Advertisements

An Open Letter to Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature

Dear Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature:

Stop screwing with me.

Every time I open my Facebook page, you’re all cheery. “PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW!” you tell me. And you show me their picture and how many mutual friends we have. That’s nice, right? So nice. So helpful.

Here’s the thing, though.

These people fall under a few categories:

  1. People who are dead to me;
  2. People who I am dead to;
  3. People I have never met but are friends of friends so I would never send them a friend request because they have no idea who I am;
  4. People who are too cool to be my friend so I am daunted;
  5. People who, whenever I see their face, I get very upset at you, Facebook.

Now, I get it, Facebook “People You May Know” feature. You just want me to have like a billion friends, and you’re confused why, after having been a member for a couple of years, my number is still only in the low two hundreds. Honestly, I’m stunned it’s that high, because I have weird criteria for who can be my Facebook friend. It’s only as high as it is because I’m friends with everyone I was ever in a show in, because at the time of the show we all friended each other because we would talk about the show on Facebook, and when the show ended it seemed an asshole move to UNFRIEND them, even if we didn’t stay friends. Also, it’s nice for networking when you’re a theater person. And theater people are awesome on Facebook, for the most part. What? You want to know my weird Facebook friend criteria? Fine, wait, I will tell you. There are a lot of lists in this post and I haven’t even gotten started yet. Huh.

  1. I have to know them in real life (and hopefully like them) OR
  2. I have to know them online long enough to know I love them and trust them with my personal life OR
  3. It would be too awkward to turn down their friend request for one reason or another.

Now, I know a lot of people friend others all willy-nilly, and that’s fine for them, but I keep The Nephew on Facebook, and also my family, and I don’t want strangers being able to see that. Also, didn’t you all see that report that most people on Facebook that friend people all willy-nilly have at least one fake friend? Someone that doesn’t really EXIST? I don’t want a friend that doesn’t EXIST. That is WORRISOME. Who is behind that imaginary person? It could be ANYONE. It could be a PSYCHOKILLER. No thank you.

Also, I am WEIRD about Facebook. After I’d known Ken for like a kajillion years (oh, fine, it’d been like, I don’t know, 4 months or something, but we hit it off like gangbusters, me and secret-sibling Ken, I most honestly feel like I’ve known him for a kajillion years, does that count?) I SO wanted to send him a Facebook friend request? But was worried that would be weird. So I totally stressed out about it for like a YEAR. (A week.) And then I was all, “Ken. Um. Hi. Can I. Um. Send you? A Facebook friend request? Unless that’s annoying? Then I won’t? Send that. Ha. Ha ha.” And he was all, “You jackass. What the hell is wrong with you? OF COURSE YOU CAN.” (No, of course he didn’t say that. He was nicer. He always is.) Anyway, I’m neurotic as hell about Facebook so I assume everyone is as neurotic as I am. NEWSFLASH: Pretty much no one is and pretty much no one cares about who they friend on Facebook at ALL, Amy. SIGH.

FAKE PEOPLE! This makes me so nervous.

Anyway, in the past few months, Facebook “People You May Know” Feature, you have suggested the following people. This time, let’s bullet the list.

  • the guy who stalked me in high school and part of college and every now and then pops back up, ACK;
  • the guy in college I was in love with for over a year but he didn’t love me back and it ended badly;
  • an ex who…um, let’s go with the last one and just say it ended badly;
  • the wife of an ex and I don’t think I want to be friends with someone I’ve never met AND who got the guy;
  • the mean girls from high school who made my childhood and young adulthood a nightmare;
  • ex-coworkers I have no interest in ever talking to or even thinking about again;
  • and for some reason, Mandy Patinkin.

I don’t want to be friends with any of these people. If I DID, probably I’d already BE friends with them. (Well, I kind of totally want to be friends with Mandy Patinkin, but I assume that one’s a mistake.)

This is his “be my BFF face” and I have to be all, “No, Mandy. I cannot. I already HAVE a BFF” and aw. He’s going to be so sad.

One of these people (the second one) as a side note that’s totally not funny but kind of, I suppose, in that not-funny gallows-humor kind of way, ended up moving to another state because I was in love with him. No, seriously. HE MOVED TO FLORIDA. This was…um…I want to say almost 20 years ago now, so I guess I’m allowed to talk about it now? Eh, who cares if I’m not, I’m gonna. Yeah, so I went to his house because we were friends and we did that and his roommate was all, “Oh, yeah, he moved to Florida and I can’t tell you where he is because HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU.” (He didn’t really say that. He was more tactful than that.)

