July 28th, 2018


I unfriended a bunch of people on Facebook. Whew, there I said it. I had never done such a thing since I joined the platform in 2006. It felt really harsh, but it was starting to feel harsh just getting on there every day and seeing such a wash of opinions from people I didn’t know or sometimes like very much. And in truth, I doubt any of the 60 or so people I unfriended have even noticed, though if you are one and are here seeking answers, they are below. Here’s how I made the calls, if you are looking to make your own f-list a little more manageable and actually friendly, per below:

  1. Anyone I had no idea who they were. I went through the list and if I didn’t recognize the name, I clicked on their profile and looked for some identifying detail–a photo, ideally, though a surprising number of people use cartoon characters or generic-looking babies. If I couldn’t jog my memory this way, I unfriended. I felt if I could neither remember how we’d come to be FB friends nor had built up a platform-specific relationship with them over the years, there wasn’t really much point.
  2. The dead. I was startled to find 4-5 dead people still in my list, and though I was sorry to lose them all at the times of their passings, I felt it was ok to unfriend. I left one in who had passed rather recently, just in case whoever is monitoring the account would feel back.
  3. People with whom I have no interaction on FB. Many of these were nearly in the first category–I can just barely recall enjoying chatting with them at a party and thinking we’d keep in touch online, obviously something that did not work out. Others are actually people I am in touch with by other methods, but for some reason they maintain an FB account they never check, which is confusing for me with party invites and messages, which they always miss. If we don’t have this connection, I’ll remember better I have to email or text those people if I want them to actually see it.
  4. People with whom my style of FB-interaction just doesn’t gel. This was the only category where I hesitated, because a couple of these folks might actually notice my disappearance, and I might have to do another pass when I’m feeling braver. Some of these were actually people I just don’t like–devil’s advocate-players, shit-disturbers, a guy who said he knew what sexual harassment was like because someone was mean to him once and it was exactly the same. Others could be lovely people and some I know for a fact are lovely people, but they way they use FB is often snarky, and they probably expect me to respond in kind and I just can’t, and being addressed that way brings down my whole day.

There, so that’s how I did it. I’d be curious to know how others keep their friends list from being overrun by folks they met once in 2009–do you have a method?

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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