1. People who honk their horn.
2. Pepperoni pizza.
3. The 2008 Detroit Lions.
4. The guy who programmed my cell phone camera, etc. etc....
5. The guy whose house I'm stalking.
6. Water's natural tendency to expand when it freezes.
8. People who are just a little too serious about online "friendships."
Way way back when, I joined "MySpace." Not because I particularly enjoy reading OMGLOL 10,000 times a day, and not because I enjoy rubbing cyberelbows with drunken fratboys and pedophiles, but to help promote my then-beginning efforts at writing.
Then I joined a site called "Gather," and most recently, I joined "Facebook." And I've found, at each of those three stops, that there is a certain kind of person who joins social networks... but doesn't want to be too social.
What I do, on these networks, is this: I locate actual, real-world friends (I have, at last count, more than 2) and people interested in writing and reading, and then I try to "friend" them. And then I try to "Friend" their "friends," using the associative principal of social networks.
Remember the associative principal? It's something like If A=B and B=C, then your kids will still blame you if they get poor grades and they'll say you didn't try to help them because you were busy playing Dr. Slider with the Babies!
The principal I use is something like Hey, I friended this publisher, and this person did too, maybe they're interested in the same things I am.
So I try to friend them and move on. (Then, of course, my "friends" can contact me and read the updates, blah blah blah.)
But every now and then, I get emails back from people I've tried to friend, and those people tend to say something like Do I know you? Or How did you find me?
Those people are bad enough. I want to email to them something like No, you don't know me, but I've been standing outside your bedroom every night for 417 consecutive days. Or, perhaps, No, but does it matter? You're in LONDON.
I don't get it, frankly. I guess I understand if they want to limit their circle of online friends to people they know. Because that's what the Internet, society, and life, in fact, is all about: restricting your contacts and associations to only those people you already know.
But what I don't get is why not just ignore it? Why not simply ignore or delete the request and move on with your life? One person emailed me and said "I'm sorry, I don't friend people I don't know." But you do email them?
Another person complained that I had friended her friends, and said she was being besieged by emails from those friends complaining that I was sending them stuff, like an invitation to read my blog. She said I should have asked her permission to contact her friends before contacting them.
So, to keep that straight: these people were so perturbed by getting an Inbox request to read something, that they then emailed another person to complain, and that person emailed me to complain that I was "uncool" for doing that?
What, was the "delete" key out of order that day? Not enough to do at work?
So, look: if you get a request from me... or from anyone... to "friend" you, or to read their blog, or look at their video, or listen to a song, and you don't want to do it, here's some advice:
1. Take a deep breath.
2. Cancel the emergency alert to the anti-harassment authorities.
3. Uncurl from the fetal position.
4. Come out from under the desk.
5. Delete the request.
6. Get on with your life.
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