General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Pushing the Wrong Buttons - Friending Error

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I've done this twice.  I'm looking at friend's friend list and I accidentally send a friend request to someone on the list, evidently.  I say evidently because I receive a notice that so and so has accepted my friend request.  So and so was on the original friend's friend list. I assume this happens because I tapped the wrong button.  I think of it as fat finger syndrome (the facebook equivalent of butt dialing)  but maybe it's some kind of facebook spasm that has nothing to do with me. I don't know.   

The first time this happened I was riding in the car with DH, killing time on my phone with facebook.  A few minutes later I got an acceptance from a fellow DH and I knew very slightly in college.  He was a nice guy but I didn't want him as a facebook friend.  I have a tiny list of friends on facebook and am not comfortable with adding any more for the foreseeable future. I checked and saw that he had hundreds of friends and would scarcely noticed if I disappeared so I didn't sent him any explanation.  I just defriended him. 

The second time was yesterday. I was looking at my nephew's wall and looked up niece (nephew's cousin) who is on nephew's friends list.  I have not seen niece since she was a child and wanted to see some of her pictures. 

DH and I have had a fraught relationship with niece's branch of the family for decades.  I refer to them privately as The East Coast Crisis Machine.  For the sake of preserving our own sanity we minimize contact with them.  There was an eruption around Christmas time which we dealt with by ignoring.  Just a few days ago DH and I were congratulating ourselves because our strategy worked.

Last night I received niece's acceptance of my friend request. I didn't mean to send her a friend request.   I don't know how this happened but I do know that I've got trouble no matter what I do. I don't want to keep her as a friend because I don't want her mother to have access to my stuff. Defriending niece could start a war. This is no ordinary family.  The dynamics are such that I am certain that niece has discussed this with her parents and that a great deal is being made of it.  This morning I told DH what happened and he agrees that this will set something off.  He thought it was funny but I don't.   

Have any of you sent friend requests to people accidentally?  How did you deal with it?




This is the danger of using Facebook to indulge your curiosity about your friends' friends. With your niece just put her on a list and filter all your posts so she can't see them or write on your wall.

If you don't want to defriend, I think you can block. Basically this means the two of you are invisible to each other on Facebook. Then no one will have access to your information.

If anyone asks you about it, play dumb and suggest to them that they must have experienced a weird Facebook glitch. By the time they check again, they won't be able to see you on Facebook at all--to them it will be like you completely deleted your account.

I see this as a white lie to avoid drama after an honest mistake occurs. I think it's polite as long as you don't suggest they're stupid or lying or anything like that. Facebook does have weird glitches sometimes, after all.

You can change your settings so she cannot see your wall and cannot post to it. That way you don't have to unfriend and start a war, and she cannot peruse your posts and pictures.

How old is she? I would defriended her and send her a PM that plays dumb like you think she sent the request to you and say something like "Hi niece, I got your friend request and wanted to explain why I declined. I occasionally post things to Facebook that might not be appropriate for everyone and it's important to me that I don't offend you or your parents. Feel free to PM me if you'd like to stay in touch!"


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