come across my blog, contacted me through my page and then become friends. I’m actually glad I had the opportunity to get to know these people, but it is always better to be careful with whom we become friends.

  • http://healthread.net Sue Joan

    I decline the guys looking for “love” or whatever. Otherwise, I’m pretty open. Have almost 700 friends. And I joined FB just for family. Got out of hand, methinks. ** sigh **

  • Leslie Lenko

    Liked the article and what caught my attention was the “entity” comment. I have found that sometimes the name of a store will come up as a friend request. It causes one to wonder who is running that page behind the invisible screen? Not such a good idea there. So the “entity” is a good point. For me, I always look to mutual friends and then is there are no mutual friends what is the common ground. I have known people who have accepted any and all friend requests to have a high total of friends only to have problems come up further down the road. I like your comment Lisa about praying for many of your friends via FB. I also do the same.

  • http://www.catholicinfertilityjourney.com Angelique Ruhi-Lopez

    I am holding you publicly accountable for #3 – Spanish lessons in Miami, 2013. :o)

    • lisahendey

      Remember the plan — me volunteering as auntie/nanny for dos semanas in exchange for lessons!! Hugs!