PLEASE DON’T BE MY FRIEND

The other day I posted the following on my Facebook Timeline.

Dear Prospective Face Book Friend, I do understand that you may be looking for pen pals and maybe even a romantic connection, especially if you are posted abroad in a war zone. However, despite this being a public page, I use it to chat to my reader and writer friends and exchange hints, reviews, and other marketing information. So it’s probably not the kind of page you are looking for – besides, I’m a happily married grandmother, who’s rapidly losing the wrinkle war. I hate to decline friends, so I hope you’ll understand and not make a friend request.

Yes, I know I come across as hard, overbearing and pretty unpleasant, but I’m really a softie inside and I don’t like to refuse a friendship, my page is public after all. The problem is, I don’t like to be rude or offend, but then (like many of us) I get bombarded with virtual roses and bottles of drink and even more flowery comments.

I was also hoping my post would deter the ones from humans who, deep down, may not be genuinely interested in me and my books. For example I had one who asked me what I was wearing. Ah, I thought, s/he was curious about writers and their habits, so I told it (with a name like Alex it wasn’t easy to tell). I’m sitting here I wrote in my usual creative gear, IMG_0726my fluffy red and white pyjamas liberally adorned with red reindeer and Xmas trees (I bought them around Christmas time) under my red furry dressing gown with the rabbit on the pocket, a pair of free airline socks and my favourite reindeer slippers. (They may be mooses, I’m not quite sure).

I was then treated to a picture of my new friend. S/he wasn’t wearing very much at all and what s/he was wearing defied comprehension.  DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!

So with the very best intentions, I hoped my post would not subject me to such heart-stopping shocks, (it’s not good to call the paramedics in too often), this post will do the trick I thought.

Sure enough a few minutes later I got a friend request from a dear little granny living in France. She looked so cute and cuddly, grey wavy hair, delightful smile, pretty dress. Great, I thought another fan friend who has heard about my brilliant books and can’t wait to read them, she might even buy one, or two, or three, or four. I cheerfully pressed accept and said how happy I was to connect with her.

In just a couple of minutes she private messaged me, telling me how thrilled she was to be my friend. She lives in France, and she was dying of cancer. How sad I thought, my fingers were poised to send her virtual hugs, hearts and kisses.  She was a widow previously married to an English entrepreneur, (I hadn’t noticed at this point she had a German surname) and he had been killed in a car crash with their only daughter. I reached for my hanky

IMG_0727

and upped my mental reply to include a bunch of virtual roses (I was trying to decide if a bottle of plonk would be suitable as well in this instance). She continued by telling me she had 10.5 million Euro in the bank and if I promised to donate it to various charities….I could keep 20% for myself.

I groaned. Yes, it’s what we called in South Africa a 411 letter – they want your name, bank account number, the date you stopped being breast fed, your inside leg measurement and all your pin numbers.

What a disappointment. Off I go to Facebook to do the blocking and reporting thing – DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!  But FB do send you a nice apology don’t they – saying they’re sorry you’ve been subjected to this.

They can’t still be catching people out with this scam surely? Did s/he think I was born yesterday? Well maybe looking at my avatar…?

Now the big question of course is, she’s given me her private email address, so do you think I can add it to my Mailchimp list so she’ll get my monthly newsletter? I’m a bit worried she might unsubscribe.

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51 thoughts on “PLEASE DON’T BE MY FRIEND

  1. So now I know what’s happening. It’s your and Mary Smith’s fault. All these friendly souls who get chucked off FB then descend on me via Skype. What I want to know is, how do they become a major-general at the age of 22? Did they join the army when they were 7 years old?

    Anyway, I was going to send you some money, Lucinda, but I can see now that it would not be a good idea. Thanks for the advance warning. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Lucinda, your post has left me totally depressed — why aren’t scammers and lechers asking to Friend me? What am I lacking that I can’t attract an occasional lech or two? Alas; the story of my life. I am bereft and will write to Facebook immediately to complain. (as an only child I do hate to be left out).

