(A Facebook addict like me should have posted this much earlier, but oh well!)
Ok guys, FB adds a new step to the friend request denial procedure – Not Now.
A simple Yes and No, or in FB terms, Confirm and Ignore has now become:
Step 1: Confirm and Not Now
Step 2: Confirm and Delete Request
My initial reaction to this feature was WTF! Either I want the requestor to be on my friend’s list or I don’t; what’s with the unnecessary grey area in the middle?
But then, social networking could easily be as complicated as rocket science itself!
If you thought managing relationships was a difficult task; it becomes even more formidable on cyber space.
Here are the broad categories most friend requests I receive fall in:
I The genuine friends...
...Those who make FB well worth the time I spend on it: lost and found childhood companions, friends from school and college, neighborhood peers, colleagues from work!
...Those I am very close to and those that I have seldom met. I don’t really mind family on FB and so long have been able to manage pretty well :D!
III The one-time met/seen/heard of acquaintances...
These are people I could easily qualify as weirdoes, if not stalkers. Your friend’s cousin’s friend you got introduced to at a mall; a colleague at work you attended a meeting with or saw at the coffee vending machine, and have never spoken to before or after that – forget spoken to – have never acknowledged his/her presence before or after that; the guy who helped you with your hand baggage in the plane (yes, I got one such friend request – we never even exchanged our names, so I am guessing he peeped into my boarding pass – how nightmarish!)
IV The complete strangers...
...The “do you want to do friendship with me”-“your profile pic looks great, so let’s be friends” category.
Till September, I was confidently using the Ignore option for the last category.
It was the third category of requests that left me in a fix to decide among the following options:
- Should I be politically correct and go ahead and add the person and later tweak my privacy settings?
- Do I care about social proprietary? FB is my personal space and I decide whom to share it with.
- Defer the decision.
Though the last option was quite convenient, FB would regularly pop the reminder, making me feel a tad bit guilty (gosh, I take FB way too seriously, don’t I?).
So now, the Not Now option comes to my rescue. It aids me in my indecisiveness – I can conveniently brush your request under the carpet – hide it, as per FB terminology, and never have to deal with my conscience because there are no reminders – yayay – how convenient!
Did I hear you smirk? Yes, I belong to the easy-way-out generation – why not? I have no qualms about it!
Therefore, my initial WTF reaction to Not Now has been now transformed to “not bad”.
Though I have always detested people who fall in the maybe-maybe not category when it comes to answering questions – be it in surveys or interviews or etc, I really don’t seem to mind it on social networking sites.
What FB could have done to make things easier is that they could have added a third button in Step 1 itself – Delete request.
So, at one go I can decide whether to hide the request for Category 3 or simple delete and report spam/block for Category 4. A simple usability enhancement!
What say? Not now?