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December 19, 2007

Facebook limbo

Lorcan Dempsey mentioned to me in passing that the Urban Dictionary word of the day on December 16th was Facebook limbo (OK, I know that's technically two words!).  Facebook limbo is:

the electronic space between accepting and rejecting a facebook friendship.

'Friending limbo' (I've just made that up) is a condition affecting any social network of course, not just Facebook, and I guess we all have our own rules of thumb about when to accept and when to reject.  Mine are roughly as follows:

  • if I know the person asking to be my friend then I accept - hey, I'm easy!
  • if I don't know the person and we have no friends in common, then I reject - I'm easy but I do have some standards!
  • if I don't know the person and we have at least one friend in common, then I put them in limbo for up to one month then think about it again.

Now, if I'm honest, people that go into limbo rarely go anywhere else except into the reject pile (a bit like those emails that you don't deal with straight away and that subsequently disappear into your inbox, never to be seen again).  As time passes I just feel more and more guilty about leaving them in limbo.  Furthermore, the notion of 'knowing' someone is less than biblical - having exchanged one email, Facebook message or line of chat in Second Life is sufficient - and the rule about 'at least one friend in common' is treated somewhat fuzzily at times (like it may depend on who the friend in common is - some friends carry more weight than others).  But other than that the rules above more or less capture my typical behaviour.

To a certain extent, I'm aware that other people will have a similar set of rules when they consider friend requests from me.  I certainly don't always expect to get accepted.

Seeing as it's nearly Christmas and this is a somewhat lighthearted post, I'll confess my worst evar reason for asking someone to be a Facebook friend, "You have amazing eyes and I want them to appear on my profile".  Gad, I'm such a smooth talker (though I did mean it).  It worked as well! :-)


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