Social Question

rojo's avatar

Why do casual acquaintances wish to become FB friends?

Asked by rojo (22818points) July 4th, 2017

In the past week I have been contacted by a renter from ten or eleven years back who moved to Florida and a former secretary from where I worked and I have not seen nor heard from in over 20 years since she moved to Phoenix.
I liked both ladies but we did not socialize nor have a relationship outside of renter/landlord or work associate type.
The only thing we have in common, to my knowledge, is that many years ago we knew each other for a period of time.
I don’t want to be rude, but I really have no interest and so will not.
But, what is the draw? Why reach out to those who you would do nothing but have an awkward, somewhat uncomfortable moment with were you to both meet on the streets. I have viewed their pages while writing this and both have between 150 and 250 “friends” so it is not like they need another sounding board. I don’t understand it.

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21 Answers

rockfan's avatar

More than half of my Facebook friends are aquantiences – from past jobs, high school, college, meetup groups, etc. I think it’s normal, Facebook is about connecting with people, not just people you know really well. Just my opinion

NomoreY_A's avatar

I don’t mess with Facebook. I think the friend me thing is just juvenile High School type crap. Blow it off and move on. Just my own two cents worth.

Sneki2's avatar

Because they want to know you better and be your friends?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have been surprised at how differently I view casual acquaintances from the past when they get on Facebook. You actually learn so much more about them in that venue. Some I’ve been sorely disappointed in and I just unfriend them. As for the rest, we have fun! Mostly.
A good number of those on my list are people I’ve never met, just people I stumbled across on Facebook and they caught my interest. Those are some of the best ones.
I wouldn’t shut my self off from anyone, until they’ve proven themselves unworthy.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

That is one of the reasons I deleted my Facebook account a few years back, I had people I barely knew or didn’t know at all wanting to be my friend.

My brother lets me use his account to see what distant aunts and relatives are up to,and still only use it maybe once a month or less, have a cousin down south in the us that most post to Facebook at least 89 times a day,no thanks.

Coloma's avatar

I just recently opened a FB acct. after deleting my old one and not participating since 2011.
I have no desire to get reemed with hundreds of “friends” postings or collect hundreds of “friends.”
I am keeping my friends list to 10 or less. Think I have 5 or 6 now, all jellies from this site and my daughter.

I was reluctant to open another FB, but I did so to follow my daughters travels in Europe in May, and then, upon my suspension here I was invited to the jelly group on FB. I have zero personal info up and don’t plan of doing so. I like to remain fairly incognito and have zero desire to hook up with certain people from my past. Keep it simple is my mantra.

Zaku's avatar

Who knows? I’m sure different people have many different ways of relating to Facebook, rather than there being some answer we can give.

For example, I have a FB out of curiosity, with fake info, which I have some people I know on, and others who just share some interests or political alignments, and I mostly post fun things and environmental and political stuff on it. I rarely invite a casual in-person acquaintance unless I think they want to see a bunch of political petitions and stuff.

canidmajor's avatar

Maybe these people think fondly of you and are simply, and genuinely curious as to how you are doing now.
A number of people from my small high school contacted me to be friends on FB and I am delighted I accepted. We are all more interesting now, 40 years later, and I would not have missed getting to know these people again for anything.
That’s why I accept, and sometimes make these requests, anyway.

I like FB, unlike so many on Fluther, I like my FB friends and being in touch.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Hilarious Urban Dictionary definition of Facebook: “Sign up for facebook and let the US government know exactly what you’re up to at all times! Remember to use your real name! And get used to all that farming! Once the Bilderbergs take over all you’re going to have is dirt”.

jca's avatar

I have a FB account and I have a lot of friends. Jelly friends (it gives an added dimension when you’re friends on FB as well as being friends on Fluther), work friends, family friends, you name it.

As for why, sometimes it’s just that if I am at an event with someone and we take photos, it’s easier to share the photos if we just friend each other.

Sometimes, with someone I knew long ago, it’s just out of concern and curiosity. It’s nice to get in touch with a friend I had from a long time ago. FB has put me in touch with people I knew when I was in elementary school, and even a half-sister. It’s just a way to keep in touch and follow each other forever.

AshlynM's avatar

I’m sure some people just want their friend count to go up, no other reason. They could care less about the person and more about having a million friends.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some, I suppose @AshlynM. I have reconnected with people from high school, most of whom were “casual acquaintances” back then. One of them was responsible for stealing my boyfriend, who I’d dated for a year, in 11th grade. We became super good friends on Facebook, actually.
Others I now wish I’d known better in high school, and I’m glad to have that chance now.

Others, who I counted as good friends then, now leaving scratching my head today going “WTH was I thinking???”

Just try it. You’ll see a different side of them on Facebook, just like I see a different side of all the Jelly friends I have on Facebook too.

NomoreY_A's avatar

@Dutchess_III Funny how people change over time. I’ve had experiences like that too, even though I don’t do Facebook. But I’ve run into people I knew in school that I never cared for much, and we’d end up b.s.ing on a street corner and exchanging addresses and phone numbers, so we could get together. I’ve encountered others I knew well, and it’s pretty much well, nice to see ya, got to run. Funny how things work out sometimes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

With my friends from high school, who I’ve seen IRL since Facebook, my 15 year old self can still relate to them. But my 58 year old self can’t. It’s like they never really matured from those days.
The boyfriend stealer turned out to be the one I liked the very most. But then…she died. So sad.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Well that sucks… now I’m bummed out. Sorry to hear that Dutchess. I’d like to console you with platitudes like how she’s in a better place, but I just can’t. I just don’t buy it. But I am sorry.

Coloma's avatar

^ Well..on an up note, she can’t steal anyones boyfriends anymore. LOL

NomoreY_A's avatar

I do enjoy me a person with a sense of humor – kudos, Ms. Coloma, thanks for the chuckle!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, for what it’s worth it didn’t make me laugh. She was my friend. I’m glad I took the time to get to know her instead of stewing over a very real heartbreak that happened over 40 years ago.

@NomoreY_A No worries. I don’t buy any of it either. But I appreciate you taking the time to make the mention.
I never know what the hell to say to people when they post “PRAY FOR MY MOTHER!” I mean, I want to acknowledge in words that I hear and sympathize, but with a few exceptions I can’t pretend like I actually believe prayer will work.
I want to say, “I’m so sorry. I’ll be thinking of her.” But that sounds so lame compared to calling upon all the gods and angels and powers of the universe to care for this woman.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Open mouth, insert foot. I’m good at that. No offense intended.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No problem. I appreciate the turn around. I made a joke that back fired not to long ago. I’ve been much more careful about what I joke about now.

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