Seven Reasons to Unfriend someone on Facebook.

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Facebook in Real Life:

Trolling friends on Facebook Messenger:

~

Learning to say “no” can be as powerful and positive as saying “yes.” Letting go isn’t loss. It’s allowing room for new.

Relephant Bonus: Online Loneliness: “This Video Will Have You Completely Rethink How You Conduct Yourself Online And In Person (Video)”

I give a lot of talks on how to do social media right. I gave one two days ago, as part of the Unreasonable Climax. In it I emphasized that, really, even when you’re swimming in a digital world, we need to (try to) comport ourselves in a personal, grounded manner.

If we’re real online, it’s good for our relationships and business. If we’re spammy, we’ll accomplish the opposite of what we’re going for.

Click Image: Dave Taylor.

Relephant Deep Reading: Buddhism vs. Speed: Busyness is Laziness, by Dr. Reggie Ray.

Letting go or moving on can be hard to do.

But it can be a real message, both to your once-friend and to your own sense of fear or attachment.

I unfriend folks with some regularity—not because I dislike them, but rather because I’ve been stuck at FB’s rather arbitrary Friend limit of 5,000 for five years and need to make room for new friends or colleagues. So I’ve been forced to be selective.

And so, rather accidentally, I’ve discovered the virtues of raising my bar for friendship—whether virtual or otherwise.

Note: unfriending someone doesn’t mean they can’t message you. You can still be in touch. And usually, depending on your settings, they’ll still be able to view your public posts on your Wall. So you’re not absolutely parting ways with them—it’s not a big deal.

facebook

Seven reasons to show Facebook “friends” the virtual door:

1. Wall Spam. I unfriended a wacky mentor of many in the [ X ] community because he never related to me personally, but just posted promotional petitions, links, and diatribes, on my Wall. When he did message me, it was usually for a good cause, but again in a somewhat off-his-kilter manner.

Question: is your “friend” posting stuff on your Wall to you…or trying to reach or advertise beyond you, to your friends? If they’re just trying to “promote,” they’re treating you like a distribution outlet, not a human manner.

Note: that doesn’t mean folks, including you, can’t share links and petitions that you genuinely like, with those you genuinely like. Keep it personal.

2. Jerky Condescension: I just unfriended a senior Buddhist (who’s appeared on my talk show, and does great work in his field) for acting like a…how do I put this politely?…dick. Posting in a public group, he started rather passive-aggressively guilt-tripping me about not helping out my mom, though I (as I’m not going to litigate in a public group) help her out a ton (and gladly—I owe her everything I am). I’d just posted to fellow Buddhists, asking if someone might be inspired to drop a few old DVDs off with her, since she’d recently fallen off a bus and couldn’t get around, and was laid up for a week—last time I was up there I gave her my MacBook Pro (because it had a DVD drive) so she could skype me/see my photos Facebook/be in touch with everybody/watch movies (she doesn’t have cable, or wifi). Interesting Update: I think I violated the Bonus, below, unfriending out of feeling offended. The gentleman messaged me and, as I suspected, had some personal story about his mother that meant a lot to him, just wanted to be sure I paid attention to my mother, and lectured me a bit about taking a vacation (the first of my life) when I could be helping my mother in person. I reminded him that he didn’t need to remind me to help my mother—I love to do so and owe her big-time and, while I wasn’t going to explain what I do for her out of defensiveness, I care for her.

3. Friends, exes, ex-friends, colleagues who don’t reply. If you find yourself on a one-way street of communication, just let go. Letting go isn’t less: it’s creating space in your life for new. Let go.

4. Folks who message you too much. If they’re crazy, don’t just unfriend them: block them. Stalking includes cyber-stalking. Take it seriously. Less is more, when it comes to crazy.

5. If you don’t know the person, and aren’t connected to them through work, or some at least vaguely meaningful way. My friend request queue is also maxed out—mostly with folks I’m not sure I know. I try and only accept friend requests with, or make friend requests of, those I have some real or meaningfully virtual connection to.

6. If they’re whacky. Even if they’re less than crazy—if they communicate aggressively, or strangely, if they leave five comments on each of your posts…gone.

7. What else? Give me a few other (good) reasons you’ve unfriended someone.

Bonus: one reason not to unfriend someone. If you’re having a moment of defensiveness, or anger…let it pass. If, when you’ve calmed down, you still feel like they may not be a helpful presence in your life…let them go.

 

~

Or you could just bail on everyone all together and join the social media site that isn’t stealing all of your information:

Relephant Reads:

Bonus:

The Simple Buddhist Trick to being Happy.

Buddhism: how to protect yourself from Bad Stuff: Dharmapala!

Top 10 Things to do when your Life has Gone to Sh*t.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.

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anonymous Feb 29, 2016 10:24pm

I'm considering the idea of unfriending someone. I have recently made romantic gestures to a friend and I'm 90% certain that it's all going to blow up in my face once I tell her it's me. I might as well unfriend her before she has the chance to do it to me…it also prevents me from seeing what she posts, which should help get over her. Yeah, I'm going to unfriend her right now.

anonymous Feb 3, 2016 1:40am

If they're wacky, that's a good reason to send them a friend request, not to unfriend them. I like wacky. Wacky is fun. Weird Al is wacky. I rest my case. Unless they're wacky and stalkery or wacky and dangerous… Then, it's not the wackiness. It's something else.

anonymous Jan 21, 2016 1:39pm

I've unfriended someone for constant negativity. Always sarcastic, always whining.

anonymous Jan 21, 2016 10:31am

I see nothing wrong with cleaning the ole' friends list up a little, especially with the people who NEVER communicate with you. But to delete someone just because they made several comments back to back or might be "weird"? All this "letting go"…."letting go"…I do understand it and believe it is important to learn the art of letting go and be comfortable with it….but this article borders on snobbiness and unwilling to accept those that are different somehow? I realize as stated by you that you can always message them, but do you know how much good and close friends I have made just by accepting people's quirks and I am richer for it and much good has come from these relationships. Lately I feel like this obsession with letting go and keeping people from a very important quality that it seems so many people lack these days, and that's loyalty. Not saying that all FB friends are as serious all that, but I decided to give my honest opinion on this subject. No disrespect. Cheers!

anonymous Dec 26, 2015 4:27pm

I recently unfriended someone because I don’t want to be friends with someone who posts pics of her four month old watching cartoons, it’s an ideological difference so deep I don’t see the point. I also unfriended a few friends and friends of friends from college whose lives no longer jive with mine, they are very fringey and not respectful of women. Lastly, I had a rough time in high school and at one point realized I had no desire to share my life with those people.

anonymous Dec 26, 2015 1:35pm

If you're an artist and the friend you blocked was only friends with you to rip off your designs. If you see your work start showing up on the web you need to get rid of the thieves! I recently dumped 3 people for this. We never spoke anyway I'm not even sure why we were friends.