ALSO, Guy Who Moved to Florida, just as a side note to YOU, once I finally stopped all the weepery and could look at the whole thing CLEARLY, you were much too short and thin for me. And also you felt way too sorry for yourself all the time. I’m sorry I made you move to Florida and work at a TGIFriday’s washing dishes.

CLASSY!!!

(SERIOUSLY DUDE? That’s all kinds of screwed up. Who the hell DROPS OUT OF COLLEGE and MOVES TO FLORIDA rather than just say, “Angsty young-adult Amy, I do not love you that way! Stop this now! We are too good of friends for this to be a thing!” Also, I suspect I was not the reason you moved to Florida, because I started hearing rumors you were flunking your classes, but that’s really kind of a moot point right now, isn’t it? Since we’re all almost 40 at this point in our lives?) But, Guy Who Moved to Florida, you were one of the best poets I’ve ever known, and that made (and still makes) me swoony as hell. Sigh, Guy Who Moved to Florida. SIGH.

That was a very long side note. I suspect I might have unresolved issues with Guy Who Moved to Florida who is now Happy Family Man Who Seems to Live in the City and Works Somewhere Reputable that is Not the TGIFriday’s Not That I’ve Stalked What I Can See of His Facebook Profile or Anything Ha Ha. I really, really, REALLY like closure. Even if closure is someone telling me “leave me the hell alone.” Closure is so much better than just NOTHING. Ugh. So much can live in nothing. Nothing can go on FOREVER. As is evidenced by Guy Who Moved to Florida, apparently.

So sometimes I am lured by the friends feature and I wander on over there and then I RUN AWAY because argh. That’s a minefield, Facebook. Why do you do that to me? That’s like a graveyard of dead friendships over there. And people I wish were dead. I’M KIDDING! I don’t wish they were DEAD. Just…um…missing. In a swamp. Filled with alligators. Bitey ones.

(Also, sometimes people send me friend requests and I can’t accept them. Sometimes the reason is benign – I’m neurotic and I don’t know them well enough, sorry, people, I’m sure you’re lovely! – or because THEY ARE DEAD TO ME.)

Here’s my thought, Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature. First, you need a new name. They’re not only people you may know; they’re people who will probably give you PTSD. So let’s start calling this section “People You Probably Have Not Friended For a Reason.”

Second: you need to get a little psychic. Because I’m going to need you to know who I never, ever want to see again. I’m seeing those people a lot in your section and their faces are MOCKING me and I don’t WANT to and ARGH. MAKE IT STOP.

Third: there are two people who don’t exist on Facebook. Make them exist. Those people are friend P. from high school and I want to know that he’s ok but he disappeared and friend C. who I grew up with and he was like a brother to me and once we graduated I never saw him again and I’d like to catch up with him and see what’s up. Who the hell doesn’t have a Facebook page in this day and age? FIX THIS FACEBOOK. I want THEM to pop up in my “People You May Know” section. Because I DO know them. Why don’t they pop up? Dammit, Facebook. MAKE THEM POP UP.

Thanks, Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature. I can tell you’re trying REALLY HARD. And I appreciate it, I do. You’re just doing it WRONG. Luckily, you have me to help. And I’m VERY helpful. Just ask anyone. Except not anyone in your section. THEY ARE NOT MY PEOPLE. They are NO ONE’S people.

Love love love,

Me.

Advertisements

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

44 responses to “An Open Letter to Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature

  • Bronwyn

    Facebook apparently thinks i should be friends with Zooey Deschanel! And while i’m sure she’s lovely, i can’t help but wish Mandy Patinkin would show up on my list!!! :D

    it really *should* be broken up into categories. i’m thinking… People You Might Know, People You Wish You Actually Knew, People You Wish You Could Forget You Knew, amongst others! :D

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      We have TWO MUTUAL FRIENDS who are friends with Mandy Patinkin! Marti and…someone else, I forget who. I assume they’re just subscribed, and not FRIENDS, friends. But Marti’s kind of the most awesome, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised that at some point in her life, she met Mandy and they hit it off like two peas in a pod.

      Facebook really needs to be more psychic. When’s THAT feature coming out?

      Like

      • Bronwyn

        true story… i totally believe Marti would know Mandy!! :D but the idea of a psychic FB both intrigues and terrifies me, to be honest!! LOL! i pride myself on being someone who DOESN’T post every thought i have… hahahahaha!! :D

        Like

  • Cody Winn

    I love this blog entry SO MUCH for ALL THE REASONS.

