In the Loop

In the Loop: October 9, 2007 Archive

"Friend" was a verb before Facebook

Posted at 11:12 AM on October 9, 2007 by Larissa Anderson

As if we needed any more complications in our everyday social interactions, online social networks have created a whole new slew of potentially awkward moments just waiting to happen.

For a little help, you can read this article in Slate about Facebook etiquette, which answers such questions as

How long should you wait to send a friend request to someone you've just met?

How do you decide whether it's OK to friend someone?

and

Is it OK to de-friend someone?

The thing is, these questions are not all that silly.

I walk the shy road on Myspace, rarely reaching out to someone - even someone I'm friends with in real space and time - by asking to be their friend. I'm almost always aloof online. Should I friend more people? When other people want to friend me, should I care if they have questionable comments on their profile page? Should I labor over how casual or cool I do or don't sound when I make a comment on someone else's profile page?

On second thought, is this really all that new? Maybe this is just like it's always been when people try to meet and conversate and inevitebly, those awkward social moments arise - like that embarrassing scene where Mike from Swingers leaves a message for a girl he met at a bar.


Except there's no beep on Facebook.

October 2007
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