I sure hope that you’ll say yes, because the problem that this tip will solve is starting to look like an epidemic.
Facebook is built on connecting with people and becoming their “friend”. Once you are friends with someone you can start to share your life stream with them and they can share theirs with you. Works really well and we gain a deeper understanding of the other person. As a bonus, when we interact with their posts, their friends have the opportunity to see the interaction and “chime in” with their thoughts, which can lead to us making new friends. It’s awesome how well it works.
But, with all of the hysteria about privacy, I think that some of us have thrown out the baby with the bath water.
It seems like every friend request that I get is sent to me with just the Facebook standard request message of “so and so wants to be your friend”. Unless I really know you (in other words we have actually met face to face more than once) I am going to click on your name to see what I can learn about you. When I do that lately, I end up at your profile which has been configured in such a way that I cannot get information about you! Facebook tells me that “so and so only shares some of his/her profile information with everyone”. In other words, I have to accept the friendship to find out if I want to be friends with so and so! And that my friends is absurd! When I see that, I simply choose to ignore the friend request.
Here is a way to solve the problem. When you send a friend request to someone, take a few minutes to personalize the message. Let the person know how you come to be asking to create a friendship. Maybe you have friends in common, if so, be sure to tell them. Maybe you went to the same schools, or worked for the same companies in the past. Maybe you like what they have written, maybe you just like the way they look. What ever it is, please take a moment to let the object of your friendship request know who you are and why you are asking for the connection.
Maybe I am getting old and cranky, but it seems to me that this could solve the problem and get the new friendship off to a great start by identifying the common ground that you stand on right from the beginning.
What do you think? Am I on track or should I just go chill out?