We’ve all added someone to Facebook, only to regret it a few days later. Whether because it made things awkward in real life or turned your news feed into a spam-filled mess, the Facebook friendship of certain people seems to just inevitably lead to their deletion. Here’s a list of five people who should remain firmly off your friends so you can avoid the embarrassing necessity of deleting them later.
There are so many ethical and legal implications to friending and interacting with your doctor on Facebook that it might be best to leave your conversations with her in the doctor’s office. For instance, if your status update complains about a recent bout of the sniffles, your doctor could be in serious trouble if she comments that you should “try taking some meds and feel better!” An innocuous statement like that implies medical advice, and if something were to happen to you after taking those “meds”, she could be held responsible.
This scenario might not ever play out exactly, but it illustrates the difficulties with having Facebook relationships with a professional in your life. Your doctor would not appreciate you sending Facebook messages asking for medical advice, even if you just want them from her as a friend. Nor would she like it if you sent her a message ten minutes before your appointment saying you were “running a bit late”. The casual nature of Facebook means that a friendship with your doctor might put a strain on the patient-doctor relationship you already have.
People you only know through a game
Friending a bunch of Farmville or Pet Society players to get more chances at mystery eggs might seem like a good idea for a week or two, but you’ll think twice about those friends-but-not-really-friends after a while. Sure, you love the game and want to gather your materials for that Tuscan wedding you’ve been planning ultra fast, and having lots of friends who play is really the best way to speed through and get these rare items. But is it really worth dozens of status updates from people you don’t know tacked to your wall or constant invites to play the latest fad game?
Speaking from experience, I’ve had to purge my friend list on more than one occasion because of this gamer-friending habit. In one instance, it took me an hour and a half to go through the hundreds upon hundreds of names, pausing on those people that I thought might be a Farmville friend but maybe I actually knew them from elementary school. Now, I might not have used lists to sort my friends list efficiently, but even with a list telling me who’s who it would’ve taken a good chunk of time to rid myself of an excessive amount of non-friends.
This one’s an obvious one. We’ve all heard of a friend of a friend who got sacked for calling in sick to work only to log in to Facebook later and post pictures of herself at the beach playing hooky. Whether the employer himself saw these pictures or a co-worker mentioned them at the water cooler, this type of embarrassing employment flop could be avoided if work and fun are kept in separate compartments. Whether that means refusing to friend anyone from work or simply upping their privacy settings is up to you.
Ah the ex. That elusive individual who repulses you, but with the kind of repulsion that makes you want to peek through your fingers to catch just the tiniest bit of what’s going on. So many of us have added our exes to Facebook that it’s really not necessary to expound on the problems plaguing this virtual relationship. But let’s indulge anyways.
Adding your ex to Facebook is a step backwards in the “moving on” process. She has her own group of friends, many of which you likely know, and you’re bound to see pictures of her out on the town with them – getting over you, no doubt, but seeing her laughing and partying would be painful. Friending might also lead to catty spats through Facebook messages and wall posts that you’re better off avoiding. And when she moves on herself and enters into another relationship, that dreaded status change from “single” to “in a relationship” can be crushing. It’s best to leave the ex in the past, both on- and off-line.
Celebrities have pages for a reason. Like their page, don’t send a friend request to their actual Facebook profile. This is a bad idea for two reasons: first, they’re unlikely to accept, so your request will probably just fade into the ethers; and second, there are so many fake celebrity accounts out there that even if they do accept, you might end up divulging your deepest secrets not to that famous actor who suddenly took an interest in your fan messages, but an identity thief pinching himself to make sure your eager trustfulness wasn’t a dream.
Have you run into problems with these friends on Facebook? Who else have you friended on Facebook, only to regret it later?