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The “Friending” Dilemma - Should You Accept?

The “Friending” Dilemma - Should You Accept?

By Darrin Friedman

If you’re in the field of real estate and spend any time on Facebook at all, you no doubt receive plenty of friend requests. The requests tend to come in waves, often from people you probably do not know directly, but who have connections or friendships that overlap with people in your sphere.

We Realtors are, after all, a gregarious bunch, and we seem to need constant affirmation from each other. Moreover, many of us were taught early on in the rise of social media never to turn down a new connection. After all, every single friend request — no matter how obscure the source — is a potential future client,  or referral source, right?

So tell the truth: do you feel obligated to click “accept” more often than you choose “decline?”

I do. And to be honest, at this point I do it more out of habit than for any sound reason or justifiable purpose. The new friend is notified, and just like that, the social media gods have racked up yet another victim.

But why do we do it? Do we ever develop any concrete relationships with these people? Perhaps occasionally, but certainly not very often. The most likely outcome is that we will never interact with these “friends,” and they will become just another relationship that was doomed before it ever had a chance to develop.

The fact is that “friends” on Facebook are what you make of them. If you interact with them in positive ways, they can indeed turn into something meaningful, from a referral source to an actual friendship. But if relationships with these people are not cultivated, their presence can become an annoyance, and the constant distractions from the content they post can actually slow you down and make you less productive.

Now, I am not suggesting that you “unfriend” your existing network (although that can be a great exercise, one day when you have a chance). I am merely suggesting that you consider becoming more judicious about the people with whom you choose to form new connections. Remember that your children, and your spouse, and your entire life is being displayed on this medium every day. Do you honestly want strangers seeing this stuff?

The number of friends you have on Facebook should not be a contest; it should be a carefully considered decision. Whom you choose to friend is a refection of your values. So, the next time a person asks to become your “friend,” take a second to ponder what that means. Because the facts are, some people may not deserve to be.