anonymous Nov 21, 2015 12:28pm

I'm tired of the lack of logical thinking and obvious (to me) talking points from Faux News. They ask questions about my posts which have little to do with what I've posted (straw man arguments)

anonymous Oct 16, 2015 6:44pm

A number of these if not all of them I have unfriended people for. Other reasons I can simply say has a lot to do with what they choose to post and what shows up in my news feed. I am a pretty open minded person, I accept peoples beliefs and what they enjoy out of life. Though, sometimes they push through to what I've discovered as limitations to my open mind. For example, posting lewd photos/videos ( example. cleavage shots, almost nudes, butt photos, twerking etc. ). While one here or there is tolerable, if that is all they choose to post ( no matter my relation to them ) I either hide all their posts or simply unfriend them. I have a right to choose what I see in my news feed. Another reason is what people choose to write about in their statuses. I get on my Facebook to stimulate my mind and my mood. I want to read posts that are funny, deep, intelligent, pondering and meaningful. Or simply loved ones and people I care about sharing what's going on in their lives ( achievements, goals, events, thoughts, feelings, etc. ) positive or negative. While everyone has ups and downs, there are some people who just always seem to be down in the negatives. Their posts and statuses are never uplifting, they never try to see the light in a situation. They just carry on about some drama or negative feelings they have either about themselves or someone else. When someone is always posting negative statuses, pictures, quotes etc. I unfriend them or hide their posts as they never seem to leave that melancholy state of mind. Some people might say to me I'm not open minded and that I should just ignore these two types of posts, let people be and move on. While I agree, ignoring it is best, it is also my Facebook and as I said, it is my choice to choose what shows up in my daily feed. I have never stopped anyone from doing or being what they want, but I can choose to remove someone if they're posts are distasteful, make me feel uncomfortable or just put me in a negative state of mind.

anonymous Sep 12, 2015 9:53am

I have a artist “friend” on Facebook who usually posts about art, fashion, and hippy stuff (clothing, furniture, decor, etc.). Recently she started posting extremely Islamaphobic and nationalist memes. I am not a Muslim, but these memes are so blatantly racist I don’t want them in my feed. I’m ready, willing and able to unfriend her, but here’s my question; do I try to talk to her first? Should I try to save the friendship or dump her?

    anonymous Sep 12, 2015 12:29pm

    You can unfollow her if you just don't want to see her posts and remain friends.

anonymous Sep 7, 2015 10:20am

I tend to frequently remove flaky people who make minor changes to their profiles and act as though they are now this “completely different person.” their “change” may be something like switching from a full name to a first and middle name or a nickname. This is largely preemptive as in the past my head has been on the chopping block several times when people started making these “big changes.” so I get them before they get me basically. Another time the wife of a former high school acquaintance unfriended me for reasons known only to her, since I was on the fence about getting rid of him anyway her doing this made the decision easier and I gave him the axe.

anonymous Sep 6, 2015 12:42pm

I have been on both sides of the fence. There were times when I unfriended people for what I felt were perfectly valid and legitimate reasons. Usually it involved some annoying instance of the person somehow reminding me that I really didn’t know them all that well or at all by either wishing me a “Happy Birthday” or simply at random coming up and speaking to me via messenger as though we were good friends. On the other side I was left baffled when old “real life friends” as well as people I met entirely online who seemed to like the majority of my content removed me for reasons known only to them. I felt slightly betrayed in some instances but quickly got over it.

anonymous Sep 2, 2015 8:45pm

I unfriended someone who I could barely remember but who kept trying to tell me I should have a pool party and invite him. Really? I thought I was supposed to do the inviting. I tried to ignore the first few attempts but after about the 5th time

anonymous Sep 2, 2015 10:55am

tried to join ello and keep getting a no dice message, lol, when i joined facebook, regardless, i still was accepted, guess i stick to the tried and true, as new is not better, it appears to be flustrating, lol

anonymous Aug 17, 2015 4:41am

Unfriended my friend (ex) a little while after we broke up. Not because we couldn't talk to eachother anymore or anything but because her digital presense when online made the moving on part after the break-up harder for me.

anonymous Aug 16, 2015 8:43am

simple et comprehensive

anonymous Jul 19, 2015 6:12pm

If they post really bad jokes that border on or jump stupidly over the racist line.
If everything they post pisses you off, even mildly.
If they have no fucking sense of humor whatsoever and take the piss out of your sarcastic or subtly humorous posts because of it.

anonymous Jul 18, 2015 10:10pm

I have been thinking about unfriending my stepmom. My dad passed away rather unexpectedly last Thanksgiving. She began dating in February, and has moved in with a new man. They often proclaim their love to each other on Facebook. Although, I do want her to be happy, I am still deeply greiving. I asked her if she could be more discreet for a while longer, for my family’s sake, and out of respect for my father. I recieved no response. Should I just unfriend her?

anonymous Jul 1, 2015 5:31pm

I find it poor that this article is headlined "7 Reasons to Unfriend Someone on Facebook" and the 7th reason is "give me more suggestions.

That means it's 6 reasons, buddy. 6 reasons plus a request for the crowd to do the rest of your work for you.

anonymous Apr 8, 2015 6:38am

I unfriended my toxic sister in law after years of knowing her “real life” and watching the fiction version play out on her FB. For months I read status of her pointing the fingers at anyone and everyone she could knowing the truth that she was causing her own drama most of the time, and feeding on the negative and sympathetic comments on these posts. I’ve been married to my husband for almost 2 Decades and she never, ever contributed to our lives in a positive manner, her and her abusive husband did purchase some things for us and our kids over 15 years but usually

Just to brag about it or remind us of it often. She became so enraged that she put 100% effort in to making my life hell. I had to see her for my father in laws funeral, and I am

At peace and actually proud that I unfriended her, because her real life behavior reflected all of what I was trying to remove from my life. although I will

Miss my neices and nephew who are teens now who have been completely brain washed, I look at my own two beautiful teen daughters and I am positive I have done the right thing.

anonymous Mar 24, 2015 12:45pm

There are a few things that you can do without unfriending people, assuming that, like most of us, you don't have 5000 friends. You can unfollow them so that you don't have to read their kooky posts. You can turn off the feature that allows people to post on your wall and you can make sure that they don't see your posts by using the appropriate settings.

One could look at facebook as a place to practice loving kindness…

Someone with 5000 friends could turn their personal facebook page into a "page" and create a smaller, private personal facebook page for real friends.

anonymous Mar 24, 2015 12:29pm

There's no need to unfriend if it means it will ruin some business relationships or if you have mutual friends and will see them in the near future. There are features on Fb that allow for people to be excluded from seeing your posts and even some photos like mobile uploads and things you upload to your timeline. You can even put them on a Restricted list disallowing them from viewing anything but technically they are still your friend. I find that feature makes my life easier as opposed to seeing them and hearing, "Why'd you delete me?"

anonymous Feb 2, 2015 3:22am

I unfriended someone I knew from my childhood because whenever she got drunk she would send me diatribes about how crap our childhood was.

anonymous Jan 26, 2015 1:49pm

I'd add, "If it makes you sad to read their posts." I have a friend I was once very close to. Over the years she has drifted away and realizing I only find out about her life is via Facebook just made me sad.

anonymous Jan 17, 2015 11:46am

I had to go through an unfortunate round of un-friending when the IRL gossip channel outside of FB was getting littered with misrepresentations of my FB posts. I kept finding myself saying, “how do they know that?” regarding friends not on FB. In order to root out the gossiper, I randomly removed probably more than a few people who didn’t deserve it. Nonetheless, my faith in humans and their ability to be loyal friends is shattered.

