3 Examples of Facebook Awkwardness

Can Facebook actually be more awkward than this? You bet!

Facebook is a wonderful place for communications – for keeping in touch with people.  Yet like any social circle it has it’s awkward moments.

Here are examples of three of them.  Please feel free to add your own.

1. Fan Me!

I’m sure this has happened to you.

One of your Facebook friends sends you an invite to be a fan of their business or blog or hobby page.  You don’t do any business with them.  You don’t read their blog.  You don’t engage in their hobby.

Yet you feel obligated to accept – even though you don’t want to.  Some people do accept and just suck it up as the price of not offending anyone.

But there are some of us (yes, I’m part of this group) that declines.  And guess what happens next?  The “friend” inevitably sends another invite.  The awkwardness just reached a new level of discomfort.

Blogger Mark Drapeau at Cheeky Fresh puts it more bluntly in a recent post: “Not only do I not give a crap about being your “Fan” (whatever that means), your in-your-face tactics just make your numbers inauthentic, and therefore, meaningless. So basically, your actions are meaningless. Is that any way to go through life?”

Then there is the other side of the equation.  Why in the world are you inviting random people to be fans of your business, blog or hobby page?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having a “fan”?  Aren’t fans supposed to passionate about what they are fans about?  What are you hoping to accomplish by collecting fans that, in fact, really aren’t fans?

2. How utterly random

Sitting in my inbox, untouched so far, are two invitations for “friends.”  One is a woman (apparently a blogger) who I have never heard of.  She has not emailed or called me to introduce herself.  She has not – as far as I know – commented on HighTalk or aggregated or shared any the content I produce here.  I have absolutely no idea why she wants to be my “friend.”

The second invite is from an acquaintance.  My family has a lake house in Maine and the invite is from one of our neighbors.  A very nice man who I’ve shared a few conversations with.  But nothing intimate.  The conversations have been polite, but always superficial.  In fact, the neighbor is much friendlier with my mother and father.

Awkward?  You bet.

The reason is we all use Facebook differently.  I use it to connect with people I’ve met and share common interests with.  I primarily use it as a water cooler – not a place to share family details or photographs.  I think of Facebook as an extension of my work life – but the intimate work life.  So most of the people I am connect with (and there are many exceptions!) are related to that part of my life.

So that neighbor of mine?  Does he really want to read status updates focused on PR and social media?  Probably not.  In fact, the stranger who blogs would probably find my content more interesting.

3. Not really a friend

You connect with someone you know on Facebook and then discover that you have been blocked from just about every piece of content on their site.

You can’t look at their photos.  You can’t see their videos.  You are even banned from their profile information.

What’s the point?

Facebook has become so big – so ubiquitous – that we now connect with people that we don’t really want to connect with, but feel obligated to.  We just don’t have the inner fortitude to say no when that invite comes a knocking.

So rather than say no – we say yes – and then put them in the corner with Baby.

In many ways, this is more awkward than being rejected.  Because rather than a no to friend request – you get a kind of.  It’s like being invited to join a fraternity – only you can only go to the frat house on Mondays and Tuesdays in the morning.  The rest of the time?  You’re banned.

So how about you?  Any Facebook awkwardness you’d like to share?

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4 Responses to “3 Examples of Facebook Awkwardness”

  1. George will think this bit of awkwardness is aimed at him, but it’s not (in fact, I appreciate his insightful observations about a number of things, including social media and football, even if we don’t vote the same way). My complaint is friends who have one-track minds and post repeated entreaties to support their political causes and candidates, while loudly bashing those who may be in opposition. Sure, the occasional request to support a candidate for office or the president’s health care measure is fine, but a steady drumbeat is off-putting; it’s like the bellicose uncle at Thanksgiving who simply can’t shut up. In one instance, I’ve resorted to hiding a friend’s posts, rather than taking the awkward step of un-friending her altogether. To use George’s clever comparison of Facebook to an electronic water cooler, when it comes to that one friend, I no longer stop by that particular cooler.

  2. Great post! Facebook certainly raises some potential awkwardness as different aspects of one’s life collide online. I once maintained a theory that my boyfriend’s sister hated me because she’d never written on my wall, only to discover I’d set a limited profile for her years ago that doesn’t allow her to even access my wall. At least it debunked my theory! 🙂

    More awkward yet is the de-friend. Something reminds you of an acquaintance you’ve lost touch with, you go to check out their profile only to discover you’re no longer friends. I once seriously considered messaging an old work colleague of mine to ask why she’s chosen to de-friend me, then I realized it’s each person’s own prerogative to manage his/her Facebook activity as seen fit.

  3. Two great examples, John and Lauren.

    BTW – I’ve already gotten five inbox emails from Facebook friends apologizing for sending me “fan” requests…

    I promise that I didn’t mean anyone specifically!


  1. Tweets that mention 3 Examples of Facebook Awkwardness « HighTalk -- Topsy.com - January 27, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kate Deramo, George Snell and George Snell, kelvin lee. kelvin lee said: 3 Examples of Facebook Awkwardness http://bit.ly/9xClYH […]

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