....Couldn't you have just taken the hint?...
January 8, 2009 8:51 PM   Subscribe

Facebook Etiquette Filter: I have Facebook, but don't accept requests from people I've never met, or who I did meet but they were jerks to me. One such jerk has sent me three friend requests, and I've just ignored them all. NOW she's emailed me asking why I don't friend her back. Can I still get away with ignoring her?

This could be a followup from a different person's earlier Facebook question... She wasn't a bully as such, but could sometimes be pretty unpleasant. It's just that when she felt like being mean, I was often the most likely target. Moreover, I was at an event with her 8 years after graduation (she and I were both bridesmaids for my best friend) and she hadn't changed (she and another bridesmaid got totally trashed and publically told a story making fun of me for breaking wind at a slumber party once when we were fifteen...not traumatizing, but enough to make me think "okay, yeah, knowing you adds nothing to my quality of life, I'd say").

If we were to meet on the street tomorrow, I'd be civil, but that's about it...we never had much in common anyway, aside from one or two mutual friends and school clubs. I just plain don't want to contact her, but the fact that she's written to me directly commenting on this has made me afraid that she'd escalate this further if I don't. Should I just say something and stop this? Or keep ignoring her?

please can I keep ignoring her?
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Computers & Internet (44 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
yes
posted by overhauser at 8:58 PM on January 8, 2009


I mean yes keep ignoring her.
posted by overhauser at 9:00 PM on January 8, 2009


Response by poster: I mean yes keep ignoring her.

*claps hands* Yay! I don't have to talk to her!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:02 PM on January 8, 2009


i thought there was a way to block someone from contacting you again?
posted by violetk at 9:02 PM on January 8, 2009


Of course you can keep ignoring her. And you can block her e-mail if you feel like it or just delete her e-mails. Or, you can accept the friend request and then remove her as a friend if you want her to calm down and go away now that this is apparently a Big Thing for her.
posted by Meg_Murry at 9:02 PM on January 8, 2009


You have 2 choices:

(a) Spend time worrying about this person.

(b) Don't spend any time worrying about this person.

Do you really have to ask which is the right choice?
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:02 PM on January 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


Set your privacy levels so she can't see your activity, ignore her, and on the off chance you ever see her again and she brings it up just say you don't use your account anymore.
posted by lilac girl at 9:03 PM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Go into your privacy settings and block her. Problem solved!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:04 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Yes. Keep ignoring her.

She doesn't have the maturity or social cluefulness to understand a simple, respectful note outlining the reasons you're not interested in being a Facebook Friend. Such a note would probably lead to more drama and bullshit.

Ignoring her is the better choice.
posted by jason's_planet at 9:05 PM on January 8, 2009


IActually, I've done this exactly to family that I no longer wish to be in contact with. So if I can ignore relatives you can ignore an acquaintance.
posted by sugarfish at 9:05 PM on January 8, 2009


Response by poster: Go into your privacy settings and block her. Problem solved!

Don't they get some kind of notice if you've blocked them? Other people she knows ARE on my friendslist -- some of whom I like very much -- and I've been leery of Causing Drama.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:06 PM on January 8, 2009


Best answer: Sure you can ignore her. People ignore me all the time and, after breaking down on their lawn outside their house at 3am screaming up at their window "why don't you like me why why WHYYYYY?!!" I eventually get that they don't like me. And what lilac girl said.
posted by Foam Pants at 9:06 PM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Absolutely (ignoring her). If she has a shred of decency and self-respect the email will be the last of it as long as you don't respond. It sucks when needy people selfishly try to make us feel like stuck-up arrogant assholes.
posted by dawson at 9:06 PM on January 8, 2009


There's no reason to be a friend on Facebook with people who you don't want to be friends with. So yes, you can keep ignoring her.

It's not what I would do though. I would block her, and not have a second thought about it.

If she keeps harassing you about it (because that's what it is), there are further steps you can take, through Facebook or otherwise.
posted by theichibun at 9:08 PM on January 8, 2009


Best answer: You can block her without fear of reprisal (well, it's the same as ignoring her with out the messages). Facebook doesn't notify the block-ee. They also don't notify someone when you remove them as a friend.
posted by bluefly at 9:17 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Christ almighty yes.
posted by the dief at 9:18 PM on January 8, 2009


Response by poster: Thanks, bluefly -- that's exactly what I needed to know.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:21 PM on January 8, 2009


Don't they get some kind of notice if you've blocked them? Other people she knows ARE on my friendslist -- some of whom I like very much -- and I've been leery of Causing Drama."

