Do you Accept Every Friend Request you Receive?


One way to maintain a strong online presence is to grow your network and connect with new people all of the time. That is how you grow your tribe. Once you are known to be influential online, you will end up with many new Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus followers, and will also end up having new Facebook friend requests. If you are also known to be an Open Networker, you will receive many new LinkedIn connections. However, one thing to keep in mind if you are indeed an Open Networker, as tempting as it is to accept every friend request that comes towards your way- you must check a few things before accepting the individual into your network.

What to Look Out for when Receiving New Friend Requests

You will absolutely want to think twice before accepting someone into your network, if any of the issues listed below are present-

1. Mutual Friends– If someone requests you as a friend, the first thing to usually check for is if that person has mutual friends, and who the mutual friends are. If that individual has a lot of mutual friends, then chances are it is okay to accept the connection. If the person has a handful of mutual friends, especially if these friends are not overly close to you- you may want to send the individual a message and ask where he or she found you. It may sound cold, however, you don’t want to let someone into your network who could cause you trouble!

2. Profile Pictures– There are many good potential contacts who do not use an avatar or who use an avatar that may not be appropriate for networking, ie a cartoon. Especially if you have seen the individual around and he or she seems to have a decent reputation. However, if someone with no avatar or a non-professional avatar wants to add you into his or her network, you will want to think twice. Check who the mutual friends are, and check to see what that person’a profile is like. If there is very little or inappropriate content, or if something does not “add up” (your intuition never lies, if something does not seem right then chances are it is not), it will be in your best interest to decline. Many of these types are spammers, or may be fake accounts.

3. Duplicate Accounts– Some people have several profiles, one for networking and one for friendship. If the individual has created a separate account for one of those reasons and had added you to it, he or she would likely let you know before hand. However, if not- do not accept right away. In fact ask the individual through the other account if he or she created a new profile. If not, then there is an impersonator on the loose and must be reported.

4. Reputation– Sometimes even if someone who requests you as a friend happens to be professional, seems genuine, and has many mutual friends- do not always accept. Especially if that individual has a questionable reputation. You could be opening your doors to trouble that you would not want. If you are warned about someone from a variety of people, and that particular someone has added you as a friend, decline as fast as you can! There is a reason you are being warned about that person!

However, at the same time, if you receive a friend request on Facebook from anyone who fits in the first two descriptions, check your messages and click to the Other folder. It may be that this individual had already left you a message explaining why he or she wants to connect with you and the reason may be very good- even if he or she knows nothing about social media! Then it would be in your best interest to accept the connection. That has happened to me a few times, and I have to say I was very glad to have checked the Other folder.

Be mindful with who you connect with, as it is easy to forget if you are growing your network!

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18 Responses to Do you Accept Every Friend Request you Receive?

  1. Leisa July 10, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    Great advice! I work in a small town of approx. 10k people and live in a smaller town of approx 2k people. My position is ED of the Chamber. Personally, I accept every request because it allows me to get information out to a larger demographic then the Chamber Page alone allows me. Most everyone knows who I am and it has benefited me and hopefully others by connecting in this manner. But I can appreciate for larger urban areas and more corporate positions the need to be careful.

    • Miriam July 10, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Leisa, you understand the power of networking and in most cases people do need to be careful. Thanks again for your comment.

  2. Gary E. Weller July 10, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Fantastic advice. I thought you were going to go the other way with it, but I’m glad you didn’t.


    • Miriam July 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

      Thanks for commenting Gary, and I am glad I didn’t go the other way either.

  3. Maura Raffensperger July 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    There is an Acronym LION for Linked-In Open Networker – the person who accepts every request, and who actively trolls to connect with friends of friends.
    I like to accept only people I have met in some way, even if it was briefly at a conference, or they heard me speak. I’m suspicious of those who send me friend requests solely because I am friends with someone they know, especially if they don’t take the time to add a personal note of why they want to connect with me when we have never met.

    • Miriam July 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

      Thanks for commenting Maura. I do not like the idea of advertising that one may be a LION. That in itself creates a negative image.

  4. Anna Jeanine @ Mystic Comfort July 10, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    This is good advice! I always check for mutual friends I recognize.

    • Miriam July 10, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

      Thanks for commenting Anna. And good move.

  5. Sheri Kaye Hoff July 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    Good points here about accepting friend requests… I tend to accept most people but if someone is posting offensive things on facebook- I unfriend them- which is rare.

  6. Alana (@RamblinGarden) July 10, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    I do not accept all friend requests. Additionally, my blog is not connected in any way to how I earn my living, and I keep those parts of my lives totally separate. Excellent advise in your post. I never would have thought of checking out a profile picture. I’ve shared this with my LinkedIn network and tweeted it.

    • Miriam July 10, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

      Thanks so much for commenting and for the share Alana, much appreciated!

  7. Donna July 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    GREAT advice! I think I follow these guidelines 95%! Every once in a while, I make the mistake of letting someone in and then I regret it…mostly because some of their posts are {in my own opinion} not quite what I like to show up on my news fed :). Thanks for the reminder the think before I click accept!

    • Miriam July 10, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

      Thanks for the comment Donna ๐Ÿ™‚ It is easy for a slip up to happen!

  8. Carly A Thorne July 11, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Absolutely Great post Miriam… And I don’t just accept anyone… I always do my research…

    • Miriam July 11, 2013 at 1:52 am #

      Thanks Carly, we all need to do that.

  9. Abbas Baba July 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Thanks for this sound advice, Miriam. I tend to only accept Friend invitations if the person leaves a message. I must admit, though, that I rarely check my “other”folder, so need to put that right. My only exception is if I already know the person’s name, from,for example,an online challenge and I’ve seen the quality of their posts, so already know something about them.

  10. Heather Jabusch July 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    This is a great post! And I fully agree with everything you stated.

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