I no longer post anything personal on FB as a result.

anonymous Dec 21, 2014 3:22pm

I am considering unfriending work colleagues because I don't want them knowing about my social life. For a long while I made it a personal policy not to add work colleagues as friends because I believe it is best to keep work and social life separate. But after one colleague persuaded me to add them I found it difficult in my own mind to justify not adding others or accepting their friend requests so now I have quite a lot of work colleagues on fb. This makes me feel uncomfortable as I have broken my own rule and I am quite a private person who struggles with the whole concept of fb in many ways and I don't like going to work and feeling that colleagues may be judging me because of posts on my facebook.

    anonymous Jun 11, 2015 6:41am

    Try to search for all your work colleagues and block them out first, so that they could not send you friend requests.

anonymous Nov 19, 2014 1:38pm

I have unfriended a couple people when they ignored my messages. These were old friends who I hadn’t seen in along time and got along well with. I usually give them a shout out and suggest that we get together to catch up some time outside of fb. I can see they see that they have read my message (with the check mark) but they never reply, not even with a short hello. I’ll usually give it a couple weeks or longer. The message I get (especially when I see them making multiple posts, comments elsewhere) is that they can’t be bothered or don’t care. So, I really don’t want to be friends (virtual or real) with people like that.

anonymous Nov 19, 2014 7:27am

A lover and I consciously parted facebook ways when we decided we would make our relationship "open". she couldn't deal with the possibility of seeing a picture posted or a comment made from anyone who might be another lover. She found a loophole to look at my facebook anyway. The "opening" of our relationship was her idea. I eventually blocked her from Facebook to make our twice a week

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anonymous Aug 28, 2014 5:48am

I’ve unfriended a woman who several times posted anti-Muslim memes and commentary. Her “liking” all the ongoing, horrifyingly bigoted comments just backed up her belief system for me although ALL her other postings were of tiny, cute animals. ALL of them. I’ve no room for a racist, no matter how cute the animals were.

anonymous Aug 25, 2014 2:20pm

I unfriended someone who decided to date not just one of my ex's but two… even after I told her after the first time, that hearing about it through the gossip mill was hurtful and actually dating someone's ex is kind of a betrayal and not very kind behavior. So, she decided to do it yet again. The first time I forgave her, the second time, I sent her a very clear message telling her she was not my friend and voila! Unfriended literally and figuratively!

anonymous Aug 25, 2014 2:03pm

An ex who changed his mind constantly & has been inconsistent in acting on how he expressed he felt about me. Facebook can be a scapegoat for people too cowardly to take right steps towards what they want with someone. "Popping in" to learn everything that person's been up to, maybe even when the other women he's dating aren't boosting his ego enough (and probably to make sure I'm still single), doesn't fly with me; I've expressed it, and won't be accepting another re-friend request. Get a clue.

Tough love, baby. Tough love.

anonymous Aug 19, 2014 3:51pm

If they submit lewd photos, disrespect women, do or reference drugs.

anonymous Aug 8, 2014 10:56am

What if someone calls you an arrogant c***? Reason enough? What if they apologize?

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 3:14pm

I'm having some trouble deciding…. I live far away constantly moving form place to place… this from the age of 11 I'm now 24… this of course has led me to have many many friends, and over time maturing and ending of such relations… recently to have a professional network and expose myself as all my colleagues and friends who are in the same field do we must use facebook, but some times the lines get blurred and even in work situations we have to be selective of our support team whether professional or personal. I guess it is a matter of selecting carefully. The other thing I'm confused about is…. is it ok to un freind some one because they assumed your post was about them and took it personal? It is a friend unrelated to work but apparently they felt shamed for liking technology for me tryung to promote a petition I highly believe is so important in my community and mentioned to please do better and leave the phone and distractions for a minute and thing of the consequences of not doing anything regarding that issue… was I wrong? I don't think so it is my facebook and as Paulo Coelho wisely says to not assume anything.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 9:43am

I unfriended and blocked a very close friend (and 2 common FB friends) to save our friendship. I am very selective on sending/accepting friend requests and have less than 100 FB friends. I am a relatively active FB user, usually careful in what I share on my FB page in terms of sensitive issues and mindful of not to offend friends. I do not believe in "unfriending", even those with whom I disagree on almost everything. For the most part, I believe friends should have an understanding to agree to disagree. This particular close friend, who never shares anything on her page or participates on my page, was offended by the political posts I "liked" and the comments I made on other friends' posts. She confronted me by phone/text over the issue. We have strong opposite opinions on the subject and agreed in the past not to bring it up/fight over it. Since I was not convinced by her arguments this time (and vice versa) and only felt like she was spying on my FB activity, I decided, after long deliberation, to break our Facebook friendship to save our off-line friendship. This happened yesterday, and I haven't spoken to her yet. I don't know if she discovered that she can no longer see my posts, but hope I made the right choice and she will understand the reasons for my decision. (The other 2 people I blocked are less close with me, but very close with my friend. I felt they had to go because I simply felt that FB would not contribute to improving any of the mutual relationships. They also mostly lurk, but never participate on FB)

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anonymous Jun 1, 2014 8:09pm

I just killed Facebook entirely from my life. An old acquaintance started hos intellectual military rant against my one simple statement, his brother and others joined in as if this were an invitation to debate and attempt to make me feel inferior rather than just say thank you for your opinion and let it go at that. Who knodws who else he will tell this whole thing to online. Facebook is a load of crap and unfriending people one at a time doesn't work. Stay off of Facebook and stop letting people define who you are and what you are without your permission, just to make themselves feel better and superior. to others without taking responsibility as willow joines says. I did not need Facebook for 50 years, I surely do not need it now. The internet can be a wonderful thing and a mean bullying thing at the same time, a wall of shame for all to see while they hide behind their device at the same time. It has no class or compassion or morals, it's just there. So screw them and all who abuse people with it.

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anonymous May 26, 2014 4:15am

telling them to fuck off , works to

anonymous May 26, 2014 12:52am

Personally – if they don't bring anything to my life, if their posts are always negative and self-pitying, then they get unfriended. I did this just yesterday – I unfriended her in real life too. I was giving 150% of myself every single day, and getting nothing in return. Eventually something had to give 🙂

anonymous May 25, 2014 4:04pm

I have read quite a few of your posts and find them either based on nothing, or like this one, passive aggressive. I'm not sure what "brand" of buddhism you follow but it really isn't the one I recognise. Good luck with your path to true compassion and realisation.

anonymous Mar 26, 2014 8:53pm

I have unfriended 2 girls that are sisters and both of them are constantly posting photos of their yoga poses or hair styles and their vanity. I just pick up on me! me! me! Or these cryptic messages they type which I call “ask me about ME” posts. I actually feel low self-esteem when I see people bragging so much about their perfect lives, their beautiful meals, their vacations. I don’t need to feel that way so I just unfriend them.

anonymous Mar 26, 2014 7:19pm

I unfriended (and blocked) a friend from childhood because the only time he would EVER comment on anything of mine would be to argue (not debate) with me over religious/political differences. Now, I have a very "golden rule" attitude which I know not everyone follows so I let it go for a while even though I wouldn't post on his polar opposite and equally offending postings. But when it got to the point where he would name call, curse and ONLY post to agitate me, that's when I unfriended him. And I would have left it at that but heaven forbid we have mutual friends that I might share an opinion with. He made sure to try and drop his condescending remarks on those posts as well.

anonymous Mar 26, 2014 6:40pm

Waylon, I agree with most of your post, but I don't get you airing your private grievance, complete with enough detail that if he should read it, the "senior Buddhist" will know it is he you are talking about, on here. It seems pretty passive aggressive and goes contrary to Buddhist teachings of right speech, at least in my book. You could have said you deleted someone who you did not see eye to eye with without sharing specific details.

anonymous Mar 3, 2014 12:39am

I provide support to a community that is only able to meet twice a month. If I notice a great deal of drama coming from one or more members of the community, I will pm them, and if it continues, I will unfriend them. There are times when I want to leave FB, but then I realise there are people with whom I could not connect, without FB. Twice a year I go through my friends list and unfriend anyone I haven't have a conversation or interaction with. Most of the time they don't notice, but every now and then I get a friend request…again.

anonymous Mar 3, 2014 12:18am

I use my filters. No one knows what the others are seeing and I get to live in a quieter world.

