There have been many blogs posted on the difficulties in deciding whether to add someone as a Facebook friend, whilst these have primarily focused on the difficulties of having personal friends and work colleagues viewing the same information, Shel Israel discusses how he makes decisions on adding those people he doesn’t know. Whilst it is obviously necessary for a well known blogger such as Shel to formulate a policy to separate the wheat from the chaff, I think he misses an important factor within his policy: Whether or not he is willing to accept the responsibility that comes with accepting a Facebook friend.
Whilst it is not unknown for many of the prominent Facebookers to accept all the friendships that are requested, it is less likely that they will respond to all the comments that are either placed on their wall or sent to their inbox. It is at this point that the status of Facebook friend becomes meaningless. Personally my criteria for a Facebook friend is, ‘If they contact me, will I reply’, obviously this is a personal boundary, and would depend a lot on how busy a person is and how many Facebook requests they are likely to get, but if everyone kept to this criteria, then the social network would have meaning.
Obviously the boundaries of what you can reply to will change over time as more people join the network, and it would seem to be very rude to de-friend someone who has done nothing wrong, so a little foresight is also necessary.