If you have participated in Facebook for any length of time, you have been exposed to “Friend Farmers”.
No, not those annoying people who post their Farmville updates to your wall, a friend farmer is someone who seeks to be friends with all of your friends for purposes of either to market their products or services to you, or they are simply curious and want to snoop into your collection of friends. Is the correct approach to then remove them from your friend list?
Friends and friendships are vital to social networking site such as Facebook, without them you simply would not be linked up, ‘in the know’ nor have anything to read and distract you from getting anything worthwhile done during the day. The Art of managing your social networks includes that beguiling spell where you simply “friend” every person who has ever occupied space and time with you. You meet someone at the farmers market for the first time, and you rush home to add them to your social network (or even worse, do it right in front of them on your mobile device). If you are a confident and grounded person you won’t have any use for that additional random person as you have already fostered years of real-life investment in your friendships. The message that the social neophyte sends to their new electronic acquaintance, “It doesn’t take much for someone to be my friend”.
This lowered barrier of entry to your social circle also allows for the creation of masses of “fair-weather” friends who only want something when They are in need, and are rarely happy unless you are unhappy. Also in this category of social media friend can be found the “Desperate Business Owner” who doesn’t have enough work to keep themselves busy during the day, so they surf for friends to farm from their acquaintanceship with others. Their Primary Goal is not to be your friend or to build an existing relationship (from nothing), but to have you visit their retail store or restaurant and buy their wares. They NEED you to be their friend so they can stay in business. They are rarely happy unless you are felt to be left wanting without them. “Your day won’t be complete without buying my stuff”
You should beware the next time you accept a friend request from a random person via Facebook. Their intentions may not be the best for you. On top of them trying to shill wares to you, they may want to pry into your box of friends and hit them up as well. This usually precipitates a private message from your friend that says “Hey… Do you know this guy, he looks creepy but Facebook said he was your friend”. My personal guidance on the subject, if you find a friend farmer on Facebook, delete and block them and let them know why you are killing the social media connection or they will continue to try to friend you. Their friend following will be large, it will swell due to the number of people who don’t preen their social media nests, or those who have very low self-esteem and are desperate for a crackpot in their life who will immediately trounce on their harvested friendships with wild abandon.