Facebook Encounters of the Third Kind…

Okay, so just about everybody knows about Facebook nowadays, so I think I can confidently write a post related to it and not leave someone wondering what in the world I’m talking about.

Every once in a while, while I am at work I will sneak on to Facebook, just to catch up on what’s happening in everyone’s lives.  This afternoon I did this, and I had something very strange happen – I had a Facebook Encounter of the Third Kind!  Let me explain what I mean by this…

First Kind – Close Family and Friends

Like any good human or well-trained chimpanzee, I enjoy classifying things. I put things into groups all the time, and this includes my Facebook friends. Facebook allows you to group your friends on their site – like family, friends, etc. – but I have gone above and beyond this and classified my friends on my own terms.  The first group of friends would be people who I actually still have a relationship with. This would include my wife, mom, brothers, grandfather, in-laws, and friends who I might talk to on the phone every once in a while.  Basically, these are Facebook friends that I still have a chance of seeing face to face in the next couple of months.  Any time I encounter these people while on Facebook, I usually don’t have to chat with them – I can always just give them a call if I want to talk. I mainly just read their status updates and go on.  These are Facebook Encounters of the First Kind.

Second Kind – Long Lost Friends

We all have people in our lives that come and go, but who we would like to still keep up with.  95% of the people I graduated high school with fall into this category. Perhaps 1% of the people I graduated with fall into my first group above, and the other 4% I don’t want to see, hear from, or speak to again.  But for the people who fall into my second group here, I rarely get to see them or speak to them. I enjoy reading what is going on in their lives through their status updates, and I may even chat with them now and then if we happened to be online at the same time. I enjoy these encounters – Facebook Encounters of the Second Kind.

Third Kind – Who is this?

This last group of people are people who asked me to be friends, but I really don’t have a clue who they are. Sometimes when this happens, I’ll just ignore the person and go on. But if I get some kind of feeling that I should know this person, I will usually accept their friend request.  This is what happened this afternoon. A while ago a girl asked to be my friend on Facebook, and she was from my hometown and graduated a year before me, so I assumed that I probably should have known her (I went to a small school – graduated in a class of 39 people, so everyone tends to know everyone else).  Today when I get on Facebook, she pops up in the chat box, and she wants to pick up a conversation like we haven’t been apart in all this time. The conversation goes like this:

Her: Hey Jeremy!
Me: Hi…
My thoughts: Who is this person?
Her: How have you been?
Me: Good! Super busy! You?
My thoughts: Maybe if I make it sound like I’m busy, I can get off of here and get out the awkwardness that is this conversation!
Her: Oh… I’ve been good.
Me: I’m at work, and I have to sneak on Facebook so that I don’t get into trouble.
My thoughts: That’s good! Tell her this so that you can get off sooner. Stop the awkwardness!
Her: I’m at the library, they don’t care if I’m on Facebook.
My thoughts: Wow, she didn’t take the hint…
Me: Cool…
My thoughts: C’mon, think, Jeremy, think…  You can get out of this…
Me: Oh, I think someone’s coming! Talk to you later!
I log off…

That is a Facebook Encounter of the Third Kind.  A Facebook Abduction, if you will.  Being forced to chat or reply to a message with someone that you don’t know and can’t remember.

Has this ever happened to you?  How do/would you handle it?

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