Secret Agent Facebook Friend


Are you a Secret Agent Facebook Friend? Okay...this is one of my communication pet peeves!  A friend of a Facebook friend sends you a friend request.  She doesn't add a personal message explaining who she is or why she wants to connect with you.   When you go to her wall to find out more about her, you find she has blocked all the information that could possibly give you a clue.  She could be an Ax Murderer or a Teddy Bear Salesman.  You have absolutely no idea if you want to connect with her. Can you imagine this scenario in "real life?"  You go to a friend's house to visit when her neighbor spots you through the window as she's walking home from the store.  Neighbor Nelly sends you an invitation to a get-together at either her house or yours with only her name and address to help you decide. The other day I received a notification that someone was following me on Twitter.  Her bio listed the general industry she worked in (not anything I'm interested in, but not necessarily a problem) and asked folks to chat with her on Facebook.  She was following 1500 people.  About 750 were following her and she only had 20 tweets, most of which were thanking individuals for following and asking them to chat with her on Facebook.  When you click on her Facebook wall, it is completely blank save a picture of a woman (the reason I chose the female form of the possessive).   For someone trying so desperately to gain Facebook friends, she sure doesn't make it easy!  Neither her Twitter nor her Facebook page gives any information about who she is beyond the industry she works in and the fact that she is a woman. I can understand that you might want to block the more personal information from those you have not yet chosen to connect with on Facebook.  However, keep in mind that some information is necessary for others to discern whether or not they want to accept your invitation of friendship.  You can choose to block the more personal information (and I suggest you do block your phone and address) but you should allow others to have some information that will allow them to get to know you at least to some degree.  Your political and religious convictions aren't a matter of  national security.  Surly a few words in a bio about your likes and dislikes aren't top secret. If you feel so uncomfortable that you do block all of your information to non friends, then please send along a personal message with your friend request telling the requestee a bit about yourself and why you would like to be Facebook friends. I love to meet new people on Facebook and I do have a large network of friends, but I don't connect with just any old body. lol  I won't send a friend request unless I feel we have something in common and I will never accept a friend request from someone who expects me to invite them into my virtual home sight unseen. If you've sent out a bunch of friend requests and have not had many responses, you might check your settings.  You might want to make a few changes.  After all, would you invite you over for coffee if you didn't know anything about you? Share your thoughts! ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer.  Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula, including Say What You Mean Defending the Faith.  You can also find JoJo on web sites such as Crosswalk.com and Dr.Laura.com.  For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com

6 comments


  • Carla

    I agree wholeheartedly! Whenever I get a friend request, I immediately go to their profile to see what I can see. If there’s nada, zippo, nuttin’ honey, I ignore it. I try to send messages when someone might not know me, but I’m sure I’ve forgotten a time or two. That’s on me if they don’t accept my friend request.

    Online thingies are very different from real life, but the principles remain the same. Good job on pointing this one out! I mean, hey, isn’t there some rule of law that you’re actually supposed to know something about your gazillion FB friends? LOL


  • cindy holman

    Good points here JoJo. I’ve had the same thing happen to me too. It’s annoying – which is why I try to keep my profile pretty open. I want people to be able to find me when doing a search – and if I’m so locked up in the privacy settings – I appear ‘invisible’ to them. This is no good when people are trying to use facebook to connect. I know what it feels like to be ‘blocked’ to – from someone I considered a good friend. I can only assume that they don’t want to see my name or comments keep popping up on their home page. Oh well. No problem. And I must admit that ‘blocking’ is a must when you very definitively do not want people seeing your information or having a say in your daily life and interaction with others. I have had to block a few myself for this reason.

    On the other hand – since we can control who we talk to – or who we friend – it seems plausible that I don’t have to lock down my info so tightly that others wishing to get to know me (a friend of a friend – or someone from my past that’s looking for me) can safely do so. If there’s a problem that I sense – I can either do two things: 1, hide their comments and info on my home page or, 2, delete them altogether. People are not notified if you delete or block them. They just can’t see your info any more.


  • jojosblog

    Good point, Ellen, but not all are trolling. Most that I’ve encountered just don’t realize they are presenting friend requests with virtually no info.

    Kim, I think you are right. Most people have probably encountered this whether trolling issues, as Ellen pointed out, or otherwise. It can be frustrating.


  • In Our Write Minds

    I think you’ll find many who agree with you. I’ve had that happen too.


  • Ellen5e

    I believe that this technique is called “trolling”. They just put stuff out there and see who will take the bait. In this virtual world of social network friends, many people are way too accepting of strangers requests to become friends IMHO. After all, if we turn down a request the requester is “rejected” or “ignored”. How harsh is that?
    I must check out what I can about ANY friend (physical or virtual) because I must be discerning about the company and counsel I keep. I agree that a personal little message as to why we might connect would be helpful. When I have gotten these blank invites that have mutual friends I will at least resins by sending them a message “how do you know me?”. Legitimate requestors answer while trolleys don’t.


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