Facebook Friend #38 has invited you to play Candy Crush Saga. You knew this person back when you were a teenager. You haven’t seen him since then, however you’ve had regular, cordial contact with him via Facebook for the last several years since you’ve reconnected via social media.
Facebook Friend #108 has invited you to play The Tribez and several other games you haven’t heard of. Back in Junior High, she was the hot one who ran with the bad crowd that she started. She once told a joke to the Civics teacher which featured the “F” word, and got away with it. Looking back, her life turned out the way one pretty much would have expected. You haven’t really had any interaction with her since adding her. You could probably drop her from your friends list and still remember her as the one who told the Civics teacher a dirty joke.
Facebook Friend #73 has invited you to play Diamond Digger Saga. You’ve also had limited contact with this one since joining Facebook. Back in High School, he called you out on your snoring in class. During a shut-in at church several years before, he assaulted you with a squeeze bottle of mustard. Nothing has really been derived from your social media borne friendship at this point. Dropping him probably would produce no impact for him or you.
Facebook Friend #25 will not stop inviting you to play Lucky Slots. She works with you and creates awkward conversations with you both face to face and on social media.
Facebook Friends #132, #167, #17, and #92 have all posted status updates in the last year admonishing their friends to stop sending game invites lest they get dumped. Number 92 has been too busy pushing his pyramid scheme on Facebook to respond to game invites.
In the 6 plus years that I’ve been a member of your site, I’ve accumulated about 245 friends. I would guesstimate the margin of error on that one is plus or minus 15 friends. Some have left Facebook. A few have dropped me for what I’m assuming were petty political reasons. One dropped me because she was in the process of divorcing my brother. Others may have dropped me because they figured out well ahead a lot of us that adorning our Facebook friends lists with the names of occasional acquaintances doesn’t constitute having friends.
One really has to wonder what our Acquaintance List would like versus our Friends List if Facebook were to institute such a feature.
In all of my time on Facebook, I’ve taken steps to avoid a social media based friendship with two people. One of them friended me because she used to work with me. Even then she was an irritant, but I could deal with it. It got to point where she really pissed me off with something she posted on my wall. I decided right then and there that her “friendship” was not that valuable or tolerable to me, so I dropped her. The other person was also a work acquaintance. The relationship there was less than palatable, so I took steps before they could friend me to block their visibility to my presence on the internet.
Big picture, I’m not really interested in dropping people from my friends list. If the effort was made by both parties to create the on-line friendship, it doesn’t make sense to drop them for no real good reason. That being said, I don’t believe incessant invitations to play games on line is a good reason to drop a Facebook friend.
At the same time, I get pretty irritated by game invitations. Even when you ask politely that your friends stop sending you such invitations, they continue to do so. I suspect it’s due to coding built into the game that does this.
With that in mind, I’ve got a suggestion or two for the coding wizards at Facebook.
First of all, update the coding in your smart phone application which will allow me to turn my phone horizontal to interact on your site. Back in the old days, your app had that capability. Now it doesn’t. As much as I’d like to say that pisses me off, that would imply that my own happiness is tied to whether I can view social media on my phone horizontally. It’s not, so I won’t.
As it is right now, your smart phone app notifies members of the invitation. If members tap the notification, they’re taken to the app store or somewhere else to begin playing the game. If they don’t tap the notification, the notification remains active. Here’s where some intervention is needed.
When the notification comes in, the member could tap it and be taken to a screen to do one of the following:
Accept the invitation, thus continuing the vicious circle.
Refuse the invitation.
Refuse the invitation and block future invitations for that particular game.
Refuse the invitation and block future invitations from that particular friend.
It would seem that such a task would be pretty darned easy for your coding wizards there at Facebook. After all, you have the ability to manipulate our feeds for the purpose of studying our emotional stability. You have the ability to comb through our various photos and posts to make amusing little applications which celebrate our time here on your precious site.
Given that Facebook has all of these capabilities, I’m ready to guess that you’ve already considered such a measure and opted against it. My guess is because of advertising dollars. Apparently littering our news feeds with advertising isn’t enough, so you have to put our casual, online, acquaintanceships at risk with game invitations that not everyone likes.
Given that it doesn’t appear that Facebook will look to make such changes in the foreseeable future, it would seem that my next steps are clear. Namely, I need to reach out to Facebook Friends 38, 108, 73, and 25 again, and tell them that at least 75% of their friendship isn’t important enough to me for them to keep hitting me with the unwanted game invitations.
At the best, they’ll cut it out.
At the worst, they’ll alter my margin of error on my friendship totals.