With my birthday right around the corner, I’ve started to become a bit introspective about the friends I have online and in real life — IRL for the socially savvy. After a few disappointing experiences with a few IRL “friends,” I made the tough decision that sometimes, in the world of social media, it’s a good thing to clean house on your Facebook page. If you’re contemplating unfriending a few friends, a few guidelines can help you decide how to cut social media ties.
5 Signs it’s time to delete friends from your digital life for good
1. Your IRL friend doesn’t include you in a special event — even though they invited the entire neighborhood
This one hit me hard recently when someone I considered a good friend managed to conveniently leave me off her guest list for a milestone event. Honestly, I wouldn’t have really cared if she was getting together with a few close friends, but when we accidentally drove down her street the night of her bash, her block was teeming with cars. When I began to see photos from her party on her Facebook feed, I was pretty hurt. While we had been friends for several years, and I had invited her to a number of special events in my own life, I decided that the party was officially over. While my index finger wavered between unfollow and delete, I finally summoned up the nerve to remove her from my friend list for good.
2. Your friend posts every 45 seconds
Unspoken etiquette on Facebook — or at least on my page — says that if you don’t have something witty or clever to say, please don’t post 100 times per day. No one can be funny or clever 100 times in a row, and it is so incredibly annoying every time I see a notification and it’s from you. It’s like the boy who cried wolf — after a certain point, we just stop caring.
3. Your friend spams you so they can win a contest
Honestly, I don’t know how some of these people wound up on my page in the first place. Even though these people are technically not even my friends, the minute someone sends me a direct message to help them win a contest, I delete them as spam and unfriend them immediately.
4. Your Facebook friend brags just a little too much
Look at me, I’m in France! Wait, now I’m skydiving! Here’s me on a 75 foot yacht! I just got a major book deal and someone is optioning the movie rights! I’m sorry. While we all like to share our favorite moments on Facebook, if you have that incredible a life, I need to delete you. Honestly, you make me feel pretty bad about my own situation. Of course, if you invite me to a few of those amazing places, I will happily brag right along with you.
5. Your super-opinionated friend insults you if you disagree with them
There are certain hot button issues I just don’t like to touch upon on Facebook, but plenty of people go there. If you dare to disagree with them, they will happily have a social media shouting match on your page. I’m just not interested in the digital drama. If you want to have a healthy debate, I’m happy to engage in a meaningful discussion; but if you call me stupid or just plain wrong, that’s grounds for losing my online friendship for good.
Have you had other situations where you’ve decided to unfriend someone on Facebook? I’d love to hear your reasons or if you relate.