Sunday, August 31, 2008

Facebook Follies

Let me say this right now: I am not one of those people who will add people to my Facebook friends list willy-nilly. I don't ask every person on my friends' friend lists, and I generally only accept friend invitations if I actually know you--that is, if we've worked together, or we've been friends at some point in the past or present, or if I've communicated with you regularly in some capacity. Since this includes a rather wide range of people, including my online and blogging friends, I have a decent-sized friends list.

However: even if we have something in common such as going to school together or having friends in common, I might not add a person on that basis alone. And I surely am not going to add someone whom I remember but didn't actually like.

This is what happened to me this past week. I get a friend request from somebody whose name seems vaguely familiar. We don't have any friends in common, but out of curiosity I click on their profile. It turns out, yes, the person went to my high school, as I was starting to suspect. Then, the more I thought about it, I realized that yes, I did recognize the person's name, and, what's more, I couldn't stand 'em.

In fact, the one extended conversation I even remember having with this person was a rather confrontational one about religious beliefs. As I recall, they were the ones to bring the topic up in the first place, in an argumentative fashion. Since I generally follow the attitude that religion and politics are no-nos in polite conversation--and did even in high school, though I was more willing to debate politics at that point--this was clearly not a situation I was happy to be in. From what I remember, this person started asking me about my religious beliefs. I told them, well, I'm kinda sorta Catholic (which was true at the time). The rest of the conversation went something like this:

Teenage Zealot: Oh. Catholics aren't really Christian. They don't even believe in the Bible.
Me: Yeah, they do--they just don't always take the Bible literally.
TZ: Well, they should take the Bible literally. Anyway, it doesn't matter, since you're all going to go to hell anyway.
Me (having entirely lost patience): Well, half my family is Muslim and Islam says that Christians are all going to hell, so I guess I'll see you there.

Oh snap. Admittedly that's a pretty weak retort, but it was all I could come up with on the spur of the moment at the age of, I think, fifteen. Witty comebacks have never been my specialty, despite reading all the Mad Magazine Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.

So, yeah. Needless to say, I did not accept this person's friend request. Getting the request in the first place was a sort of WTF moment, unless they just don't remember who I am and...are maybe adding people willy-nilly.

3 comments:

Chris Cope said...

Huh? Catholics don't believe in the Bible? Did person perhaps think that Catholics are Hindus?

I am the sort of person who will add anyone who sends a friend request. I do this in part because I want to be an author and I tend to feel that I won't sell any books if I reject people's half-hearted totally empty and valueless attempts to befriend me. But the side-effect is that there are a few people in there that I'm pretty sure I never liked. There are also people that I'm pretty sure never liked me.

And I will call you out only because I can: You are a the child bride's Facebook friend, how does this match your friend-adding criteria? ;)

TadMack said...

Oh, maybe you're REALLY lucky, and your putting-the-fun-in-fundamental buddy is hoping to get back in touch with you and make sure you're still as big a hell-bent, non-Biblical horribly non-Christian Catholic as you were previously, and then, you know save you. To get those extra stars on their crown.

Okay. Sorry. Sometimes my own peeps make me a little tired.

Admittedly, this is why I only have, like thirty some friends on Facebook. I don't know a lot of people, and I've decided that I don't probably *want* to know some others... I'm like that on my Goodreads, too. I am STILL beyond confused that the one weird chick who went off on me for giving her book only one star... the next day sent a friend request. Um, no?

a. fortis said...

Chris:
Occasionally I gotta break my own rules. Plus, if we have enough mutual friends and there isn't a good reason NOT to add a person, I might cave. Like with, say, a friend's significant other, perhaps...

TadMack:
I feel just as weird about adding people on GoodReads. More so, sometimes. For instance, why would I give a flying you-know-what about what some random person I knew in high school is reading? Even if I liked them okay in the past and they're my Facebook friend.