No harm, no foul.

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 10:07am

My test for whether a person should be my "friend" on Facebook is whether they are providing a meaningful positive influence on my life. If I've known them in person, it's a fairly high threshold of forgiveness but I've unfriended people for posting things that are blatantly racist or hateful. (Everyone is entitled to their political beliefs and they can be different than mine, so long as they are respectful). Some I simply hide because their posts are full of negativity and I don't need that lingering in my brain. One of the odd things of social media is that I have so many people "telling" me about every minor nuisance, annoyance or inconvenience in their lives – including a lot of things they wouldn't bother to mention if I saw them in person. Before I post, I always ask myself, "Is this helpful?" and I often self-censor because I don't feel that I need to exert a negative influence on the day of others who might be reading my post in their feed.

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 7:54pm

I have unfriended when someone demonstrates racist or misogynist views. I also unfriended someone who became threatening over a post I made he didn’t like. I have also unfriended people who began bullying other friends on politically charged threads.

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 3:37pm

I have a policy about unfriending people for not taking the time to use punctuation. I don't care if it's a pain to use punctuation with an iPhone. Maybe that's a sign that you should spend time trying to participate in facebook activities.

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 3:32pm

I just unfriended about 100 people recently. If I don't want to share who I AM with them, for whatever reason, namely because I don't know them, then they're gone. I don't understand the need to "up" your friend count. I would rather be myself and communicate with those that I know/like. I unfriended one person because they kept friending my friends and relatives — weirdo!

    anonymous Jan 19, 2014 3:33pm

    Also….great article! And….did you re-friend the critic who judged your relationship with your mother?

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 2:02pm

I unfriend someone when I feel they aren’t genuine, if they are a crazy ex or if they are just plain insane. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of cyber stalkers that live in my city, who I barely know but feel the need to try to tear me down due to jealousy or boredom in their own lives. It’s sad when people feel the need to do this.

Great article 🙂

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 11:23am

Un-friend if you or the other aren't ever going to use your Facebook friendship or whatever other kind of relationship to enhance your non-virtual one. You're just going to passively check out my photos and not say hello or even greet me on my Facebook-notified birthday? Un-friended. #beruthless

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 10:40am

Interesting article and comments overall. I’ve taken a different approach to many of my friends who post offensive political and religious material. I keep it there to juxtapose all the “yes men” I normally associate and agree with. I think it’s healthy to keep the opposing views around for sanity checking. I admit it makes my blood boil at times but I also choose to ignore this posts on occasion and not read them at all.

The obvious unfriending I’ve done recently is for friends who’ve passed away. I don’t like the birthday reminders for dead people, nor do I appreciate posts to their walls from their other friends who haven’t let go yet.

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 9:43am

I should unfriend a guy I am still in love with. I am married. I have gotten to the confirmation pop-up box a couple times…

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 9:09am

I recently unfriended someone after a strange event. Our university was in the news over an issue involving a sorority, and the faculty wrote a letter to the University president about it, in which they kept referring to the sorority members as "Greek women." I posted on FB that it was disappointing and surprising that an international faculty would use an inappropriate term, since the women are not Greek and were not born in Greece, they are members of a sorority. This person just kept hammering away at me, and I never really got her point, but I kept telling her that she was missing mine, and it was simply my opinion. She kept telling me how many people join sororities, what they do on campus, etc, etc and I'd say yes, but the FACULTY used inappropriate language, especially with so many cultural studies profs who would never use that term, and that was my point. Her new husband then had to weigh in and I felt like I was tag teamed. Finally I just told her that none of her arguments were even relevant to my point and that's when she responded with something very personal and offensive. She told me I should base my research on something other than how many Greek boyfriends I had while in college. ( I dated a man who was born in Greece for a time). That's when I told her that her comment was cheap and offensive, and she knows very well that I have a MA in Comm with an emphasis in international communications and cultural affairs and since she was a graduate of the same program, she surely knows how we studied this topic specifically in a specific class! It was very offensive to make that kind of cheap comment on a FB post, knowing that anyone could see it. She replied that I was the one who was getting personal, so I waited 24 hours for an apology that never came and then unfriended her. I thought she WAS a good friend – the couple had been to our house many times. Normally I would say a good friendship can get past something like this but she didn't seem to even want to try. Maybe there really is something to it that people are just meaner on FB. I don't regret unfriending her.

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 8:41am

Nice post – I actually have a tradition where every year around my birthday, I reevaluate my friends list and do a large unfriending. I find that that helps me keep emotions like hurt or anger out of it, but it allows me to release ties to people whose presence in my life is no longer serving me. I am about to embark of my fourth year of doing this and I love how it helps me feel lighter and freer as I enter a new year of my life.

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 8:33am

I have unfriended someone because they supported a hunting organization and I'm anti-hunting. I'll unfriend someone if they keep sending annoying posts to vote for them for a contest or game or blog status. I feel as if I'm being used only as a "notch" on the belt, and I'm expected to work for them. And I've unfriended those who keep sending sponsored posts about products and want me to click on it so they make a couple of pennies. I don't appreciate being used in this way. This was a great article!

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 8:05am

Crazy. I JUST wrote this post on my Facebook page and saw this on my newsfeed. Here is what I posted:

Banu Sekendur
22 minutes ago
Yesterday I went through my Facebook “Friends” list and removed 200 people. I am making this post public so you can see my reasons. If you have noticed my absence, searched for my name and see “Add Friend” on top, you are one of the 200 people and you deserve to know my reasons. I have changed my Facebook friending philosophy and choose to add and keep friends according to that.

1) We met once maybe 5-8 years ago and never interacted since then. We don’t really know each other.

2) You keep coming at me with criticism or you are in a constant disagreement with me (probably with others too or you just can’t stand me). Then why be interested in seeing what I post other than looking for a reason to unload your personal frustrations?

3) You have sent me unfriendly emails.

4) I see that our philosophy in life and what we care about in life are SOO different that we probably wouldn’t have a conversation if we ran into each other even if we lived on the same block.

5) I feel low vibration energy from you and unfortunately I can feel it in my body and know who it is coming from. You might guess that I don’t enjoy it.

6) You rarely ever use Facebook, so what’s the point?

7) You use Facebook but probably removed me from your newsfeed so you never engage with me and haven’t in years. So why stay?

8) You are one of those people who get on Facebook and view it as a paparazzi show. My life is not a TV show to watch. I prefer to engage instead.

9) You belong to my “past life” and I have cut ties with you anyway so what’s the point? I have moved on and so have you.

10) You created a fake account to spy on me even though I have denied your friendship request.

11) I choose to share myself openly. And I simply don’t feel 100% safe with you being part of my life that way.

12) We never email, text or call. So we are not really friends.

Thanks for reading. I truly wish you all well in your life. Go and rock the planet!
xoxo

    anonymous Mar 3, 2014 8:11am

    4, 7, and 12 really hit home for me. Thank you for the comment. 🙂

    anonymous May 13, 2015 6:41am

    I love these 12….

    But I would also add a 13…

    Those who would be trying to exit the “friendzone” by either belittling my partner or my choice in said partner, or otherwise disrespect my relationship by attempting to get me to date you when I’m actually Happy and Content with said partner. Unfriended. Friends are for support and encouragement. If someone offers a valid point of, I care about you and I feel your partner is unhealthy because…. (state your case, then drop it) and add afterward that you will support them no matter what they decide. All about respect.

