This Is Why You Were Friended or Unfriended

November 17th is National Unfriend Day, but why put off tomorrow what you can do today? I feel no obligation to remain facebook friends with people from high school or old coworkers or people I used to think were cute or celebrities or anyone that has a very different political/religious/social view. It’s a social media, not an argument media or disrespect others opinions media. It probably would have been better if facebook would have used a different word than “friends,” because un-friending is taken so personally when it doesn’t need to be. I do not see the need to “celebrate the differences” or “agree to disagree.” There are reasons that people fall out of contact with people they knew through circumstances of proximity, it is just that the internet now makes us feel obligated to stay in contact. We used to have the choice to keep in touch with people we no longer see daily, I say we still do. I recently went through my friends list and made some deep cuts using a pretty simple criteria: you need to be smart, funny and/or entertaining. I have to like you. Here are my examples:

If we worked together ten years ago and barely socialized outside of work then and not at all now and you have not helped me get a job at whatever company you moved to and you are not smart, funny and/or entertaining? Bye.

If your politics are very different than mine and you routinely refer to people with views different than yours in derogatory terms and are not smart, funny and/or entertaining? Later.

If you use your religion as a weapon against people who do not believe in your exact flavor of spirituality and are not smart, funny and/or entertaining? See ya.

If you invite me to join Farmville (or whatever is the next Farmville). Tootle-Loo

If your posts are sad pathetic cries for attention. So long.

If you are not smart or funny. The least you could do was post embarrassing drunken photos of yourself. Peace out.

If we went to high school together and the most we have ever interacted was the Facebook friend request and you have not grown into someone that is smart, funny and/or entertaining? I gotta go.

But do not take it personally, it is not you, it’s me. Well, it is not just me, it is an internet-wide trend and chances are you are unfriending too.

My reasons are quite similar to a recent study results. According to Pew’s most recent study on social networking sites, most users don’t agree with their friends’ political postings. As the election approaches, it’s only going to get worse. Here’s why we’re unfriending one another these days:

• Because you post too often about political subjects (10 percent of users have blocked or hidden someone for this reason)

• Because you posted something you find so disagreeable it was offensive (9 percent)

• Because you argued with me about politics (8 percent — but doesn’t it take two to make an argument?)

• Because you posted something that would offend my friends (5 percent)

• Because I disagree with your political posts (4 percent)

Unfriending has become so rampant that the word was 2009’s word of the year in the Oxford Dictionary. Emotions run high around unfriending, too — especially now that there are apps that notify users when they’ve been dropped from someone else’s Facebook list. There have even been cases of people reacting violently in real life to a cyber unfriending.

Other studies about Facebook unfriending, such as a 2010 one conducted by the University of Colorado at Denver, have come to similar conclusions.

“Unfriending reflects the instrumentalization and commodifying of friendship on Facebook,” Lee Siegel, author of “Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob,” told the New York Times. “Why unfriend someone at all? After all, in the real world, you don’t just ignore an obnoxious relative. The very act of unfriending acknowledges that the Facebook definition of friend is different from the traditional.”

Here is how to clean up your facebook news feed:

Hide a person or a type of story (ex: quizzes or games)
Hover over the top-right menu of a story, click the drop-down menu and choose what you’d like to hide:

  1. Hide story will remove the story you’re looking at
  2. Hide all by and Unsubscribe from will remove the story you’re looking at, as well as all future stories from a person, Page, group, event or app
  3. Report story or spam will remove the story you’re looking at and help keep your news feed clear of stories like it in the future

If you accidentally hide something you want to see, click the Undo link.

To unfriend someone:

  1. Go to that person’s profile (timeline)
  2. Hover over the Friends box at the top of their profile (timeline)
  3. Click Unfriend

Note: If you choose to unfriend someone, you will be removed from that person’s friends list as well. If you want to be friends with this person again, you’ll need to send a new friend request.

2 comments

    1. It’s how I figured out that I should not be so upset when facebook “friends” don’t behave like real-life friends. Especially at the beginning of everyone’s facebook experience, we all collect as many friends as possible, our popularity status depends on it.

      Like

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