High school is over. Ignore her AND block her and don't think twice about it.
posted by misha at 9:21 PM on January 8, 2009


The blockee doesn't get a notice. To them, you just...vanish (and so do they, to you). Frankly, it can be bliss.

I suppose your acquaintance with poor social skills could ask a mutual friend to verify your continued existence on Facebook, but if I was in that mutual friend's position? I'd then know who was the drama queen. (Hint: not you.)
posted by gnomeloaf at 9:25 PM on January 8, 2009


But she's going to keep popping up in your suggested friend list. The suggested friend list should be called "People I hate."
posted by k8t at 9:27 PM on January 8, 2009 [17 favorites]


You sure about that? I've never had someone pop up again that I've knocked off the suggested friends list. But I also don't know if people are actually suggesting these friends or if the system is picking them for me.
posted by theichibun at 9:30 PM on January 8, 2009


Ooh - I mean the "people you may know" list...
posted by k8t at 9:33 PM on January 8, 2009


she's going to keep popping up in your suggested friend list.

i'm not convinced of this either. the few ppl i have blocked, ignored, or defriended have never again showed up on my "people you may know" list (which, theichibun, i think is generated by facebook based on mutual friends).
posted by violetk at 9:38 PM on January 8, 2009


uh, shown up. i am tired and retarded tonight.
posted by violetk at 9:40 PM on January 8, 2009


Response by poster: I think I'm set, folks, but I'll offer a punch line before I go -- Burger King is having a promotion whereby you get a coupon for a free Whopper if you un-friend ten people on Facebook.

I could have told her I was just hungry, I suppose... (kidding.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:53 PM on January 8, 2009


She shouldn't keep coming up on your "people you may know" list if you click the x on her box. I don't know if blocking her would take care of that automatically, but I would imagine it does.

That list really does seem to be "People you went to high school with that you can't stand or never even knew to begin with."
posted by fructose at 10:52 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, I'll go against the grain and say I would send her a note saying, "look, I never thought we got along very well and don't really have the desire to suddenly pretend we're friends".

Why bother ignoring her when you can just tell her flat out that you don't want to be friends?
posted by gfrobe at 1:54 AM on January 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just for the record, people DO pop up again on the people you may know list after xing them out - or at least they have on mine.

How does blocking work? If I block a hated coworker, and she joins a conversation of, say, comments on a photo or whatever, would I see her replies or the conversation minus her input?
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:16 AM on January 9, 2009


You could choose to either ignore her or write a polite note stating your reasons for not adding her, whether said reasons be the absolute truth.

When I get added by people I have no interest in (usually because I don't know them well enough and I don't want them pawing through my photos), I typically send back a small reply saying "Thanks for the add, but I use Facebook for personal communication with close family and friends only. Nothing against you whatsoever, I'm just paranoid when it comes to privacy. Thanks for understanding". I haven't had a psycho response yet, so it seems to do the trick.

Ignoring takes less effort though ;)
posted by sektah at 3:40 AM on January 9, 2009


Just for the record, people DO pop up again on the people you may know list after xing them out - or at least they have on mine.

I've done this several times for people I barely know or don't want to be in touch with, and have never seen any of them on the list again.
posted by anagrama at 4:29 AM on January 9, 2009


Though it does mean that Facebook instead suggests more people that I know even less well...
posted by anagrama at 4:30 AM on January 9, 2009


Just for the record, people DO pop up again on the people you may know list after xing them out - or at least they have on mine.

I think this happens if another round of mutual friends add them. Say a person shows up on your People You May Know list because your friends A and B added them. You hit the X and they disappear. Later, Friends C and D add them and they show up on the People You May Know list again.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:39 AM on January 9, 2009


The suggested friend list should be called "People I hate."

For me it's more like "People I have known and loved. And then split up with."
posted by dmt at 7:01 AM on January 9, 2009


Facebook actually has extensive privacy settings. There is a way to add her but adjust the settings so that she can see no more than a photo of you and your name. That is publicly available on Facebook anyway, but you're still "protected" from her. Here's what you do:

-go to your Home page, then click on Settings, then Privacy Settings, then Profile.
-under each category (other than Profile), select "Custom Settings", then "Edit Custom Settings"
-a window will pop up with the title "Who can see this?"
-there will be option in red text: "Except these people." add that person's name to the "Except these people" list and click Okay.
-repeat for all of the other categories that you want to hide (Personal Info, Status Updates, Wall Posts, et cetera). by the way, they will not be able to see News Feeds notices from blocked categories either.
-click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the window
-scroll back to the top of the window. you'll see a line of text that says "See how a friend sees your profile." Type the person's name in there field and now you'll be able to see what they are permitted to see.

