Hayley Krischer: I was late to the Facebook whirlwind, and once the friend requests came rolling in, I was bewildered. I asked my husband, Andy -- who had over 300 friends -- for advice.
"A Facebook friend isn't a friend friend," he said. "They don't want to get to know you. They just want to acknowledge you, then mosey on their way."
So I friended Andy. It took him two weeks to accept.
Then I invited him to be my husband. He didn't respond.
It wasn't that Andy was cruising the Internet for women. All of his "friends" knew we were married. Andy was playing a little game of marital sadism -- and because it's only fun when two people are participating, I needled him back.
"I demand an answer," I said.
"Do I have to be committed to you in the virtual world and inside our house?" he asked in response. "Are you going to insist I do the dishes on Facebook? Are you going to ask me to mow the lawn on Facebook?"
If my husband could ignore me, I thought, I could do some ignoring as well.
The first person I ignored was entirely unintentional. I thought the request was a mistake until Andy asked me about it.
"I got an e-mail from Jennifer saying you ignored her on Facebook," he said.
"Oh, that Jennifer," I said. "I didn't realize it was her. While we're on the Facebook topic ...."
"Did you accept my invitation to be my husband?"
He shuffled away.
As my friend tally rose, so did the grievances about out-of-control children, husbands who didn't take out the garbage and status updates on home renovations. And then a specific Facebook bragger (a person I never liked) friended me. I asked Andy what to do.
"Should I e-mail her something honest?" I asked. "Tell her there's no room for a Facebook frenemy?"
"That's terrible Facebook etiquette," Andy said.
"And not marrying your wife on Facebook ... is that good Facebook etiquette?
"My worlds are colliding!" he said.
"Because there's a Facebook Andy and a husband Andy?"
"An Andy divided against himself cannot stand!"
Rules of etiquette apply, even in our informal world. No talk of politics or race. Send thank-you notes. Don't call attention to noticeable plastic surgery.
On Facebook, I learned it was OK to be friends even if you dislike a person in real life. It's also OK to love your wife in real life and pretend she doesn't exist on Facebook.
And Andy? He finally became my Facebook husband.
A few months later, I deactivated my account. I kept my husband.