When I try to add someone on Facebook, their ignorance often transforms what should be a simple act into an agonizing ordeal. Even people who seem fairly tech-savvy don’t seem to be aware that there is a better way to be found on Facebook than by searching for their name, which is usually shared by hordes of people. (The fact that these people usually look nothing like them sort of feels like a betrayal, but that’s another story.) “Just search for Jane Smith,” the individual will helpfully suggest. “I’m the one with the face.”
Admittedly, I am sure there are times when these individuals – say, the ones who were female and weren’t necessarily keen to have any ongoing contact with me – didn’t want to make the process of adding them any easier than it had to be. But there are other people who have shown genuine enthusiasm about forming friendships while also displaying an amazing ignorance of the basic workings of the world’s largest social media platform.
In case you want to be my friend and don’t consider me creepy and annoying (or, if you happen to like making friends with creepy and annoying people), let me help you out: Your Facebook account has a unique ID that makes it possible for you to be found instantly, just by being entered into a Facebook search box. So in a rare public service, let me show you where you can find it:
1. Facebook for Web
Just visit your own profile (you know, by clicking on your face at the top of the page) and you’ll find your ID in the address bar of your web browser – It’s the part after https://www.facebook.com/. Seriously, people, it’s not that hard!
2. Messenger for Android
Click on the little circle with your face in it, and you will be taken to a settings page. Scroll down to the Username section – your ID is everything after the m.me/ part. Pretty easy, riiiiight?!
3. Facebook for Android
All you have to do is… Crap, this one was actually really hard to figure out. The only thing I found is that you can go to your own profile, tap the More button, and then choose Copy Link to Profile. Of course, you will then have to paste it somewhere before you can see what your ID is.
4. Facebook for iOS
I don’t know, I’m not cool enough.
To be fair, at least some of the examples above show that people’s appalling ignorance may be largely a failure on Facebook’s part: unlike Instagram and especially Twitter, where the user IDs are placed front and center, Facebook’s IDs are often unhelpfully tucked away in the deepest bowels of user interface hell. Also, searching by name on Facebook tends to work a lot better when you’re searching for people who you already share connections with, as opposed to when you’re being added by a lonely, socially awkward digital nomad who has no better way to ease his loneliness than by annoying confused strangers.
But in spite of these caveats, you’d think that the amount that many people rely on Facebook, coupled with the sheer inconvenience of scrolling through hundreds of Joe Williamses to find the Joe Williams with the faciest face, would inspire people to figure out, one way or another, that there is an easier way. But apparently not – at least, not without my help, so you’re welcome. I hope this little tutorial has helped you make it easier for creepy strangers to add you on Facebook – at least, unless you use iOS, in which case you’re so cool, you can probably figure it out by your own damn self, anyway.