Do You Vet Potential Facebook Friends?

I was motivated to write the following short commentary due to a comment which someone posted on Facebook under one of my graphics. This person and I have been Facebook “friends” for not quite seven years according to the “See Friendship” section of their timeline. Their comment was posted under the following graphic:

For the record, the reason why I placed the word “friends” in quotes in the previous paragraph is because I had to go to this particular person’s timeline in order to determine if we were even friends, because I obviously don’t even remember or recognize their name. Sound familiar?

“Why don’t you remember them?”, you may ask. Well, because the truth is that this person has rarely — if ever — engaged with me and the BBB ministry in any meaningful way — meaning likes, comments, shares or personal chats — in the almost seven years that we have been Facebook friends. In fact, just to make sure that my facts were right, before writing this commentary, I checked this person’s timeline as far back as November of 2018 — or eleven months ago — and since that time — and probably a lot earlier — they had not shared a single one of my graphics. Neither had they commented anywhere on my Facebook timeline, Facebook page, or in the BBB public group. And we most certainly have never had any private chats during this time, if ever.

As I have mentioned before, the only people who I remember on Facebook — or on any other social networks for that matter — are those whose names I see frequently on my timeline, on my Facebook page or in the BBB group. I suspect that the same situation occurs with most Facebook users; particularly if one happens to have thousands of friends, as I do.

In other words, whether it is on Facebook or on some other social network, we all carry a lot of dead weight around on our friends list. That is, people who we know very little to nothing about, and who we can’t even remember, precisely because they never make an appearance and engage with us. They are in fact complete strangers to us, and just a faceless name on our friends list.

So I am motivated to ask: What is the point of two people calling themselves “friends” on Facebook or anywhere else, if there is little or no engagement of any kind? In my view, it is similar to two people getting married, and then they each have their own bedroom, and engage in very little interaction, sexual or otherwise. Worse yet would be if they each live in their own house. Such a relationship is surely doomed to eventual failure. Sadly, this is a relationship in name only; just like many lukewarm Christians have with Jesus.

But what irked me the most about this person’s comment, is the fact that when they finally did pop their head out of the ditch, so-to-speak, it was to make a low jab with a criticizing, condescending comment. What they said was the following:

“So a person who wants to be a new friend has to measure up to your stature. Hmmm, sounds like a person has to climb a pedestal to be a friend.”

Apparently, this person made this comment all because I ask people to get to know me first before sending me a friend request. I simply ask them to not make a hasty decision, and to make sure that that they want to be friends with me. It seems like a very reasonable and fair request to me, don’t you think?

The fact that this person would even make the pedestal comment, suggests that they did not even take the time to read the whole text comment which I included above the graphic in question. Or if they did read it, they certainly didn’t understand it. So in response to this person’s critical jab, allow me to state the following:

No, there is no pedestal to climb. I simply look for quality friendships on Facebook. Unlike some people, I don’t just blindly approve every single friend request that appears under my “Friend Requests” menu. My goal is not to bloat my friends list in an effort to impress people with how many friends I have. As I explained in the text message that was included with the graphic, I actually take the time to visit each and every person’s timeline or page in order to vet them first, as we all should be doing. As Jesus taught, we are to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

It is precisely when people fail to vet each friend request, and instead just let every person through the door, that riff-raff, troublemakers and scammers sneak onto their friends list, which could later lead to problems. So, because I do take the time to do this with each and every person who sends me a friend request, yes, it does indeed irk me when only minutes after I approve their friend request, for reasons which remain unknown to me, they turn around and unfriend me, thus wasting my time.

That is the point of the particular graphic which this person commented on; which they would have known, had they taken the time to read and understand the whole text comment which is included with the graphic.

To reiterate, friends, don’t just approve every friend request that you see under your “Friend Requests” menu. Take the time to vet them first. If you don’t, you are asking for trouble. Allow me to give you one quick example. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to a timeline to check out a person, only to be confronted with “My nude photos here”, followed by a link, at the very top of their timeline. My friends, that is the kind of people you may be adding to your friends list, if you just blindly approve every name you see under the “Friend Requests” menu.

Now, imagine if one of your own friends goes and visits that same page, because they see that you are friends with that person. It might leave you a bit embarrassed, and they may even question their friendship with you as well. So do yourself a favor. Take the time to check out all potential new friends first, or you may end up paying later.

You’ve been warned.

About Bill Kochman

Bill Kochman is a Christian writer, poet, graphic artist, online evangelist and founder and webmaster of the Bill's Bible Basics website and blog, as well as the founder and administrator of the Christian Social Network. His interests include tropical fish, Macintosh computers, web design, writing poetry, God's natural creation and his cats, Obsidian, Mischief and their progeny.
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