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My friend of 50 years won’t “friend me” on Facebook

January 9, 2017 | By | 7 Replies Continue Reading
A friendship of 50 years seems undermined over a Facebook issue.

QUESTION

Hi,

I am so hurt right now over a situation concerning my friend of 50 years. We’ve been friends since we were 12!

On my Facebook page in the right hand column, Facebook shows people you may know and sure enough, she recently put Facebook to her phone. When I had asked her when she would join Facebook, she had said never! So after seeing her there, of course, I friend requested her. No response.

After a week, I went to do it again and the friend option was removed. So I texted her by phone. I don’t have Facebook on my phone; I use my laptop. She replied that she doesn’t want Facebook but her daughter put it on her phone anyway.

So, okay, I accepted that. But then I started seeing mutual friends on her friend lists! Again, I asked her to become friends. She would always have an excuse but never really do anything to make it happen. At first I thought maybe she didn’t know how it works but then, how did she get 75 friends?

So I took a picture of my Facebook page with the friend option showing and sent it to her phone and nothing. Today she says, “I am sick of this.”

Well, I am so hurt. Why won’t she accept my requests? I am taking it personally, which I know I should not do.

Signed, Flo

ANSWER

Hi Flo,

Social media certainly can be a conundrum. As you described, some people use it only on computers, others on different platforms. What was once a medium for younger, college age students now is popular with baby boomers. Many who swore they would never use Facebook began using the site as a way to connect with children and grandchildren.

You don’t know how your friend uses the site since she hasn’t accepted your friend request. I can understand feeling hurt seeing mutual friends on her list, which is why I don’t think checking her activity, what some call Facebook Stalking, is healthy or productive to your friendship. From what you’ve said, you may have inadvertently pressured her, causing her to pull back and not accept your friendship. It’s hard to guess unless she tells you.

Not everyone has the skills to be a good social media friend. Because of the one-dimensional nature of communication, people sometimes word statements awkwardly or read hidden meanings into posts, responses or lack of responses. Some people are good friends face-to-face and lousy ones on social media.

You might want to focus your friendship with this woman offline, which means not Facebook Stalking her. As tempting as that may be, it’s not helpful to your relationship. Rather than attempting to solve your communication difficulties electronically, invite her for coffee or lunch to catch up on your lives. At some point, you can bring up Facebook, as long as you’re prepared to accept whatever boundaries she wants to put on her social media usage.

I would not let Facebook destroy a friendship of 50 years, as long as the other aspects of your relationship feel satisfactory and affirming. Good luck, I hope you can figure this out.

Signed, Amy Feld


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Comments (7)

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  1. SusanB says:

    So sorry this happened to you. In my opinion, Facebook is just about the worst thing for romantic relationships, dating, friendships, and family ties. Ok, sharing photos of grandchildren and vacations is nice but that should be between family or chosen friends. Why do hundreds of other people have to be involved? Yes, I know you can pick and choose who you “share” with but few people have the time to do that. Sharing personal information and photographs and political views with hundreds if not thousands of people at the same time via Facebook is not always a good thing, oversharing is especially problematic.

    Facebook, in my opinion, does not bring people closer at all. Facebook leads to hurt feelings, misunderstandings, depression, feelings of inadequacy, envy and being left out. I really think life was better before Facebook hijacked how people relate in modern society. Oh and yes, I am a member because everyone in my family is as well as most of the people I know (notice how I did not say “friends” since I only have a few real friends, despite my 450 Facebook “friends”). Off soapbox. 😉

  2. Dee says:

    Ugh. She seems like a pretty throwaway friend to me. She seems to get irked the more you ask about the friend request so I’d just forget it. There is a reason she is choosing not to friend you. She either wants to end the friendship or is just a straight up Bit**. Or she might think you will be annoying on there or she wants to keep some things personal from you and don’t want you on her Facebook seeing what she is posting. I know I can be petty, but I’d probably say something like “I hope you know how to delete my friend request so it’s not cluttering up your inbox” I’d block her and enjoy FB on my own.

  3. susan says:

    thank you for answering my question I did read the 4 responses and although appreciated did not make me feel any better. I think the one that suggested my”friend” may be embarrassed of me and not want to engage on fb may be true, but I won’t knoiw for ure as my friend actally has not given any reason for not acceoting my friend request, I was very hurt by the stalking suggestion though. I was trying to get an answer as to why she wokld not answer my request and to say I am done with fb is well a lie. I don’t need a fairweather friend, not after 50 years. someone asked what do we do as friends, well we USED to talk weekly, acknowledge birthdays etc. as far s hanging out, we didn’t when we were raising our families, but I have tried many times since and she won’t make the effort please let me know when ny one else may respond thank you

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  4. Lauryn says:

    I’m so sorry for you. In fact, with social media, you do find out who your casual friends (and frenemies too) really are.

  5. Mel says:

    I think the 2 comments are spot on. I’m wondering if she is trying to “start over.” (just like someone else said). Sort of a way to reinvent herself. I would be hurt and angry also, because of the way she handled things. She could have given you a proper response, but she got upset because you called her out on her poor behavior. I would try one more time to get together in person, and let her know that you were hurt by her poor behavior. If she is trying to “let the friendship go” I think you will be able to find that out by her response when you speak with her in person.

  6. Fishoutofwater says:

    I would be hurt as well because 75 friends were added but not you so either she is embarrassed of your friendship or doesn’t want your gossip to reach others or maybe she is starting over. You are owed a direct response though. No friend should have to be a ‘closet’ friend

  7. Darcy says:

    I don’t know what your friendship is like outside of the facebook issue. You’ve been friends for 50 years, but are you close? I think her not making you her facebook friend is a problem. I would be very hurt and very angry. Not only by her refusal to put you on her friends list, but more so by her unwillingness to give you an honest answer as to why. Perhaps she posts things that she thinks you might disagree with (politics, religion)? But I think she should tell you why. Does she feel she can’t be honest with you? Maybe she’s a friend, but not a close one? Use this as an opportunity to take an honest look at this relationship and decide if it’s important enough to get upset about, and important enough to continue despite the facebook problem.

    [Thanks for your comment. Last name removed by moderator. To protect yourself against possible spammers, please do not use last names on this blog. Thanks!]

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