Nancy Drew & the Case of the Mysterious Follower
Everyone has a social media presence. My friends are online. My family is online. If it makes my point, let me just say that my grandparents have a Facebook and last week I got a friend request from my elementary school church choir director. There is nothing long with people being active on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or whatever your vice of choice may be. However I have recently been plagued by my online nuisance: the random follower. Now we all have had the uncomfortable friend request from a scantily clad girl who says she’s “been looking for you for a while and so happy I’ve found you.” She, God bless her heart, is not who I am referring to. I am referring to the person who actively adds you and then attempts to cultivate some sort of friendship or relationship for no real reason. For example, I was recently added by Woman X, a 60-something year old who was a friend of a friend of a friend of my parents. But not only was I shocked by this friend request, by I was also in for the treat of a long message explaining our Kevin Bacon-esque 6 degrees of separation. It was one of the more uncomfortable messages I’ve ever read… like ever.
Example No. 2: The other day I realized I had 3 new Twitter followers. Now I know I should lie and say something like ‘I was shocked that it was only 3 because I’m so incredibly popular”… but not. I typically use Twitter to either tweet witty things that aren’t quite long enough to blog about or to tweet at celebrities in a futile attempt to get them to notice me. So clearly these 3 new followers were from one of my tweets (or shameless blog plugs) about a certain celebrity. But I am totally ok with that. I’m not going to judge the quality of my follower… as long as they follow. But then things took a turn for the worst. This follower tweeted at me… but not just tweeted at me. She tweeted 6 times. Then, because I’m desperately trying to be a professional and consequently throwing out my website URL wherever I can, she found my website and send me a message from there. This is not ok.
While I am fine with people reaching beyond their social circles, there must be limits. I am no stranger to going out on a limb and adding someone you don’t exactly know. I have made friends this way. And I can also brag about the fact that I have certain Facebook friends or Twitter followers who are famous, but simply because they added me and have never spoken a word to me. That’s all totally acceptable (and if it isn’t and it is creepy I don’t want to know… ignorance is bliss). But people need to understand cyber-space boundaries. Let’s keep the crazy to a minimum.
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