Facebook unfriending is a hot topic — while statistically most people unfriend someone if they post updates too frequently or about controversial topics like politics, there are plenty of other reasons for clicking the "remove" button. For a little end-of-the-day fun, here are some situations from a few of my favorite prime-time shows. Cast your vote! Would you unfriend someone who pulled any of these made-for-TV moves?
I realize that our wise words to unfriend your ex right away on Facebook may fall on deaf and confused ears. While making a clean break can help you mentally heal from a breakup (not to mention keep things in perspective emotionally), it seems that not a lot of you follow this rule. According to a study performed by YourTango, 48 percent of respondents say that they check out their ex's Facebook profile too often. And surprise — this study doesn't just apply to newly single gals; 42 percent of married women say that they find themselves clicking on an ex's profile more often than they should, and 36 percent say that this attachment interferes with their marriage. Yikes! In response, YourTango is declaring Feb. 13 "Unfriend Your Ex Day," giving you the push you need to dump that dead weight from your social networks. You should seriously consider taking the plunge.
I've never been one to hold on to the past, and I find it quite hard to be friends with exes (even digitally). But what about you — are you still friends with your ex on Facebook?
There are many reasons to unfriend someone on Facebook: you've told us that you do it if someone keeps posting about religion or politics, posts too frequently, or sends you too many out-of-town invites, among other reasons, but what about unfriending someone just because, well, you're not actually friends with them?
Jimmy Kimmel has declared today National Unfriend Day and urged us to cut the "friend fat" by getting rid of those Facebook friends who aren't true friends IRL. What about you — will you be deleting those annoying acquaintances or unrecognizable names from your friends list?
A racist comment, constant oversharing, or a ridiculous political rant will prompt you to unfriend a Facebook connection on the spot. But what about all the distant acquaintances who fly under the radar, while still having access to your life? Jimmy Kimmel has declared today "National Unfriend Day" because he believes the social network cheapens sacred friendships. Today, he wants everyone to go cut out some of their "friend fat."
Every once in a while I cull my Facebook friends. I start by unfriending the people whose names I don't even recognize (I think I had classes with them in college?), then I might move on and cut the people I only met once and never spoke to again. While I could simply give them limited access to my information, removing people I'm not actually friends with feels as rejuvenating as cleaning out my closet. If you're going to unfriend people today, where will you start?
Source: Flickr User Ed Yourdon
New research from the University of Colorado suggests that the two most common reasons for Facebook unfriending are: one, posting too often. And, two: posting about particularly polarizing topics like religion and politics.
Most of you agree that aggressive political posting could be grounds for removal, and often too many posts about your kids can have the same effect. As one of my friends oh-so-brilliantly put it, "If I wanted to see photos of your baby, I'd friend your baby."
Children I can handle, but angry political commentary pushes me over the edge. And once I unfriended an acquaintance who posted only whiny, negative comments about her day to day activities. Which action makes you most likely to unfriend someone on Facebook?
Defriending, unfriending, whatever you want to call it — sometimes it's necessary to break the bonds of Facebook friendship. Once when an acquaintance posted a homophobic status update, I decided to unfriend (it didn't help that he constantly blasted me with messages promoting parties). Well, a couple days later, I got a friend request from him! How did he know I had unfriended him so quickly? He's still lingering in friend-request limbo.
Cutting off a Facebook friendship is likely easier than a non-virtual friendship breakup. It doesn't require confrontation and you probably wouldn't do it to someone you see every day. Academics have looked into the top reasons for unfriending a person. The number one reason: repetitive posts. One researcher explained: "The 100th post about your favorite band is no longer interesting." Word. The second most-popular reason: controversial posts about religion or politics. And coming in third: racists or crude comments.
If someone hasn't completely offended you, you might consider softer options: hiding them from your feed or upping your privacy settings for specific people who can't help but share inappropriate stuff on your wall. Maybe this has happened to you. Have you ever gone to someone's page and realized you suddenly can't see tagged photos or write on the wall? Go ahead and chalk it up to responsible privacy settings, but it'll still bruise your ego a bit.
We asked you how long you wait to become Facebook friends with someone, but now I want to know: what will it take for you to unfriend a person?
The problem I've found is that once I unfriend someone, they'll start seeing me pop up in the "friend suggestion" sidebar. So, while Facebook doesn't directly tell them, it pretty much lets them know at some point. My solution is to create a "limited" friends list for people I don't know really well that has permissions for posting to walls, seeing my photos etc. restricted. Then when I get a friend request, I decide at that point if they should be part of that group. Then I use the "hide" option on the newsfeed so their status updates and many, many application announcements don't show up.
Thanks for the tip, Sasseefrass!
The New Oxford American Dictionary just released its annual Word of the Year and it's unsurprisingly tech-related. This year's honor goes to "unfriend," defined as by the dictionary as, "To remove someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook."
The Word of the Year is chosen from newly created words by researchers based on language trends, popularity, and cultural significance. Some popular geeky words that were up for the honor are no stranger to GeekSugar: "sexting" and "netbook" were also considered, along with "hashtag," referencing the popular Twitter "#" character and "intexticated," the state of distraction one experiences while driving and texting.
I think that "unfriend" is a pretty fitting addition to the dictionary. Plus, its inclusion makes it easy to decide between the terms "defriend" and the newly validated "unfriend."