If you are worried that this person will notice your profile is "too" empty, you can just let her assume that you don't really use Facebook (that can even be the reason you didn't bother to accept her friend request the first 3 times).

This is not a direct way of handling the situation of course, but I figured I should suggest it in case you do not want to directly confront her.
posted by val5a at 7:14 AM on January 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think this happens if another round of mutual friends add them. Say a person shows up on your People You May Know list because your friends A and B added them. You hit the X and they disappear. Later, Friends C and D add them and they show up on the People You May Know list again

I think the bigger problem is that when you defriend someone (or reject their friend request) YOU may show up on THEIR "people you may know list" due to new mutual friends or whatever, so they know that you have elected not to be friends with them. Totally stupid.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:48 AM on January 9, 2009


Why bother ignoring her when you can just tell her flat out that you don't want to be friends?

Some people like to avoid needless drama in their lives. And, someone who keeps sending you friend requests is probably someone who is going to take poorly to such a note.
posted by chunking express at 8:02 AM on January 9, 2009


There are some pretty friendly ways to tell people to screw off. My personal favorite is, "Not everyone was meant to be friends and I just don't think we're compatible. I wish you the best."

Like my Mama always used to say, "Even if you kill them with kindness, they're still dead."
posted by greekphilosophy at 8:56 AM on January 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


Just say you were planning on taking your Facebook page down because of your job/career and block her.
posted by anniecat at 9:12 AM on January 9, 2009


Just for comparison, someone I knew from high school has sent me at least a dozen friend requests that I have ignored, though she hasn't sent me a personal email (likely because she doesn't know what my email address is now) I would simply say that we weren't very close in the past, and now we aren't even really acquaintances.

I'd suggest saying something along those lines should she force this issue, a nod towards your attempts to keep your facebook friends list limited to your close circle. Some people use facebook as a giant rolodex of everyone they've ever met, she's probably one of these people.
posted by dnesan at 10:17 AM on January 9, 2009



Just say you were planning on taking your Facebook page down because of your job/career and block her.


If you're going to reply directly, don't lie. It'll just make you look stupid to any mutual friend she bugs. They'll be thinking Christ, why couldn't she have just told her no, sorry, NOT INTERESTED instead of pawning it off on me. Or worse, she'll just innocuously ask a mutual friend, "oh, hey is Callipygos still on Facebook?" and they might not think there's any drama in "uh, sure, I think so..."
posted by canine epigram at 10:22 AM on January 9, 2009


I have an acquaintance who has tried to friend me a couple of times, but whom I would not friend for all the chocolate chip cookies in the world. Blocked the request, and am now implementing val5a's suggestions. (I just hope I never become friends with a person who shares that name, as just typing in "Ramses Emerson" seems to block everyone called that.)

Also, the People You May Know tool keeps saying things like "You and Callipygos both live on the planet Earth!" So of COURSE we'd be friends. ;)
posted by catlet at 1:24 PM on January 9, 2009


Has the world become so complicated that a simple "We're not friends." wouldn't suffice?

And on that note... thank god I'm not such a dense asshole as this person you're avoiding that I'd go around friending people I'd been so rude to. I tend to avoid being a jerk to most people, but I certainly know the ones I have been a jerk too and wouldn't presume they'd want to be my friend ;-)
posted by JFitzpatrick at 5:05 PM on January 9, 2009


why not just say why you don't want to be friends? I am sure this person is a totally terrible person and perhaps hasn't changed at all and is surely not attempting to reach out to you in her own way.
posted by tarvuz at 6:54 PM on January 9, 2009


Aww! When this happened to me, I Relished the opportunity to tell her Exactly why I was rejecting her "friendship." In my case, she was a good friend who really let me down when I needed her the most, but it still felt so good to get it off her chest. Lots of people don't realize how their behavior alienates them from other people. You could be doing her a favor.
posted by mynameismandab at 9:53 PM on January 9, 2009


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