25 October 2010

Facebook never forgets!

I recently got a facebook friend request from someone who removed me as a friend quite some time ago. I'll call her D for convenience. I was friends with D way back when we were on Yahoo 360. Back then, I had added a few people almost at random, just to get a few non-transgender friends on there.

One of them was D, who lives in a small town in country New South Wales, the same state as me. I figured that she was far enough away that I was unlikely to ever have direct contact, but close enough to feel like I was somehow connected with her because it's only a few hours drive from my home. Imagine how I felt when I realised that my next-door neighbour (who I'll call N for neighbour) was one of D's other friends! For months, I sweated about whether to say anything, and eventually sent N a friend request. She didn't accept, but still talked to me, albeit probably less than before.

Looking back on it all, I suspect that N thought that I was stalking her and had befriended D to get to her. When I moved to Facebook, so did D. When she started, I think that she might have used Facebook's friend finder to find people she knew. The result was that she sent an email to my Yahoo account inviting me to join Facebook. Because I was already on Facebook, but hadn't used my Yahoo email address to sign up, I sent her a friend request and she accepted.

Sometime later, D removed me as a friend and I noticed fairly soon afterwards. Having no idea whether it was deliberate or a Facebook glitch, I sent her a private message apologising if I had done something to offend her. In response, she sent me a friend request, which I accepted. Around that time, N told me that one of her other friends was from the same town and had met D and told her who I was relative to my neighbour. Not much later, D removed me as a friend and I decided that I was just going to leave it at that.

Imagine my surprise, then, when out of the blue a few weeks ago, I got a friend request from D. It seemed extraordinary, but I thought that if she had decided to reach out to me, I'd accept. I posted a comment on her wall, saying Long time, no see. :) but she didn't respond to it. I just left it at that.

A few days went by. I liked one of her status updates one day, and the next day she was no longer on my friends list. She had obviously removed me again. From her behaviour, it was fairly obvious that she had no intention of sending me that friend request. My first thought was that perhaps she had recently used friend finder and had sent me a request without realising it.

While thinking about composing this post, the penny suddenly dropped. It wasn't something that D had done recently that had generated the friend request, it was something that I did! A few weeks ago, I added my yahoo email address to my facebook profile, so that if someone searched for me using that email address, they'd find my profile. Within a few days, Facebook matched D's friend request from two and a half years ago to my profile through that email address and automatically sent me a friend request from her!

The net result is that D and N probably both think that I hacked something to get back onto D's friend list, and by accepting the friend request, rather than mending fences, I've probably made things worse through no deliberate action on the part of anybody involved. D and N, if you read this, I sincerely apologise for what happened, I haven't been stalking you and I bear you no ill will. If you ever want to be friends with me, let me know but otherwise I will leave you alone.

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