If I am the requester or the requestee, it means that I have had a conversation with you (Not chat/texted. Actual person-to-person) on at least two separate occasions. (Occasionally this may be reduced to one depending on circumstances) Do not get this confused with what I consider a “dialog”. A dialog is nothing more than “Hi! How are you today? What’s up?”. A conversation entails we discussed and compared our thoughts on at least one topic at length >5min. Also If you are from my present, it means that I consider there a statistically significant chance that we will see each other in person again in the future. If you are from my past, then we talked at least twice on several (>2) occasions. If you are from my future, well that feature hasn’t been implemented yet and will probably cause me to segfault.
The logic behind these guidelines is relatively simple. There is no substitute for real life interaction. The idea of “meeting someone over Facebook” doesn’t sit well with me. Whenever I see a person friend-request someone they don’t really know or have had any degree of conversation with, it makes me question their ability to do so face-to-face. It also helps avoid the potential “stalker” effect that can come about easily with social media.
Take for example Jack and Jill. Jack is an avid fan of a school sports team. Jill is his favorite player on the sports team. Jack and Jill do not know each other, and have had nothing more than a dialog (as defined earlier) between them at various meet-n-greet events. Jill gets a friend-request from Jack several days later. Jill not wanting to potentially upset Jack accepts the friend-request. She now encounters frequent chat messages from Jack that lead a quick and dull conversation. Various other actions get Jack labeled as a “stalker” in Jills mind. This is not where Jack wanted to end up as he is now considered “the bad guy”. While his motives (assume everything here to be at face-value, no hidden agendas) are honorable, they have led to an awkward situation for both of them.
By my guidelines, Jill should never have accepted the friend-request. Similarly Jack should have never sent one. Since neither of them have had any level of in-person conversations, they have no common ground on which to establish a friendship.
I will occasionally receive friend-requests from people from High School. These I find myself subjecting to a higher degree of scrutiny since I do not associate with this crowd a whole lot anymore. If I did not particularly enjoy your presence back then, I probably have no reason to change that.