I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I have my page, I’ve helped a friend set up a page for her business and I’m an administrator on two group pages and yet, so many things annoy me about it.
I have a high privacy setting on my page but I still have strangers ask me to ‘friend’ them. If I have never met you, how can I be your friend? Recently, I’ve decided that if I wouldn’t spend time with you exploring life or our commonalities, then why would I have you as my ‘friend’ on Facebook? And so, my ‘friend’ list is getting smaller and smaller.
Why People Unfriend
There have been several studies done about why people unfriend their Facebook friends. I found one study by the University of Colorado Denver interesting.
According to the study the top three reasons people gave for unfriending others are:
- Strongly divisive posts about politics or religion, or both;
- Sexist and/or racist remarks; and
- Dull topics.
Number three is an interesting one. How does one define a ‘dull topic’? Simple, if the reader isn’t interested, then it’s a dull topic. If you have a large amount of Facebook friends that have many differing opinions, interests, and lifestyles that you may not have very much in common with they might find everything you post dull.
The study also looked at the most annoying updates. And the winners are:
- Anything purposely vague that doesn’t give any details or hint of context to those not “in the know”. They usually only contain one or two words; “Feeling sad!”, “Mind blown!”, or “Crap day!”. Many people don’t have the time to parse out the hints that go with these status updates nor do they like being manipulated into asking;
- What’s called the “Humble Brag”. A humble brag is a modest or self-deprecating statement whose real purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud, and it’s insincere. If you’re proud about eating a whole chocolate cake, be proud about it for goodness sake. We want to be proud along with you, forget the false modesty. I do enjoy hearing that you’re going to be a grandparent, that your child is doing well in school, and I want to see pictures of the new addition to the family. Just give me the story behind it, please. And finally, the update that prompted this post, although the other two annoy me as much;
- The unfriending warning. Remember chain letters? Back in days of door to door postal service, occasionally we’d get a letter that told us that if you didn’t send it to 5 (or so) of your friends you’d have bad luck. Facebook is the new conduit for chain letters. The most recent appearing on my feed is about letting go of things and seeing who reads this post and well, deleting me if I don’t copy and paste. That’s all well and good, but then the friend has a few friends who panic because they don’t know how to copy and paste, before you know it your whole feed is one big chain letter. For goodness sake, if you’re going to unfriend me, just do it. I won’t be offended, I’ll be sad to see you go but life moves on.
Imagine now, what it would be like if the things you did on Facebook were used in real-life conversations. It’s difficult these days to form deep and lasting bonds with other people because it seems that many of us take the easy route through social media. We used to telephone and write letters but now we’re left guessing about what you mean by “feeling sad”. If you are my friend and I don’t see you often, drop me a line. Trying to guess about what is going on in your life through bits and pieces on Facebook just leaves me feeling sad…in the campo.