What Merits a Facebook Friend Request?

by Tony Chung on July 14, 2008

Have you ever received friend requests from people you’ve maybe met once but didn’t even introduce yourselves to each other during that time? Does that justify a friend request?


Getting awkward requests from people I’ve exchanged 0-5 words with is simply… strange. Usually the friend request will have an attached message like:

Stranger: “Hey… I think I met you before through ______…”
My response: “…And…?”

Seriously though, should my response be: “Oh! Right! Therefore we are friends! Let me add you to my cache of facebook friends!” I can’t help but feel: 1. maybe this person simply wants to increase his army of friends on facebook and boost his popularity, and/or 2. less respect for that person.

I think this is worth thinking about, because when a friend request is not completely merited, it could put a potentially good friendship or relationship into jeopardy (suppose the receiver rejects the friend request). It’s like asking a favor of someone you don’t even know that well (but not as severe obviously).

So let’s think about this. What really merits a facebook friend request? Besides the obvious reasons (e.g. your social group of friends), here’s a small list of my justifications:

  1. We’ve introduced ourselves to each other and conversed on a topic we can both relate on for at least a few minutes.
  2. We’ve messaged each other back and forth and are pretty familiar with each other (even though we’ve never physically met).
  3. Long-time close friend and we haven’t spoken in forever!
  4. Any relative.

Can you think of any others? I recently met a friend or two at a social outing, and by ‘met’, I mean simply introducing our names to each other. That’s it. This led to facebook friend requests.

Am I wrong to feel this is a bit strange?

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE making new friends. It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world really. But I learned through the years that the only friendships that matter in the long run are those with meaningful connections. Long-time friends. Not hey-I-know-you-and-you-know-me friends. Quite frankly, I’m not lacking in those types of friends and simply am not interested in meaningless friendships.

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