I receive “friends requests” on Facebook rather regularly, It is flattering, and at the same time a little intriguing.
I am not averse to “friendship” mind you, but before we (virtually) rub elbows, I would like to know a little bit more about you. Asking me to become your friend is like inviting me for a date. And I am a little choosy in this domain…You would not venture out with a totally unknown person, would you? Your prospective date could be a white supremacist, a Russian spy, a hired assassin, a Goth, or worse, a Trumpist…
Before agreeing to a request, I check the quester’s profile, and very often I draw a blank. His/her outline is as virginal as the driven snow. Absolutely no clue who they are, where they live or what they do. Two or three blurry, insignificant pictures and that’s it.
Why would a stranger request to be my “friend” without giving me the slightest tip about him/herself? This is not the way friendship works. Before we become amigos, I want to know what makes you tick… Because what is a friend?
“A friend is your buddy, your pal, your amigo, your comrade. You know, someone you trust and like enough to hang out with on a regular basis.”
OK then, how can I trust you if I don’t know anything about you?
If you want to become “mon ami” you also need to tell me about you, maybe to woo me, to praise me a little. You have read my stories, you have seen my photographs, you have seen me doing wonders on the pétanque field… you idolize me.
« Que vous êtes joli ! que vous me semblez beau ! »
How pretty you are! you look so gorgeous to me!
If I fail to see any of these, I will usually ignore your request. My standard policy is “show me yours, I’ll show you mine.” You cannot have your cake and eat it too.
To sum it up…
If you want to be my friend, you will have to tell me a little bit about you. Even if you don’t entirely fit the bill, we might still have enough in common to become quasi-friends.
Hé ! bonjour, Monsieur du Corbeau.
Que vous êtes joli ! que vous me semblez beau !
Sans mentir, si votre ramage
Se rapporte à votre plumage,
Vous êtes le Phénix des hôtes de ces bois.»
Jean de la Fontaine