    On a serious note, I actually didn’t find your original FB post to be at all unfriendly. Quite the contrary. It was a good one.

    Like

  3. Ha ha ha. It’s a bloody jungle out there, full of hyenas and scorpions and snakes and lions, very few cuddly mooses!

    Gabi

    Gabi Plumm

    gabiplumm@bigpond.com

    Cell: 0404025139

    From: lucinda E Clarke Reply-To: lucinda E Clarke Date: Wednesday, 15 March 2017 at 02:27 To: Gabi Plumm Subject: [New post] PLEASE DON’T BE MY FRIEND

    Lucinda E Clarke posted: “The other day I posted the following on my Facebook Timeline. Dear Prospective Face Book Friend, I do understand that you may be looking for pen pals and maybe even a romantic connection, especially if you are posted abroad in a war zone. However, despit”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am with you on this one. I get so many emails, Facebook requests, Twitter inbox messages that I just started ignoring most of them. Any reply seems to entitle them to constant unending replies. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had a Facebook friend request like that a while ago… A man in his seventies, very ill with terminal cancer, wanting me to distribute his wealth to different charities. I couldn’t believe I looked gullible enough to fall for that! But I had time on my hands (yeah, I don’t have a life) and I thought that as long as I discussed with the guy, he couldn’t trick anybody else… So I made him loose a great deal of time, not saying I wasn’t interested…

    He gave up at one point… Leaving me a bit disappointed, I really wish I could have helped in the end. LOL

    Like

  6. I have a Facebook page, Horse Addict Leueen, and most of the friend requests come from other horsey people. I usually check them out and if I see no sign of horses I delete the request. Occasionally I get requests from large ( and I mean large!) breasted women posing in borderline pornographic poses. Nary a horse in sight. As my name ,Leueen, could, I suppose ,be a man’s name I think that is why I get these requests. These voluptuous requesters never have any mutual friends with me. Chuckle!

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  7. I think at one time I was followed by most of the US joint chief of staff… they took names from Wiki.. FB is getting as bad and I notice that even FB suggests friends for you who are in uniform and have one mutual friend.. you go in and all the photos are of women of a certain age! So FB does have to look at its programming. Love the slippers and I think unfortunately you may have made more than a few weirdos day!

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  8. There are some evil people out there. Some of them are so good at it they can play with your feelings before they drop a big scam right on top of you head.

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  9. It really is hard to know which friend requests are legitimate people. If it’s any comfort, you’re not alone – and the Indie writing community is pretty good at giving one another the heads up on Facebook, at least, when they encounter someone nasty.
    I’m always encouraged by the support and friendship from other writers… but just once, I’d like someone to send a friend request with a message that says “I’ve just bought 20 copies of each of your books…”
    Hey – dreams are free!

    Like

  10. Oh I get these so often. People sure are persistent! I check everyone before accepting any requests, though I hate feeling so suspicious

    Like

  11. Ah Lucinda,

    The joys of being a woman online.

    As a man, I don’t get it as often as you do, but with a profile pic that shows both my wife and me, I still do get lots of messages from (mainly Indian men) who want to chat me up. Apparently, my name doesn’t seem to make them believe I’m a male.

    Oh well, such is life. Glad I’m not a woman………………or am I? (Glad I mean lol)

    Like

  12. Twice I thought I was friending a friend of a friend only to find them to be single older men looking for a “Good looking woman” like me. I unfriended them quickly and promised myself I’d be more careful in the future. I was on facebook years ago and got off after a year because of the whole “We have the happiest family in the world” posts phenomena. On back on again and much wiser this time – but the crazies sometimes do slip by the censors. (Although your Christmas PJ’s are adorable, I’m finding your books much more interesting.)

    Like

  13. Brilliant, Lucinda! K gets a lot of these too because he’s also public. My goodness, some of them give a new meaning to nubile…really. Fascinating specimens of the female form!! Anyway, it’s definitely the seamier side of FB! I am not discoverable publicly but still get a few odd ones…iffy friends of friends…some that have slipped through unnoticed perhaps. At least you can laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

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