Can I add you? The dilemmas and perils of the friend request

How soon is too soon? It seems to be a question I don’t think much about when it comes to my online persona. You meet a guy, a girl, maybe they’re a regular customer at your work, or you met them out partying, whatever. Now, take that person and fast forward a week. This in particular sticks in my mind, as of recently I have had a few different people and their burning desires find my online handles and friend request me. I accepted, more so because I thought it didn’t hurt to have more indirect exposure and access to my blog and my social media character (selfish?). Maybe they would find it inspiring and creative, or maybe their mind doesn’t even swing that way. When I confronted a man via text regarding his Facebook friend request for me, he said that he thought “it would be cool to add you…I’m not good with this social media stuff”. He asked me if he did something wrong, and after exploring his online profile, I felt he had. It was weird that he didn’t have an edgy social media presence. Is it weird that I strive to? There were so many group photos of family and friends, random bars he had tagged locations, a lack of spontaneity and originality. It wasn’t that I was upset with him, I felt bad for him. I pray that his cousins in Portugal don’t pop up on my feed, but he’s just that kind of guy, that’s not my problem.

In an age where we have so much access to art, literature, photography at the swipe of a smart phone, I couldn’t picture myself with the guy that has a blurry profile photo of him in a suit. Like some of my closest friends, we use social media with some purpose; we post about events, parties, things we’re making, writing. Then there’s the rest of the scary unknown world: people who use Facebook or Twitter to rant about life, Syria, and abortion with expert precision (JK), there’s people like my mother who posts the same photo of me and her multiple times because she can’t figure out how to add more photos to her profile, or posting food and babies. This guy obviously does not make it a priority to create himself an online personality, that’s not a crime; he’s more inclined to maintain his Chinatown condo that overlooks the whole city. The problem causes some unaesthetic perspective for the person’s profile; the lack of the profile’s activity, the lack of witty captions, shitty quality photos. If you cringe at the way someone is actively using social media, maybe that’s when you have to break it to Mom. There has really only been a handful of people I have shunned off my forms of technology because I felt smothered and uncomfortable, but I know others who have dealt with stalkers, impersonators, or a crazy ex and had to go further lengths to resolve the problem. I guess I’m lucky in that sense, and any publicity is better than none, but don’t be offended if I delete you after the second date.


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