A few days ago, I gave a general anaesthetic to a young man called Andrew who was having his hernia repaired by the general surgeons. I remember him very well, he was very pleasant and amiable and in the anaesthetic room, he and I chatted for a bit about how long Rafa Benitez was likely to keep his job at Liverpool.
It was a routine operation, and everything went as it should. I went to see him after the operation and he said his was feeling a bit tender, but nothing that a couple of co-codamol tablets couldn’t help with.
The day before yesterday, I logged onto Facebook and I had a message from an “Andrew M” It read:
Thank you for looking after me the other week. I hope you are well
and Andrew M had requested to be my Facebook friend.
I was really touched. It was really nice that he’d taken the time to find out who I was and then written me a thank you message. However, it left me in a bit of a quandary.
Should I accept his friend request or not?
I mulled it over over dinner and then I decided that, pleasant as Andrew M is, I don’t know him. He’s not my “friend” although, I’m sure we could be under different circumstances. And, because I didn’t know him, I didn’t particularly want him looking at pictures of me and my friends or reading what people had been writing about me on my profile.
I clicked “ignore.”
I would have liked to reply to his message with a “Thank-you, I hope you are recovering well” but I knew that if I replied to his message, then the Facebook website would let him see my profile page. I didn’t really want this either, so I clicked “delete.”
Andrew M probably thinks I’m a bit of a fake now and I wish that somehow, I could communicate with him that I was genuinely touched by his message, I just didn’t want him to see the pictures of me from Big Ed’s house party (believe me, they’re not pretty).
What would you have done if you were me?