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Dealing with Facebook Friend requests from those not using Facebook

Facebook friend

It is really hard to accept Facebook Friend requests from people who do not “use” Facebook.

What I mean by “use” is regularly sharing items on Facebook. Whether it’s personal items (pictures of family etc), current affairs, or business related items doesn’t matter. All of these add value to my life.

Use does not include changing your profile picture everything six months or posting to Facebook a few times a year. Nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you choose, it’s just hard for people using Facebook to accept your Friend request.

Personal items enable me and others to get to know you better as a person. Current affairs and business items enable me to learn through reading and engagement with you and commenters.

A Facebook Friend is not like being a Twitter follower or a blog subscriber where you can follow and listen without participating.

What you see in your Facebook NewsFeed is determined by Facebook algorithms. Your Newsfeed does not include everything your Friends share. Facebook tends to include in your NewsFeed relevant items determined by your interests and the level of engagement you have with the person posting an item.

You do have the ability to follow someone on Facebook without being their friend. In fact, following someone may even increase the chances you’ll see in your NewsFeed most things that person is sharing.

As a Friend, without engagement between us on Facebook, you are unlikely to see the items I share. And without you using Facebook by posting items, there is no way I can engage you via a like, comment, or share.

I regularly accept friend requests from people I do not know personally, but who regularly share items. They tend to be people I want to get to know for business or personal reasons. They also tend to be people who share items of value to my life.

I also regularly ask to be Friends with people I do not know in person. I do so for the same reasons. To learn and to grow from the insight and commentary they share. And to get to know them.

For people who are very popular (I am far from it), they can only have 5,000 Facebook friends. That number sounds crazy, but a combination of the Facebook algorithms and grouping Friends by lists enables them to get the value and engagement they’re looking for. The point is for those folks, you may need to follow, as opposed to being a Friend.

I don’t toggle my Facebook NewsFeed by lists. I don’t even create lists. My NewsFeed is tailored only by the Friends I have, my interests and the engagement I have with my Facebook Friends.

It’s not my intent to be a Facebook snob by accepting Friend requests from only those who “use” Facebook. Like you, I am just trying to figure out the best way to use Facebook for relationships and news.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Enrico Policardo

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