To Unfriend, Or Not To Unfriend?

"No, Mother. I did not unfriend you."

Image by johnscotthaydon via Flickr

By Jamie Zabludowski

 

The infamous words, “Facebook stalking.” We’ve all done it, well, I know I have! Sitting at our computers for hours at a time, reading news feed after news feed. We see what our friends have been doing all day, who they’re dating, and even what they’ve eaten for lunch. It raises the question, though, how many people on our friends’ list do we actually talk to? Are we just so scared to put our cursors over the infamous “Remove from friends list” button and click it? We sit on Facebook and debate it, palms sweating, heart racing, but there is something that prevents us from taking that leap and “unfriending.”

Last November, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel started National Facebook Unfriending Day. Kimmel stated that “…all of us need to cut the friend fat out of our lives.” Do we need to know about that weird guy from your high school chemistry class ate for breakfast that morning? Probably not. And is there any part of us that cares who our elementary school boyfriend is dating, 10 years later? Probably not.

Facebook offers every application you can think of—you can become a farmer, create a city, start a mafia world, and let’s not forget sharing your new high score of Bejeweled Blitz! My Facebook friend list tops at almost 1,000 friends, however I only talk to 150 at most. (Dunbar’s number, developed in the 1990s, asserts that size of the part of the brain used for conscious thought and language, the neocortex, limits us to 150 friends, no matter how sociable we are) With all these features, it can be easy to get overwhelmed—that’s why I created these simple criteria to follow for the Unfriending process:

1.     Farmville. They keep trying to send you bushels of rhubarb for your farm on Farmville.

2.     Too political. They flood your inbox with political debate group pages.

3.     Social butterflies. They invite you to every event in your city (ie, parties, fashion shows, your grandmothers 90th birthday party, etc.)

4.     Angle shots. Their profile picture is them standing in their bathroom mirror.

5.     M.I.A. You haven’t kept in touch with them in years and you don’t plan on changing that.

6.     Nobody’s listening. They update their every move every 38 minutes on the dot.

7.     The break-up. They dumped you/you dumped them.

8.     Parents. They’re your mom and/or dad

9.     Unknown. You’ve never spoken to them; they’re just a mutual friend of a friend

10.  Even more unknown. You realize you don’t even really know them, you just added them because they have the same name as somebody you met at a party/event you were at 3 years ago.

Too complicated? Don’t say I didn’t warn you when that awkward meeting happens on a street corner and a former Facebook friend approaches and says, “Why did you unfriend me?!” What’s your response going to be?

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One Response to To Unfriend, Or Not To Unfriend?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention To Unfriend, Or Not To Unfriend? | BTS Communications -- Topsy.com

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