    Also, most of the people who pop on that list for me know nobody I know and we have no connections whatsoever, so I’m not sure why they show up there.

    Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    You’ve got several hundred Facebook friends? I only got like 50 or so. But then again, I’m pathologically anti-social. So instead of being envious, I should probably congratulate you on being normal and in good mental health.

    Like

  • Samantha

    Aw Amy :) Facebook is so weirdly complicated. Like awhile ago I started cleaning out my friends’ list because I only wanted people that I actually cared about on it. But then people I’d deleted realized we weren’t friends anymore and were like “oh hey! wanna be friends! I just saw you the other day!” -_- And I did, because awkward. :( But I am glad that you already have rules set up so you can just “not now” requests like mad and keep your Facebook to how you want it. :D And seriously, yes. Guy who moved to Florida needed to just grow some balls and say something. Although I am sure he did not move to Florida just because of you. Because why? there’s hurricanes and humidity and alligators. and Ew. :D

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      That’s the very reason I don’t unfriend people – because of the weirdness. I see them sometimes and I don’t want them to say, “Hey, I noticed we weren’t friends anymore, what the hell?” so I just limp along with people that I barely know or don’t want to anymore…sigh.

      Oh, I totally delete requests. I don’t even not now them. I don’t want to see them again. I’m RUTHLESS.

      Guy Who Moved to Florida was a weird duck. But oh, did I ever like him. SIGH SIGH. I think he had some sort of breakdown, honestly. But I don’t really know. Haven’t spoken to him since 1996. From limited Facebook stalking, he seems to be doing well? And good for him. I don’t wish him ILL. Just would have liked some closure.

      Like

      • Samantha

        Wait..how do you delete requests? They have hidden it from me, I must know! :D

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          I think – not sure, don’t have any outstanding requests – you hit “not now,” then go into outstanding requests, and on the page where the “not nows” are, you have a chance to delete the request. Then a box pops up that says, “Do you know this person outside of Facebook?” If you never want another friend request from them, hit “no.” They’ll be blocked from sending you a request FOREVER.

          Like

  • Michelle Hernandez (@willieburgscrap)

    Yes exactly everything you just said PLUS- I KNOW some people try to friend me so they can spy on their exs. PS- CONGRATULATIONS! Very glad you got a job you are excited (it sounds amazing!) about and that I no longer have to worry about a possible nervous breakdown. You were working so hard!!! It’s great to know you’ll be working but also getting in some sleeping/blogging/walking around outside without rushing to work time. Yay!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Oh, I totally know some spies. I have them blocked so they can’t see anything I do. I should unfriend them but it would cause ALL THE DRAMA and I like to keep the drama at the theater where it belongs. So instead I keep my FB all blank for them so they think I’m just not posting anything. It’s passive-aggressive but it seems to keep the peace. :)

      No more worries! The nervous breakdown (which kind of happened a few months ago) seems to have passed. Things are looking up! I am so optimistic right now it hurts! (In a GOOD way!)

      Like

  • sj

    I HATE this feature. And often I go through and block all the people I don’t want to know. BUT THEN they delete that account or create another account or something AND THEY SHOW BACK UP!

    Like

  • Charleen

    Ugh, Facebook.

    I SO want to get rid of my account, because there are so many things that bug me, and I feel like it’s not worth the effort. But, unfortunately, there are quite a few people who I don’t get to see as often as I’d like and FB is our main way of staying in touch. So… even though the annoyingness WAY outweighs the good stuff in terms of frequency, the good stuff outweighs the annoyingness in terms of importance. So, as much as I question it sometimes, it actually IS worth the effort.

    Although I really wish I that I could just unfriend everyone but the people I really care about, but that feels like a douchy thing to do, because it’s not that I don’t like the other people, or have anything against them, it’s just that my life would really not be any different if I don’t know that they just had their second kid, or that they got a new job, or that they had such-and-such for breakfast that day. Also, then I see all the people from various parts of my past who do keep in touch and are still real friends, and it makes me a little sad, equal parts guilty and neglected.

    Which brings me back to, “Ugh, Facebook.”

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I actually don’t mind FB – but I came into it very late in the game, only two years ago, and it’s great as a theater person for the networking. Plus I keep my friends list really, really small (and unabashedly unsubscribe from people whose posts are annoying me, so I don’t have to see them in my feed.)

