A Disappearing Act
Do you have friends in real life whom you only ever hear from when they want something? Maybe they want to borrow your lawnmower? Maybe it;s a serving plate or some other kitchen utensil? Maybe they just need $10 to cover gas. Maybe they are on Facebook and just require a vote and you have never talked to them or spoke with them before and the only time you see them is when they require a vote. Perhaps you know the routine they now play and when they are in a contest is the only time they are around.
Is that the real person?
I have many friends on Facebook. Some of whom I know are quite real. They talk with me, they chat with me, I see them win and I see the sponsor post their names’. There are also times when I feel I am being used by those I know whom “disappear” conveniently after they have their vote from me. I will send them a message for a vote and my vote request will go unheeded. I will send an event invitation and they will remove it or delete it. I will post statuses on my account and they will be ignored. So how do I know if the person asking me for the vote is a real person? How do I know when I am being taken advantage of?
There are of course many signs to look for to tell if you are the fish on the hook or a true friend. Does this person chat with you? Do you know this person in real life? Do you know any of this person’s family? Do they respond to your requests? Do they attend your events or vote from you on your wall? Do they consistently “like” your status updates? Do they respond to messages? Now of course I am not suggesting that everyone should be online all the time, but at least if your online, pop on over and say hi to your friends. Put out status updates so we know your alive and what your up to.
A lot of times, those who are just using you will disappear for long stretches at a time and reappear only when they have a new contest. You will not hear from them, they will go unnoticed, they won’t chat, they won’t make themselves visible to anyone. But….yet when they have a contest, you will see them more frequently, hear from them often and you will see them on Facebook more regularly until the cycle repeats itself and the contest has ended.
What can you do?
While generally I do not unfriend people because of this, I have made it a habit to keep a wary eye out when I am being asked to vote. I notice who is asking me and I keep a mental note that I have voted for this person. When the same person consistently asks me for a vote after a few votes, I will tend to just ignore the vote request until such time I have a vote request that needs fulfilling and expect that my vote request will be complied with. After all it is give and take right? We cannot always ask and never give. If they do not give a vote back then I will delete them as a friend. Not because they did not vote for me, but because “voting” friendships are based on trust that we will help each other out.
If I really wanted to be that persons’ true life friend then I would expect that we would chat and that I would come to know this person or they would come to know me. If all I ever did was vote for them and got nothing in return then the friendship would be one-sided and I would be feeling used. So there you have it my friends. If you are a voting friend you know how I will operate so that the next time you ask me to vote, stop and think about how many times you have asked me to vote in the past and how many times I have asked you. Tit for tat. If you disappear quite frequently and only show up to ask for votes when you need them consider passing me by on the vote request until you know me better or have established that trust with me.
So I ask you friends, have you ever felt used or betrayed by those who disappear from your friends list only to hear from them when they require something?
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