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 7:08am

Nose poking relatives!

anonymous Jan 19, 2014 3:55am

I have another reason to add… I also unfriend people if merely seeing their social media post makes me upset. Let me explain… if for example an old but supposedly good friend comes to town often but doesn't get in touch, whenever I see that said friend is in town, it upsets me. So… just because you've shared a history with someone, that is not good reason to keep sharing your present if they're not interested in being part of it.

anonymous Dec 1, 2013 11:13pm

I un-friended (and blocked) someone I didn't know that well, who was arrested, put on trial, convicted and then imprisoned for embezzlement and identity theft! Those were a couple of red flags I couldn't ignore!

anonymous Nov 28, 2013 9:52pm

I use FB to stay in touch with some close friends, and also to learn. I am blessed to have contacts in many communities, buddhism, science, my "old countries", writers, artists…I do engage in dialogues with them often, and the greatest joy comes from sharing. But among such "friends" many do not post in english, or any other language i can understand, thus they are not contributing to me….or folks post less than once a month…when i have to clean house, these the the folks that are defriended first….
The fact that one can choose not to see posts in the newsfeed does not help with the 5,000 limit; in fact, such folks are squating on one' page.

anonymous Nov 28, 2013 7:39pm

I've unfriended people because the friendship ended in real life and there was no reason to keep it alive in the cyber world. I've also unfriended high school 'friends' who I learned I had nothing in common with and a few made less than respectful comments that indicated they were anything but friends. Facebook has actually helped me better define my boundaries.

anonymous Nov 28, 2013 6:28am

I’ve unfriended a fair number of people with whom I couldn’t really say that I was actually friends. I’ve also unfriended over severely misguided religious or political views. I’ve wanted to quit Facebook for several months now (have only been on it for a little over a year), but one of the main places where I teach yoga uses it to post classes.

anonymous Nov 28, 2013 5:55am

This is probably more of a reason not to friend somebody in the first place but it could be a reason to un-friend too. Age. I have cousins who are younger than me who have sent me friend requests and I ignore them because I am very vocal on my page,(meaning I swear and express myself darkly at times,) and some of the things on my page I think they are too young to see.

anonymous Nov 27, 2013 11:26pm

I hide the feed of friends who are continually negative or obnoxiously political (whether it's for or against what I believe in) or TMI sharers. Seriously, I don't need to know that your kid pooped or vomited or got a bad report at school. I don't want to hear bashing on any political party or the POTUS or the US or any other country. I don't want to hear anything racist or homophobic or overly religious or conspiracy theory-ish. If someone is extremely hateful, I definitely unfriend them, even if they're someone I know in real life.

anonymous Nov 27, 2013 10:25pm

I've started unfriending "friends" who are no longer behaving like friends in real life – constantly too busy to get together, don't return calls, etc. If they've become too busy to ensure we have time for eachother in real life – off my Facebook wall they go. It's reserved for people that I'm truly trying to maintain/cultivate relationships with, or who I learn from even if there seems to be no real need to cultivate a friendship.

The way that I see it, your Facebook wall has the ability to affect your consciousness. So if someone isn't working out in real life, it's only going to be agitating to see what they are doing in their personal lives that doesn't seem to leave time for being a friend. Why distract yourself from what you are trying to accomplish and invest yourself in, and change your productive mood to something negative? Just delete.

anonymous Nov 12, 2013 10:40pm

ummm I get some of the great articles you all send out and sometimes It says afterwards to "connect" to these peeps via FB or friend them, I believe I have seen in recent past. I do not know them, but it seems like a special thing to connect to someone that inspires you via a source like fb, I have mostly created it to be a place to share and receive inspiration. I cannot deal with too much else.

anonymous Nov 12, 2013 8:19am

If someone is going to be persistently mean or aggressive I would unfriend them but thankfully that hasn't happened (yet). If someone has a certain agenda where they're posting incessantly I just change my settings so their posts don't show up on my newsfeed. I'm also careful about the people I friend to begin with, making sure there's some sort of connection or reason I would want to connect with them, whether it's me or them who sends the friend request. I get a lot of requests from people who are just looking for friends for no other reason other than to increase their friends list, and I just turn those down.

anonymous Nov 12, 2013 5:08am

I tend to prefer deftly wielding the privacy settings to distance people out of my feeds and other areas. I do execute de-friendships for the above if there is little meaningful 121 rapport and the irritation is enough. These mixed methods allow me to keep a few cousin politicians, who are rampant with self promotion and re-posting, available as friends but out in the long grass far away from my news-feed or from mining my time-line, photos and friend lists. If I want to catch up with them i go to their profiles in my own time.

anonymous Nov 11, 2013 9:24pm

I unfriend people I don't really have any reason to hang on to (or if they invite me to play candy crush over and over again and we really weren't that close to begin with).

I just unfriended and blocked an ex because he kept trying to reminisce about our time together when I've moved on, and in with my new boyfriend. It was kind of getting in the way. It wasn't personal, but he'll likely take it that way. His threat of suicide was kind of the last straw. I alerted his mother via FB, then had to block him from my life. I can't take responsibility for his life anymore. it took too much of a toll on my life.

anonymous Nov 11, 2013 1:49pm

I had to unfriend a guy who I found created a seperate group and then moved me into it. He called it L'Amour. I found it very creepy as I didn't really know him and I didn't appreciate being moved into a group that he invented without my approval. It was photos of girls he had "friended". I think it was his "wack" file, if you catch my drift.

Blocked him also.

anonymous Nov 11, 2013 12:05pm

Unfriended family members after a serious dispute over care of my elderly mother. Mostly I did not want them to read how hurt and angry I was over their failure to see her loneliness.

anonymous Nov 11, 2013 11:32am

I just unfriended someone last night for posting a story about how she killed a mouse with a shoe right in front of an 18 month old who was curious about the mouse. She even stated in her post that the child was traumatized, but there was no remorse. Angry? Yep. Sad? Yep. Friends? Not anymore. I posted a comment about how she has no more right to life than that mouse and unfriended her. I block most people who post things I don't want to see so I have the option of still checking in with them if I want. This time, I couldn't make myself care about someone seemingly proud of their blatantly horrific behavior.

anonymous Nov 11, 2013 10:18am

I have started maintaining a slimmer Facebook friend list by defriending people on their birthdays. It may sound crass but the birthday notification is a great reminder that you are friends with said person. Because most of my friends are personal and not professional, if I don’t even want to wish them a Facebook ‘Happy Birthday” (let alone call them or text them- c’mon, Facebook HBs are the lowliest) they get de-friended. If you have some set backs about this method- here’s one plus side- the recipient of your defriending is probably receiving so much positive energy on that day that they will never notice they’ve gotten the FB axe.

anonymous May 27, 2013 11:44pm

Facebook is so powerful so always beware of your friends and other activity in this social networking site. I think facebook can also be a great device for monitoring your site.

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anonymous Mar 25, 2013 12:58am

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anonymous Feb 14, 2013 5:01am

I unfriended someone once that was a conspiracy theorist spouting "facts" non-stop with the urgency of a priest.

