The question of how soon to call a potential love interest is as an oldie but a goodie. The answer is debatable and I’m sure different for everyone, though I can’t help but recall Vince Vaughn’s Trent, in Swingers:
Mike: So how long do I wait to call?
Trent: A day.
Sue: Tomorrow, then a day.
Mike: So two days?
Trent: Yeah, I guess you could call it that, two days.
Sue: Definitely, two days is like industry standard.
Trent: You know I used to wait two days to call anybody, but now it’s like everyone in town waits two days. So I think three days is kind of money.
A modernized version of this problem has emerged in my new-friend-finding life: How soon is too soon to Facebook someone?
It sounds silly, maybe, but it’s the most modern of social conundrums: I’m ready to make someone my social network pal, but we only met this morning. Is it too early? Will l seem over-eager?
Take this weekend. I met a girl who is brand-new to Chicago and we totally hit it off. We shared loves of Friday Night Lights, How I Met Your Mother, and Never Say Never. (Yes, that is the Bieber documentary. Stop judging me and watch it. You’ll be a convert.) We grew up some 20 minutes from each other in New York and discovered some this-world-is-crazily-small connections. When I got home I started telling Matt about the meeting and suddenly exclaimed, “Oh! I’m going to Facebook her now.” But before I got to my computer, I changed my mind. Would that seem weird? Or desperate? Like I ran home from our meeting with nothing else on my mind and zero to do but ask her to be my virtual friend?
I held back, deciding I would “get around to it” (translation: pry my hands away from the “Add Friend” button until) a few days later.
Imagine my pleasant surprise when, that night, I checked my phone and found an email waiting: “New Friend wants to be friends on Facebook.” Phew.
Perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit the small thrill I got from this auto-notification. She friended me first! Now I didn’t have to worry about the appropriate waiting period, and I’ll admit I was more than a little pleased that she even remembered my name (or perhaps asked our mutual friend for it. Either way. There was thought involved.)
I know I’m not alone in overanalyzing the protocol of the Facebook friend request. I generally follow a two-pronged plan. Option 1: Request a new friend while I’m with her, as a kind of laughably honest recognition of how silly the whole thing is, but also to say-without-saying “I like you. We shall be friends.” When I was at a bachelorette party this summer, I was chatting with a girl with whom I totally clicked. That night I declared my intention: “I am totally Facebooking you. You will have a request by morning!” And she did.
Or you can wait a day or two, so as not to seem that all you do is spend time on Facebook.
Oh, the games we play.
Still, I was psyched when I got my request this week, not scared off by any too-soon nature of it all. So maybe I should shove my two-pronged plan down the toilet. Perhaps that’s option 3.
What’s your Facebook tendency? Add a new friend as soon as you meet? Always wait for someone to friend you? Is there a required waiting period, or is there no such thing as too-soon? Or do you only friend someone when you want to stalk their pictures (another valuable reason, in my humble opinion)?