A Letter to the Rando Who Just Friend Requested Me


Dear Stephanie King,

Thank you for your friend request! You seem like a very nice girl. But, maybe that’s just my eternal optimism. Some might say you seem rather sketchy, friending me despite our having no mutual friends and no prior interactions or knowledge of each other’s existence in real or online universes.

Your profile picture, though very low resolution, seems to be a combination of two different mirror-shot selfies. You obviously took the time to Photoshop these two pictures together, so I’m puzzled as to why you were unable to rotate either one to the correct upright orientation. But, maybe that’s just artsy. In classic Myspace fashion you contort your body into the least natural pose possibly, presumably to accentuate your curves and, it appears, to cause your slightly-too-small tank top to ride up and show the dark spot on your stomach that seems to be either an oddly placed tattoo or an unfortunate patch of fur.

I see you’re from Downey Road, California. Is it nice there?  Do they have town names in California or is it small enough that you can just navigate with road names? I’ve never been to California. Actually, I’ve never been west of Kansas City. So, it seems unlikely that I have ever met you, but maybe my memory is just failing me.

Nonetheless, I’m honored to be the third person in the whole world with whom you wished to consummate your friendship through an official Facebook friend request. And only four hours after joining Facebook! I’m slightly offended that you felt Mohammed Kashif and Salvatore Cammino Bobo were worthy of friend requests more urgent than mine, but I would still like to welcome you to the Facebook community. However, I must warn you that I may not be the best person from whom to learn the ropes of this whole social media thing, as I probably use it less than others and I rarely post very interesting or controversial things.

A skeptic might doubt your actual identity. You offer little personal information, and you are already friending people you don’t know on the opposite side of the country. It’s probably actually less likely that you are an innocent female looking for new acquaintances on the Internet than that you’re a fake identity for a cop or Dateline reporter in a sting operation trying to see if I’m a pedophile (I can assure you I’m not). Maybe you’re even a pedophile yourself, trying to lure me in with that blurry sideways mirrorshot. But like I said, I’m an optimist. Maybe we’ll turn out to be the best of friends.

Come to think of it, I am perplexed as to how you even found my profile. I think I have somewhat conservative privacy settings; I don’t ‘like’ or comment on national posts or fan pages; I’m not even the first Matt Gwin in a Google search of “matt gwin facebook.” I have no mutual friends with you or even with Messrs. Kashif or Bobo.  But, maybe that just speaks to your tenacity and perseverance, for which I must commend you.

I look forward to the good times we will have and the memories we will make as Facebook friends. Write back!

Sincerely yours,

Matt Gwin

– MFG ’14. Illustrated by CSO ’15.

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