By the same token, I was unfriended once by an early childhood friend who apparently did not jibe well with my politics. He grew up to be pretty religious and conservative. So that I questioned organized religions, or no doubt posted an occasional controversial bit of news or piece of humor, probably got under his thin skin. Needless to say I was not too heartbroken, despite the history.

anonymous Jan 28, 2013 8:46pm

I tend to be the one being “unfriended” which I could take as an insult but realistically it’s only because I have strong opinions & I refuse to apologise for them. I’ve had a number of people unfriend me because of my pro same sex marriage stance. A few others unfriended me after seeing that I was a member of Athiest Foundation of Australia & felt that they couldn’t possibly remain fiends with someone who hated God so much (BTW, I don’t hate what I don’t believe in!)…I have also been unfriended by a woman who decided that I swear too much.

My one & only block has been granted to a man who kept sending me photos of his penis & asking if I was single…

anonymous Dec 19, 2012 11:19pm

Thank you for the good writeup. It in reality was a amusement account it. Glance complicated to more delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

anonymous Dec 7, 2012 10:48pm

I have unfreinded everybody on Facebook just because I cannot stand Facebook but I like zynga poker 🙂

anonymous Sep 15, 2012 5:19pm

If the person has made it clear by their silence that they don't want to interact with you on FB OR in real life, unfriend them. Specifically, I'm talking about active FB users who ignore your personal messages and do not return phone calls. By unfriending these types, you're just doing for them what they are too much of a coward or too lazy to do themselves.

If you cannot muster up the bare minimum in manners to acknowledge a FB friend's existence (either online or offline), why, other than numbers, accept them in the first place or keep them around? Imagine inviting people over for dinner and completely ignoring a handful of guests. People would think that rude in real life. Why is it acceptable on FB? It isn't for me.

anonymous Sep 3, 2012 1:04pm

[…] […]

anonymous Aug 24, 2012 4:28pm

In a world that promotes consumerism and disposability, I see FB as one more front in this all too pervasive attitude. Like divorce or a paper cup, with one quick action, we can just toss out whatever does not suit us. Ode to the disposable interface of FB. Unfriending someone on FB is one thing, (and there are some reasons to do so), but blocking people is an entirely other action. Blocking someone is extreme and feels like an act of aggression in itself. Where is the middle path? Hiding a "feed" a someone suggested above seems more reasonable. I myself have never unfriended or blocked anyone on FB. If I put myself out there in the "cyber world", I have to take responsibility for this act. It is a public domain. And yes, safety issues are of concern, but we as humans can also project onto others our own stories for the sake of justifying our actions…or aversions. It is just all too common to dispose of what we don't want to face…and FB can be just another cyber version of this unsustainable attitude. I prefer reasonability and non-aversion. Just observe it and move on.

    anonymous Jan 19, 2014 4:50pm

    If you unfriend a person on facebook, they tend to get a little angry and start contacting you frequently to discuss the problem. You sometimes have to block the person just to keep them from having access to you. It's the same concept as changing your phone number, changing your email address, getting a PO box, even moving if someone is harassing you or stalking you (though hopefully, no one would take a facebook unfriending that seriously). Blocking or unfriending someone on facebook should not be seen as such a grievous affront. Facebook shouldn't even be taken as seriously as it is! If you don't want to interact with someone, and there is no reason you have to, why should you?

anonymous Aug 6, 2012 4:50pm

[…] He’s not the first or the last person to defriend me, but he was my very first public facebook defriendship. […]

anonymous Jul 28, 2012 3:08pm

I had to unfriend Elephantjournal.com. Sorry! But dont' worry I still get your newsletter and check your RSS.

anonymous Jul 28, 2012 1:48pm

oh gosh this is so true! what i like most and i find it kind of refreshing to see how people react when you explain them why you don't add them right from the start. like "oops, yeah right, we don't really know each other…" so what?! 😉

anonymous Jul 27, 2012 7:19pm

I unfriended an old friend of mine last year. She is a working musician and lives on the east coast. She posted that she'd be in my area for a few weeks – she was 20 min from my home – but when I asked her about getting together she didn't even respond. OUCH. That's not a friend. She had posted once about unfriending someone who had posted some kind of marketing on her Wall but when I looked back at her postings, I realized that she was a Diva Musician and collecting 'friends' and marketing to them in her own way.

anonymous Jul 25, 2012 8:34am

I unfriend people who repeatedly POST-HIJACK my POSTS. A POST-HIJACKER is a person who constantly COMMENTS on your posts about stuff which is totally unrelated to the post itself. In addition, the comments tend to be nothing other than the person's desire to bring attention to themselves.

anonymous Jul 24, 2012 11:17am

The people who post nothing but Farmville and other game crap on my wall get unfriended quickly.

anonymous Jul 24, 2012 10:48am

For #7 mine is this: If most of what you post starts to irritate me, then it's time for me to remove you. A difference of opinions is a healthy thing and can create understanding but if we're so different that I get irrationally angry every time you pop up in my feed then we're probably both better off with some unfriending. I did that recently to someone that I'd know offline all my life and though I felt bad about it, my feed is a happier place now.

anonymous Jul 24, 2012 10:06am

I tolerate a lot, but tolerating aggression and people's obsessive behavior is a complete waste of my energy. Life is too short to engage with that.
I also avoid people whose primary purpose is to spam.
There are many others who I choose not to delete, but who I use special settings for – I restrict their access and unsubscribe from their posts. That way there are no hard feelings, I get to keep in touch (selectively), but I don't have to be exposed to the embarrassing evidence that they spend the better part of every day on mind-numbing games or read their bizarre and personal diatribes directly to specific people that they choose to post as status updates or their exhausting angry opinions (to name a few).
Taking this one step further (though in the other direction), I think it's a great idea to review our own pages. Among other advantages, it gives us a clearer picture of how we are representing ourselves.

anonymous Jul 23, 2012 10:47pm

*Anyone that messages me with no content, purpose or question, instant ex-fb friend. "Hi" "Your yoga is nice" "You are pretty girl" "Namaste" If I don't know you, don't message me like we are bffs.

*Constant violation of simple facebook etiquette rule number 1: Do not make my post about you.
I post status update
"San Francisco is so beautiful, I am grateful to be with my family"
they post "Hey kasey, did you get the CD I sent you? I'm really enjoying playing my sitar."

This one does not always make me unfriend but it drives me freaking nuts. If you are not able to attend an event, nobody cares. Examples:
"Wish I could celebrate with you but I have previous plans that night to go to see xxx band at the xxx (popular venue)."
"I'm nursing a bad ear infection and won't be able to make it."
"My baby is pooping at 6:15"
etc.

-Don't start a flipping conversation with your friends on one of my photos.

Waylon, thanks for the post, I love it. I think i might write one on fb etiquette as I am thinking of many more. xo Dr. Lubeology

    anonymous Jul 25, 2012 9:51am

    Well, my baby was pooping at 615.

anonymous Jul 23, 2012 9:10pm

I blocked someone recently because I believed he was trying to sabotage my job.

I occasionally vent on social media about my job. Not smart, I know, but I thought I did so only to people I could trust (protected Twitter account, Facebook lists). But then someone started sending screenshots of my tweets to my boss. I got in trouble. I learned a lesson, but had only suspicions of who it might have been. Then, recently, I made a comment on a Facebook’s friend post, that, taken out of context, could sound like criticism of my employer. And someone sent a screenshot of just my comment to my boss. This time, although I didn’t have proof, it narrowed my suspicions down to one person.

I knew this person for a couple years in college, and then we ended up years later working in the same town in similar jobs. We aren’t real-life friends, but neither do we have any reason to be enemies. So I don’t know why he would do it, other than to satisfy his ego somehow.

