Everyday I get an “add friend request” on a social networking Web site from someone I don’t know. Sure, we attended the same high school, and we sat across from each other in math class. Would I like to share photos of my family with you? Nope.
Maybe if this site had an “acquaintance request” or “long lost gym-class-suffering-compatriot request,” I’d be more apt to add you.
Most people add everyone under the sun, and have a 282-friend count, including Dane Cook (Seriously? Dane doesn’t have friends.) and Barack Obama (who does not count Dane as a friend). But the number means the opposite to me. My profile is akin to an exclusive Manhattan club with seating for seventeen and a nine-month wait list.
I have no desire to share this tiny slice of my life with strangers. The guy in the alley going through my trash doesn’t send me pineapple gifts, and he has the good sense to not ask if he can sit on my couch, flip through photo albums, and ask what I’m doing right now.
I never know how to politely respond to the friend requests. I’ve pondered turning them down like a credit card company: Thank you for your interest at this time, but we feel you would be better served by a friendship with Dane Cook.
Or we could roll with the truth: Hello, it’s nice to hear from you. The best way to reach me is through email.
Where do you draw the line between friends and family and acquaintances / ex-coworkers / people you’ve heard of but don’t recall?