Ah, our Facebook friends. Some we can’t live without and, well, then there are those other ones. It is the latter group that I’m focusing on today. We all know people like this, right?The chatty co-worker, the family member who can’t keep a secret, that pretty girl you sat next to in junior high school. Wait a minute…if we all know people like this, is it possible that you might be one of those people, too?
We were excited when we first friended you on Facebook. It’ll be a fun way to stay in touch, we thought. It’ll be a great way to get to know you better, we thought. That was then before we got to know the Facebook version of the person we thought we knew and now we’re reconsidering our Facebook friendship, wondering if it’s time to cut our losses and move on.
We all have our own style and preferences for how we use Facebook, and this is as it should be. There is no one right way to use social media, but there may be one (or more) right ways that are the best fit for each of us. Ever since I wrote about the reasons I unfollow people on Twitter, I’ve been asked to share a similar list of deal-breakers which might lead me to unfriend someone on Facebook. These aren’t rules that everyone must follow, these are just my own preferences. Breaking up a Facebook friendship can be a bigger deal than unfollowing someone on Twitter. Even I’ve been known to get my feelings hurt when I thought a Facebook friendship was in jeopardy. That said, in no particular order, here are just a few ways to move our relationship from friends to ex-friends:
- Drama, drama, drama. You complain about your job, your friends, your family. You argue with people on their Facebook updates. Your relationship status is Single>In a relationship>It’s complicated>Engaged>In an open relationship>In a civil union, all within a period of two weeks. Slow down, take a deep breath. My goodness, it must take a lot of energy to be you. It’s exhausting, even from a distance.
- Tweets. I don’t want to see all of your Twitter updates on Facebook. To me, the pace, context, and conversation are very different on Twitter than on Facebook. Eons ago, I did this for a brief spell. No one said a word, but when I stopped, many of my friends rejoiced aloud. People hate seeing Tweets on LinkedIn, the same goes for Facebook. Just because there is an app for that doesn’t mean you should use it. Consider your audience first, convenience second.
- App requests. You send me requests to play games and to be added to your birthday calendar. When I don’t accept, you send them again. When I block that particular app to prevent a recurrence, you ask that I add a different app. Each app I add is granted access to my Facebook account, so I’m pretty particular about which ones I add. Some of your friends may accept the requests. The rest of your friends see them as spam.
- Group messages. Oh, how I hate these. You have a favor you want to ask a bunch of your friends. No worries, Facebook has an easy way for you to message 47 of your closest friends to tell everyone what you need all at once. The problem with this is that every single time one of the other 46 recipients replies, it notifies me that I’ve got a new message. Similar to #2, just because there is a way to do this doesn’t mean you should. This is totally annoying, except when used with a small number of friends who all know each other well and who actually want to have a conversation this way. Think about what works for your friends. Don’t click the button that makes life easier for you.
- Event invitations. Really? Were you really hoping that I’d fly 3,000 miles to join you for drinks for your cousin’s birthday next week? Did you think there was even the slightest possibility that I might consider doing this? Of course not. Yes, I realize that scanning through all of your friends to invite only those who might be interested based on the type of event and those who are geographically compatible takes some time. Got thousands of friends and this task is untenable? Oh well, figure it out. Why spam 75% of your friends with an invitation that makes no sense than take the time to find the 25% who might want to attend?
- Troll my list of friends. Unless you happen to know one of them or have synergy grown through commenting interaction, don’t assume it is a good idea to send friend requests to everyone connected to me. Several of my friends have asked, “Hey, who’s this guy Joe? He sent me a friend request.” What’s even worse, you also sent friend requests to my kid and her friends. They found it creepy and, frankly, so do I.
- Unintentional spammer. I know you didn’t mean to do it, but you did it over and over and over. Every time you were fooled into clicking on a malicious link, it spams all of your friends. We explained how to avoid it in the future the first time. The second time, we talked you through have to fix things and prevent it from happening again. It’s now happened four more times. That’s enough for me.
- You’re naked. You’re at the beach, the gym, in lingerie or wrapped in a towel as you emerge from the shower. Is it just me, or does there seem to be a correlation between how little clothing someone wears and how frequently they post photos of themselves? You know you look good, we know you look good. Now, go put some clothes on.
That’s my list. Did I hit on your pet peeve or would you add something to the list? Let me know in the comments below what would lead you to unfriend someone.