I also unfriended (on Facebook and in real life) two people — a couple — whom I had thought of as my best friends for a time. Once I was comfortable enough in the friendship to express my own opinions, some of which differed from theirs, they started acting differently to me. Just out and out disrespectful. So this wasn’t a case, as noted above, of a passing defensiveness or anger on my part. It became continual anger and confusion over how they acted. I don’t regret ending the friendship. I don’t hate them, but I don’t miss what the friendship became, either.

And then there was the other college friend who tried to argue with me that rape jokes were funny. ‘Nuff said.

anonymous Jul 23, 2012 6:59pm

I regularly clean house because it's too much noise otherwise. Less than 100 people seems to make me happier. My general rule is: if I can trust you with my kids, you can be your FB friend.

anonymous Jul 23, 2012 3:24pm

I too have recently "cleaned up" my facebook. I removed people who dont filter into my mind on random occasions, people that I would never stop to have a cup of coffee with, people who dont know me (really know me). It felt great.

    anonymous Aug 29, 2014 1:45am

    Kimberly. I do the same on a regular basis. People I met once and who are now far away from me (in kilometers and thinking), I unfriend, because looking at their vacation photos doesn't take me anywhere.

anonymous Jul 23, 2012 9:39am

"Unfriending" seems like an undisguised act of aversion, Waylon.

Someone pushes your buttons and you 'unfriend' them.

Your ego gets offended over your Mum and there it is: aversion.

When a junior monk was living with Ajahn Chah at Wat Pa Pong he was sent to pay respects to Ajahn Maha Boowa at Wat Pa Baan Taad. Ajahn Maha Boowa was known for being notoriously difficult and according to the junior monk treated the junior monk like "a feral dog."

On returning to Wat Pa Pong, the monk went to see Ajahn Chah and spent about half-an-hour listing all of the perceived insults, indignities and humuiliations that Ajahn Maha Boowa had visited on him.

When he had finished, Ajahn Chah looked at the senior monk and said, "He really knows how to teach you, doesn't he?"

    anonymous Jul 23, 2012 1:25pm

    I agree. That's a key point.

    That's why I said, above

    Bonus: one reason not to unfriend someone. If you’re having a moment of defensiveness, or anger…let it pass. If, when you’ve calmed down, you still feel like they may not be a helpful presence in your life…let them go.

    We shouldn't just unfriend 'cause we're mad at someone. That creates more drama.

    We should only unfriend if the other consistently disappoints or creates drama.

      anonymous Jul 23, 2012 5:02pm

      One note, Mithras: there are Buddhist teachings around being careful who we associate with…I could source, don't remember. My momma would know..!

        anonymous Jul 24, 2012 6:49am

        "Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honor those worthy of honor — this is the highest blessing" ~ Maha Mangala Sutta. (Sn. 2.4)

          anonymous Jul 24, 2012 6:57am

          But also:

          "Should one find a man who points out faults and who reproves, let him follow such a wise and sagacious person as one would a guide to hidden treasure. It is always better, and never worse, to cultivate such an association." ~ Dhammapada 6.76

anonymous Jul 23, 2012 8:36am

I unfriended a few people from my last job in a consultancy. These people were overdoing their "I am so smart and my life is so exciting". I noticed that I felt pressurised by their posts, thinking if my posts are interesting enough for them. As I did not plan to stay in contact with some of them, I let them go.

    anonymous Jan 19, 2014 8:29am

    So true.

    anonymous Mar 3, 2014 12:12am

    Not too sure about this application- your feelings are your responsibility and if I had this reaction to some of my Facebook friends, I'd have to ask myself "Why does their happiness bother me so much?"

    Personally, I love hearing about the success of others, and if that green monster starts getting itchy behind the neck, I know it's time to check myself in to some self-contemplation and figure out what my real issue is.

anonymous Jul 23, 2012 8:03am

Does everyone know that you can just hide “feeds” so you don’t have to see their postings? But they don’t know you’ve done it so you can still keep them on your friends list. Works like a charm!

    anonymous Nov 11, 2013 10:19am

    Yes! This is what I do! I have a couple of acquaintances who drive me a little crazy (in real life and online). We live in the same area, and have babies around the same age, so I run into them semi-frequently in real life, so online unfriending them may cause some awkwardness and tension that I don't care for. Hiding feeds is the best way to deal with this type of thing!

      anonymous Nov 27, 2013 10:28pm

      Of course, they can still read and respond inappropriately to your posts. I recently unfriended a few people whose posts I had blocked but kept as friends to not make waves in a larger group, but they were getting into arguments with other friends of mine in the comments of my posts. I decided it was more honest and cleaner to just eliminate them, rather than block what they see of me and what I see of them. Why bother to be friends then?

anonymous Jul 23, 2012 3:31am

One reason is if I realize that they 'collected' me through a recommendation or otherwise: someone would send me a request and I would take it naively, only to see that they had 2000 friends and only ever post about yoga classes they are having &c. and never 'like' or comment on anything I would do. I am not on fb to be someone's captive audience. So I got rid of those people and now only accept requests from people whom I know, if I don't know them if they send me a message telling me why they want to be my friend.

anonymous Jul 22, 2012 11:14pm

I’ve two reasons to unfriend someone on FaceBook. The first is to preserve a real world friendship. Our mothers knew which of our friends we could play with for only a couple of hours before we’d fight. FaceBook can foster too much togetherness and cause real friends to overstep healthy boundaries. I have true friends that don’t agree with my politics and religious views; and it’s best that we don’t focus on those things. So, if I find that I’m continually upset by their online views, or I’m continually upsetting them with my online views, it’s time to discontinue the online connection and to save the real world friendship. The seconde reason is when I find myself being trolled by people who’ve asked to be my friend in the first place. This isn’t in response to the casual comment that they disagree with me, but rather to rude, aggressive, or disrespectful speech attacking my statements or positions on my own page. I don’t troll others, and If I cannot abide their statements on their own pages, I’ll quietly disappear from their friends list. Thanks for a thoughtful and helpful article.

anonymous Jul 22, 2012 11:01pm

You are facebook friends with 5000 people? Hah that alone contradicts your article. Friending 5000 people is spamming all in itself.

    anonymous Jul 23, 2012 12:32am

    Respectfully, "John," you don't know me any more than I know you.

    I grew up in the Buddhist community, and met (and got to know) thousands there in Boulder, Karme Choling, Halifax, Shambhala Mountain Center. Many through intimate, powerful programs that were, by their nature, finite. Many of us stayed in touch.

    I've worked several jobs, of course, over my 38 years, never taking a vacation (until next week). I've stayed in touch.

    I went to college, and high school. Stayed in touch.

    I run elephantjournal.com, one of the bigger web sites in the US of A (not one of the biggest, though, yet). We have 100s of writers, editors, volunteers, partners, colleagues, advertisers, guests on my talk show, and staff over 10 years.

    I live in Boulder, a small city but big town and know just about everyone.

    As I said, I have a "waiting list" of 1000 folks, it's been maxed out for two years, of friend requests I haven't accepted because I'm not sure if I know them. Frustratingly, there's no way to mass-message them and politely refer them to the only option Facebook offers those who "know" "too many" people: my Fan Page.

    I don't want spammy relationships. Most of us don't. That's the point of this article, friend.

      anonymous Mar 3, 2014 12:07am

      Waylon, I would worry about him. I get crap all the time for having over 600 folks on my list, but 95% are folks I've known in a personal and "real life" connection. It's all too easy to rack up the numbers.

