Social networking is an interesting beast, and it continues to evolve. I know I’ve dipped my toe in many a construct [friendster, opendiary, livejournal, myspace, facebook], but I’ve learned a thing or two, having tried these things for a while. So here are my rules:
1. I am not here to meet new people – if I don’t know you, I never will. This is not to say that I’m opposed to meeting new people in real life. Or even online. But there must be a connection between us – we must have already had some conersation – before I will friend you on facebook. And even then, that’s not a guarantee.
2. If I know you IRL and you are under 21, we can’t be friends. Pretty much ever. I have made special exceptions for a couple people due to needing to keep up with one, and the other needing an adult female role model/support person. Otherwise, chickadees, you have been/will be relegated to facebook limbo.
3. If I know you IRL and you are the age of my parents, we can’t be friends. Period. This is because we are *not* friends. At some point, there may be exceptions made for coworkers. As of yet, there has been no need, as my older coworkers are not on facebook.
4. If we weren’t friends then, we’re not friends now. When I was a kid, there were some kids who were mean to me. I’m not special – this happens to everyone. But I wasn’t friends with those mean kids. So why would I be now?
The rules are simple, and I don’t believe them to be harsh. They serve the purpose of allowing me to continue to be myself without self-censoring due to sensitive old people/minors/people who I know have something other than my best interest at heart.
Facebook has been an awesome tool to allow me to get back in touch with people as far back as elementary school, as well as a huge time suck since I’ve become embroiled in a few games such as Bejeweled Blitz and WordTwist. But sometimes it’s just nice to look at pictures of all my friends’ babies, too.
Right now I’ve got 12 people in limbo. I haven’t got the heart to simply ignore them, so there they sit – some for at least a year. But I’m ok with that.