Recently a relative who lives overseas invited me to be his Facebook friend. Here’s my email reply to him:
Hi xxxx – thanks for the invite, but I’m not going to take it up.
Please don’t take it personally. If it was just you, I’d be happy to connect. But on Facebook it’s never just you. If I friend you, I’ll get inundated with stuff from your friends and their activities. Life’s too short to care about people I’ll never meet. As well as that, I may have to put up with a new set of *#!+* advertisements for goods and services that you and your friends have ‘liked’.
I’m a long-time Facebooker, but now I only look at it every few weeks, because I get so annoyed by irrelevant crap and trivia, and because the Facebook universe is getting creepier and creepier.
Recently I found out how to make Facebook connections invisible without an official ‘de-friending’ that might have them wondering. Since then I’ve turned off most of my connections to reduce the clutter.
Facebook isn’t all bad. It was genuinely useful for keeping up with relations and friends after the big earthquake in Christchurch in 2010.
Anyway, thanks for your invitation, but no thanks. I’m happy to stay in contact by two-way emails.
See also False pretences at Facebook?