      I was not at all offended when I got the "this person's maxed out" notice. Good on you for keeping up with all that. PS- did you ever use my story for the SNAP article? Just curious if it went anywhere.

    anonymous Jan 19, 2014 9:15am

    I agree.

anonymous Jul 22, 2012 10:08pm

I unfriended, and ultimately blocked, only one person. It became a huge ordeal which started with her accusing me of 'rubbing things in her face'. She felt that all of my posts were meant to make her feel bad…so, if I was camping with my boyfriend at the time (we are married now) she would email me and ask why she wasn't invited and then say I was only posting pictures to show her what she was missing out on. It was horrible. I felt so bad for her and had a sit down to talk to her face to face. My husband even spoke to her husband to make him aware of her strange behavior. I felt like I was being stalked. Needless to say, the facebook and real life friendship ended but I had to block her for my own peace of mind. BTW, I really did try to help her out but it just made the relationship more dangerous.

    anonymous Jul 23, 2012 12:23pm

    That is frightening.

    anonymous Jan 19, 2014 3:17pm

    OH MY! I could have written your post! I, too, had a friend who did the same thing. I love her dearly and wish her well but I had to let her go.

    anonymous Jan 28, 2014 11:42am

    LynnBonelli, I totally understand this. I had a "friend" like this from childhood. She always accused me of this. She was never happy for me for anything and wanted me to only be there for her and be her caretaker. I ended up blocking her on FB and cutting her out of my offline life too. These people are psychic vampires and will suck the life out of you.

anonymous Jul 22, 2012 9:27pm

Great post, thank you.

I believe that most everything in my life is of my own making (an active choice if you will) and for many years I have actively worked to surround myself and build relationships with truly positive/loving friends and family. With that, I have definitely "unfriended" folks solely based on negative posts or derogatory posts or really fanatical posts. I choose love, I choose compassion, and I choose positivity, kindness, humor, integrity, laughter, joy, connection, and so on….even if it is “just” Facebook. No need for unwanted negative vibes to lurk in tiny nooks and crannies if I can help it and people who know me, know that I make no bones about it and I am protective (sometimes fiercely) of my personal wellbeing.

On an even more personal side, this has come up in my day to day life with one of my closest and dearest most treasured friendships just in the past few weeks. I'm readying myself and her for a loving and candid conversation. (I'm also dreading it and a little fearful…deep breath in and out…)

anonymous Jul 22, 2012 9:25pm

ha!

for me it's when people think my facebook status is their place to be hard. They reply to my posts trying to start a fight with my perspective. i'll try to give the benefit of the doubt for a second, but i can't really feed into that if they don't change their ways quickly.

anonymous Jul 22, 2012 9:09pm

Re. #2, specifically yours, your mom is a well known and active member of the Halifax Buddhist community, so of course people will want to help. What is the sangha for, if not this? As that horrible song states – That's what friends are for.
I think part of taking care of someone is tapping into resources that are in place during times when one can't be physically present.

Re. the Article in general, one bad reason for unfriending someone is if you are feeling insecure, and think the drama of unfriending someone will make them pay attention to you. Seriously, I bet that happens fairly often.
A good reason for unfriending someone is if they're the type to do the above /\
Also, I would be fine with defriending racists, homophobes and the like- though I haven't had to yet.

    anonymous Jul 22, 2012 9:27pm

    Oh! On the last sentence, brilliant–of course. I'll add that in. I do think it is important not to unfriend folks simply because they disagree with us. Keeping our circles open beyond our "choir"—those who agree with us on everything—is vital to a healthy society and to our own sanity.

      anonymous Jul 22, 2012 9:36pm

      Absolutely. Cutting someone out just because they disagree with us is the response of ego. Or something.

        anonymous Jul 23, 2012 1:27pm

        Yes. Key point. We need to relearn intelligent disagreement and dialogue without objectifying aggression.

    anonymous Jan 19, 2014 5:37am

    I have unfriended several people because of their posting hateful homophobic, racist, or sexist things. I respect their right to personal opinion and ignored/overlooked the posts for a long time until I reached a point of not allowing myself to be tempted to frustration and disgust. I simply do not want to expose myself to that kind of negativity.

anonymous Jul 22, 2012 8:49pm

I've unfriended a number of people on FB recently, and even some in real life. It actually feels amazing, and I am less stressed out! It's very much like dropping a bunch of stuff off at Goodwill/taking it to the dump/selling it on Craigslist. I'm practicing letting go of stuff including people who I don't mesh with, and life has definitely improved.

Claudia Volano Aug 27, 2018 10:05pm

One would hope FB is for sharing and caring but I thnk it has become more of a platform for narcissism, or at a lesser level, plain boasting. Oy.

Claudia Volano Aug 27, 2018 10:03pm

And likewise for not just friends but for some young family members. Really?

Jeanine Galvan Aug 27, 2018 8:39pm

How easy it is to dismiss others who are tryimg to communicate. Most people I know don't want to go into detail or share words. They want emoji's to express what you should be feeling. I was unfriended for being too "personal" yes I shared my experiences about my own child abuse, extended breastfeeding and ADHD 31 yr old son who I've only seen 8 times in 22 yrs because of his confusion yet it was too much for this person who stated "everytime I post I hold my breath at what you might say". She wished me well then unfriended me...I always thought face bok was for sharing and caring yet even with my estranged brother and cousin all they wanted was praise getting patted on the back and short phrases to boost their ego...and heaven help us if you don't crate your dog over night...which was another bone of contension with a former rescuer or try to share with a future daughter-in-law who misunderstands then forbids you to attend the wedding because of "your negitivity"...yikes Beware! :) peace

Tina Jones Aug 27, 2018 4:04pm

If we have been FB "friends" for several years and I see that you are active on FB but you never "like" any of my posts, we never chat on IM, we never comment on each other's posts, why are we "friends"?

Katherine Flores Aug 6, 2018 4:49am

I once had to unfriend someone on Facebook because she kept asking me for money. I knew this girl from an orange apron store I used to work at, and she was quite energetic and nice. We got along well when we worked together, and we became Facebook friends shortly before I transferred stores to attend university. We didn't message often, but we did keep up on each other through wall posts and stuff. Last year, she messages me out of the blue, and it starts out like any other conversation: we catch up on each other's current situations, share a few laughs, and so on...and then she admits to me that she's on hard times. The surgery she underwent caused her to miss work, and thus she was having a hard time catching up on bills. I offered to help out, and I sent $20 to her through Facebook transfer; I didn't have a lot myself - since I still worked part-time - but I wanted to make sure she could last until her next paycheck. Of course, she expressed gratitude, and I was more than happy to help. A month later, she messaged me again, once again admitting she had financial troubles, and once again I offered $20. I gave her benefit of the doubt, because surgeries without insurance can cost a lot. And then she asked again. And again. And again. It got to the point where she requested more money every one or two weeks, and I ended up accumulating over $120 to this girl over three short months. I didn't anticipate her to pay it back, but after three months I started to feel uneasy. The girl was married, so I didn't understand why her husband hadn't done something by now to ease their finances, and no modern surgery procedure that I'm aware takes that long to recover from before she got back on her own feet. Plus I still hardly made enough money on my own. I eventually had to tell her the truth and that I simply could not give at the time. However she was insistent. Every week, she would ask for more money. The final straw was in September last year. I was off to see my cousin for his wedding with my family, but before I left the typical money request popped up. I told her that I'd be unable to give any funds over the weekend, since I'd be out of town for family matters. She seems to understand and backs off...until the next day, when she requested money anyway. That was enough for me to not only unfriend her, but block her as well. I wish I hadn't had to do that, but that last message felt like a strong disregard to my own life. I didn't want to be used as a money hook. I just wanted to be a friend. Sadly, things just didn't turn out that way.