I’ll admit it, I’m an unfriender. While everyone else is connecting to their third cousin’s friend from Sunday school, I’m busy culling my list of FB friends. I wasn’t always like that. When I first joined the site I pretty much accepted a friend request from anyone I’d ever met–even one of my professors.
But then time passed and I watched how things worked and decided that I didn’t really care about how many friends I had on FB. I cared more that my friends on FB were friends I wanted. (Much like middle school…) Now, interestingly enough, some of the people I didn’t think would last have and some of the ones I never thought I’d unfriend have gone by the wayside.
So, what are my top reasons for unfriending someone on FB?
1. They never post. Anything. Ever. The only time the person shows up in my newsfeed is when some random person I don’t know tags them in a post with pictures of other people I don’t know, usually their children. I think it’s great that FB can be used to keep someone up to date on what’s happening with their friends’ kids, but I don’t care about those nameless children, so if there’s not some other reason to stay friends with the person, I”m eventually going to unfriend them.
2. They post all the time about things I don’t care about. I appreciate that people have political and social views that they want to share with others, but after the twentieth post in a week about, well, any political topic, I’m done. Sometimes I’ll just hide the person from my newsfeed for a while to see if it blows over, but generally it doesn’t.
3. They post passive-aggressive drama posts often and I’m allowed to unfriend them. (I have one that I can’t.) You know what I’m talking about: “I hate when mean people are mean.” or “Well, at least I now know who my true friends are.” If you can’t keep your drama between you and the people you have drama with, then we don’t need to be friends.
4. I can’t remember who they are. Or, more likely, I remember that they’re that person I met that one time at that party and have never exchanged another message with. I don’t like their posts. They don’t like mine. We are as much strangers on FB as we are off of it.
5. They’re on FB all the time but we never interact. I see new posts by them, but none ever inspire me to comment or like them. They never comment on my posts or like them either. I know this person. We went to college together or worked together for years, but I don’t know why I’m still in touch with them.
6. I’m not positive I actually know who this person is. They have the name of someone I used to know and they sent me a friend request, but they’ve never posted anything that actually confirms they are who they say they are.
7. It’s complicated and I finally figured out the way to uncomplicate the situation is to unfriend them.
8. They post mocking or hateful posts often and I’m allowed to unfriend them. (I have one I can’t. Interestingly enough, not the same person as in 3.) I don’t have much patience for people who hate other groups of people or who feel superior enough to mock a whole group of individuals. I’m not above the occasional insult myself, but I try to limit my negativity to people I actually know.
9. They’re going through some serious personal drama that they’re talking about on FB and I don’t know them well enough to provide emotional support and I feel like a vulture continuing to watch the train wreck which is their life right now.
10. They are more appropriately a LinkedIn-type contact. This includes former co-workers I don’t socialize with as well as former professors and classmates I never socialized with. They don’t need to see my posts about my dog or the latest song lyric I liked. They just need to know where to find me and what I’m up to professionally.
There are a few other one offs, but that covers the majority. I have to say, it certainly makes being on FB a much more enjoyable experience than when I had all those other folks on there.