      But, yeah, I could never get rid of it – I have friends from all over who don’t use Twitter, and this is the only way I keep up with them. I’d miss seeing my little cousins too much, or my nephew, or hearing about what people are doing from all over that I miss. So I’ll keep it around. I don’t mind it much.

      Well, other than the weird things like “People You May Know” or the constant friend requests from people I hate that I would ASSUME hate me back but seem to want to be “friends” but what the hell, stop that.

      Like

      • Charleen

        It wouldn’t be nearly as annoying if it would stop thinking it knows me better than I know myself. So many of the feed settings default in weird ways I don’t like, all under the guise of optimizing the information coming my way, and I end up missing things that apparently weren’t important enough to show me. I THINK I have it set now where I should see everything from all my important people (although it keeps defaulting to “top stories” instead of “most recent” and I have to keep changing it back) but it took SO MUCH WORK! Why can’t it just default to showing me everything from everyone and we can go from there?

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Oh, I hate that, too. I hate that it always thinks I want “top stories” (I most certainly do not, and don’t know if anyone does) and I want to see everything from everyone except the people I’ve purposely set to NOT see everything from, and I don’t like that it decides that for me. Completely agreed.

          Like

  • sunraeny

    If its someone I don’t know that well I usually unconsciously revert back to high school where I wasn’t really cool so I don’t wanna look desperate when I friend request them. Lame I know. So I wait for them to request me. And then if you annoy me you get blocked from my news feed :) then I periodically go thru and purge my friend list. And if we haven’t talked in a long to time I unfriend them. Unapologetically

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      ME TOO! I wait for EVERYONE to friend me! If it’s lame, then you and I are lame together!

      I have blocked a lot of people from my news feed. Especially lately. If they post a LOT, and it’s always garbage, then they’re gone. I don’t need garbage cluttering up my feed.

      I haven’t purged my friend list, only because I think the only people I’d purge would be theater people, and that’s touchy, because I usually end up seeing those people again at auditions and then things are awkward…so I’m stuck with them forEVER.

      Like

  • becomingcliche

    I am so completely tempted to create a Facebook page just so I can send you a friend request. Then I’ll spend eternity wondering which category I fall in. Doesn’t that sound fun? :D

    Here’s a confession. I had a fake page. I created a persona on an online game that basically got me back into writing again. He has a bunch of followers now. I haven’t checked that account in forever (not sure I even remember how to get into it). If you ever get a FR from Wild Bill, you should totally accept. He’s not a serial killer, more like redneck philosopher. We all need more of those in our lives.

    Like

  • Heather

    HELL, YES. I seriously can’t stand 90% of the people who show up on that list, and the other 10% I just don’t care about. The ex who popped up on my list is (was?) the abuser. Oh yes, Facebook, I might know him… AND I ALSO MIGHT WANT TO KICK HIM IN THE THROAT. Sigh. I avoid that FB feature like the plague.

    Like

  • Chris T

    The biggest issue I have with this “feature” is that I keep getting people who are not dead to me but are in fact just dead. I’m not going to friend that guy since I actually attended his funeral. Facebook, stop depressing me.

    As for unfriending, I have become ruthless. I used to feel bad about it but Tim (Decisivereflex) talked me through it. Now I am down to a good group who don’t drive me crazy (most of the time).

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Why doesn’t someone delete the dead person’s profile? That makes me SO SAD. I hope when I die someone deletes my profile so people don’t write things all over my wall like “AMY I MISS YOU” and then it gets all sappy there. That would make my ghost so upset.

      You guys are brave about the unfriending. I have to see the people that bother me the most quite often, and I’d feel terrible about it if they said, “Hey, I noticed you unfriended me, what’s up with that?” What do you SAY to them, Chris?

      Like

  • elaine4queen

    “You jackass. What the hell is wrong with you? OF COURSE YOU CAN.” you know that’s what he was screaming in his head, right?

    A little while ago ‘people you may know’ suggested Joanna Lumley. She is so super famous here. I thought, mmm. In as much as I have seen her on television my whole life then YES I do know her.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I think there’s a good possibility Ken screams more than that in his head to me some days. Luckily, those thoughts don’t make it out of him, because he is KIND.

      I felt the same way when FB suggested I might know Mandy Patinkin. I might know him, in that I’ve been watching him act (and listening to him sing) since I was a teenager…but I don’t KNOW him, Facebook. Not Biblically or any other way at all. Sigh.

      Like

  • Cindi

    You are SPOT ON!

    Like

%d bloggers like this: