The Oracle of Apollo Snippets from the life of Apollo Lee

Aug 08, 2007 - 14:08

Friends, Web

Declining Your Friend Request

I’m on a large number of social networks. On some of them, people see my profile and add me out of the blue.

After receiving numerous such friend requests, particularly on new social networks, like Twitter and Pownce, I thought I’d put together a list so you don’t think I’m a total fucking prick if I decline you. If I know you or have met you and remember your name, there’s almost no chance I’ll reject your request. I like people and I, like many other people, don’t mind having more friends.

Five Reasons I’ve Declined Your Friend Request

  1. You haven’t introduced yourself – If I don’t know you, that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t want to know you. One person whose blog I read regularly (a post about him is coming up soon) had something in common with me and we emailed back and forth for a few years before we ever met, for one hour, in person at MacWorld Expo. I’m happy to add him to my friends list on any social network we’re both on. He didn’t add me on MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter out of the blue. We established communication via our common interest in cycling and blogging (never tried doing both at the same time, tangentially). So, you want to be in my friends network? Send a note to introduce yourself—even if it’s at the same time as you click “Add to friends.”
  2. You’re a friend collector – If you and I don’t have anything in common and I check out your profile after the blind friend request, the first thing I check to see is how many friends you have. If you’ve got more than 300 friends on fledgling social networks or more than 1000 on other networks, I’m going to be highly dubious of whether you really know all those people (there are some exceptions). Too many blog marketeers and SEO monkeys are on the blogosphere adding people to try to drum up business. I’m not a prospect. I’m just some dude with an opinion and a love for filling out “Join” forms.
  3. You’re a too-hot-to-be-real chick – If you’re an underwear model who loves jazz music, web technology, kayaking, and dancing, who lives in the Bay Area, I really want to meet you if we have stuff in common. I mean, who doesn’t like hot people? If you can’t spell and you live in Eastern Europe, you’re a spammer.
  4. Your profile is offensive to me – If you’re chuckleheaded about drinking and driving or you’re all ranty about how the liberals are destroying America, sorry. You should look at my profile, read whatever links from it (including this) and not just add me out of the blue. You should parse what it is that I say on the various social networks I’m on and reach a conclusion about who I am.
  5. Your profile is loud and annoying – This is especially for myspacers. Yes, I have a myspace account. I don’t check it that often. If I look at your profile, though, and it looks like you used the blingy skin with really meaningful music, like the top 40 song that 125 million other people have also added as their heartfelt obsession, and you’re really sure you want to make a connection with me, Google me and find me on a different network.

Wow. I’m long-winded today. Too much coffee, probably. So, here’s the take away from this half-baked list:

If I don’t know you and you want to be my friend on a social network, send me a note introducing yourself first. That will let me get back to you, build some common ground, and add you as an awesome new friend. Isn’t that how it works in real life?


Posted by
Aug 08, 2007 - 14:08

This applies to a lot of things on the waves of internetdom. Like having to leave comments or replying to things or putting any effort into anything online. Everyone feels obligated (or at least used to) to return the favor. If people take offense to that, then they need to buck up or log off. Don’t feel like an ass because you don’t want to add Joe Blow #24322.

Posted by
Aug 08, 2007 - 19:08

Very well considered post Apollo. I’ve been meaning to write something up similar, and perhaps your fine writing will inspire me to finally do so. I’ll be sure to cite this post as a reference.

Posted by
Aug 10, 2007 - 13:08

Why Won’t You Be My Neighbor?…

In Declining Your Friend Request , Apollo writes: I’m on a large number of social networks. On some of them, people see my profile and add me out of the blue. After receiving numerous such friend requests, particularly on new social networks, like Tw…

Posted by
Daniel R
Aug 13, 2007 - 20:08


Like Tantek said, this is a great article. I’m definitely going to reference this to other people. Thanks for sharing this.

– Daniel

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