It’s creepy to friend request someone a generation younger than you. I mean, really really creepy. Don’t do it. Then you are a creep.
I learned this early in my social media life. Years ago, when Facebook became an athletic department nemesis, our Director of Athletics gathered the entire department in a large classroom and explained that each coach needed to get on Facebook and see the pictures their student athletes posted and tagged. 14 of our 16 sports had pictures tagged which, if not an NCAA violation, were a violation of our code of behavior.
They were given one week to clean things up and staff was asked to set up an account and poke around, as well. I set my account up then forgot about it. About a month before my son was graduating from high school I got my first friend request. It was from his best friend. I only knew because I got an e-mail about his request and that he wrote on my wall. My wall?
I accepted and took a peek at my account but still had no idea how it really worked. Within a week at least 20 of his friends requested me and I accepted them all. My son thought it was the strangest thing and did not want to have any part of me being on Facebook. I totally respected his feelings and never EVER asked him to include me. This was his world and I did not want to interfere.
The kids included me in conversation and when they went away to school they kept in touch with a quick post or tag. Sometime first semester my son requested me and I enjoy being a part of this world.
Here are my rules:
I never request anyone a generation younger than me. That includes my cousin’s kids, my son’s friends and kids in the neighborhood. If they want me in their timeline they request me. I am pleased to say I have developed wonderful relationships with many of the “cousins” and respect their invitations by not stalking their wall.
Unless they are close personal friends, I do not request any co-workers. I think it is important to recognize that relationships at work are not the same as relationships outside of work.
If I do not recognize a name (especially a female who chooses not to use her maiden name) and we have no friends in common, I ignore. Linkedin and Twitter are the professional me. Facebook is a peek inside my living room. I don’t open my door to strangers.
That little icon pops up and gives me a burst of excitement every time. Who will it be? Is it someone I haven’t heard from in years? High school? College? I can hardly wait to click the little red icon and see who it is…
Life is good!