Anxious about non-friends inviting you to be their Facebook ‘friend’? You’re not alone.

I’ve written earlier about how odd it is to be invited by non-friends or the weakest of friends to be their Facebook friends and this post raising the same issue through humor troupe Idiot’s of Ants.

Turns out that sociologists now have a name for this angst: Social Networking Anxiety Disorder.

Nicole Ferraro of Internet Evolution writes: ” Speaking on a recent O’Reilly Webcast (The Facebook Application Ecosystem: Why Some Thrive — and Most Don’t), Shelly Farnham, doctor of social psychology, said, “A common problem in social networking applications is it’s hard to say no to people who want to be your friend,” adding that a number of applications ease this pain by allowing you to isolate 25 Friends (e.g., Top Friends).

“But what about when someone you don’t consider to be a ‘Top Friend’ per se requests to be part of that elite list? Truth be told, our social algorithms and applications just can’t capture the complexities of human relationships.

“Not sure if you’re suffering? Here are three symptoms of SNAD to look out for. If you have any of these, you should contact your mental-health-professional avatar immediately.

“1. You were considering breaking up with your significant other, but decided to stick it out because of the anxiety associated with changing your Relationship Status on Facebook and de-tagging hundreds of photos.

“2. You currently have 36+ Friend requests festering on Facebook or MySpace, which have built up month over month because you don’t want your rejection to send these strangers on a downward, emotional spiral.

“3. You belong to several groups including “I Skin Cats on Sundays” and “Cousins Make Great Husbands,” because, well, they were nice enough to invite you…”

To see Nicole’s whole interesting post, click here.

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One response to “Anxious about non-friends inviting you to be their Facebook ‘friend’? You’re not alone.

  1. Fascinating stuff! It poses some questions in my mind. I wonder if anyone has looked at the role of race in rejecting/ accepting unknown friend requests? I’m guessing social distance plays some role. It would also be interesting to look at who accepts these unknown friends and who doesn’t.

    Great blog!

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