by: Rex Godinez Ortega
AM I too funny to unfriend?
Whatever the reason was that I survived the annual FaceBook spring cleaning of my “friends”, I can only say: Happy New Year!
I can’t promise they won’t regret it, though, as I do tend to like to live “dangerously”.
In fact, I’ve always been less forgiving in my own Facebook Trimming campaigns in the past.
Indeed. Those were the days when I could care less.
Too much Facebragging—unfriend; Too annoying—unfriend; Not a Liker, eh?—unfriend; Who, you?—unfriend
I was the judge, jury, and executioner for those on trial for unfriendable offenses.
Broadcasting stupidity—unfriend; Atrocious grammar—unfriend; Drama Queen—unfriend; Another album of selfies?? (By golly!)—unfriend.
Click! Click! Click! I was clicking my way to Hermitbook at the rate I was going.
Thus, before I knew it, I was down to only a handful of “friends”.
Ok. Forty. Just 40 Facebook friends.
The immediate benefits to having such a small number of Facebook friends is that you only see updates from friends you really care to hear from.
This translates to a less cluttered newsfeed. (And my, does that truly make for better reading!)
The bonus for me was that you no longer have to contend with the endless flow of posts from those serial selfie-takers.
Ugh! Some of them should be told the truth, pronto!
I recall someone leaving a comment on a “friend’s” 10th selfie post for the day screaming: “Sakto na! [That’s enough!]”
That had me in stitches.
Anyway, aside from the benefits to be had, unfriending exercises actually also serve to jog our memories about who our real friends were.
I realized then that there were several other reasons that make friends grow apart aside from distance.
What some “friends” post on Facebook is a good indicator—no, reminder—of why we stopped talking to them in the first place or why we didn’t hang out with them in real life.
What I failed to realize, however, was how “friends” would react to being unfriended on Facebook.
Now, I get the cold shoulder or lukewarm greetings every time I bump into someone I unfriended, like that former high school classmate of mine.
I guess it didn’t help that we had a little reunion at the wake for the father of another former classmate just a week before I unfriended her.
I had thought that it was pointless to keep “friends” that one had absolutely zero interaction with on Facebook—even though you were friends in real life.
I even got a “hurt letter” from another friend, saying it left her questioning our friendship.
Well, I had also thought that hiding one’s posts from my newsfeed meant the person didn’t want me to know what was going on with his or her life.
What’s the point of trying to “connect with your friends online” then?
What’s painfully clear now is that people view the act of unfriending as rude. Some, as shown, take it badly.
When I mentioned the first incident to my regular friends, they were aghast. They agreed with my reasons, but, nonetheless, I was adjudged the impolite one. (Imagine that.)
They obviously drew the line on deleting someone you actually knew in real life from your Facebook friends list.
It seemed from our conversation, too, that I was ignorant of the other options to unfriending that was available to one on Facebook.
Ahh, yes, there’s the “Hide” button. Funny how it seems so well-hidden. And it doesn’t seem to do the job properly.
However, what I consider a discovery is the “Following/Follow” button. (Hey, isn’t that where “Subscribe” used to be?)
It functions like the “Hide All” button; and effectively removes from your newsfeed the updates and posts of “friends” whom you would otherwise be tempted to delete.
It’s a relatively new addition on Facebook, I understand, and it has become my new best friend these days.
(Hurray for using clearer language this time, Facebook!)
This new Facebook button allows you to unfollow someone without them knowing about it. Or the way I see it: unfriend someone without actually unfriending them.
So, since it’s January, and you are no doubt about to embark on another clean-up drive of your friends list, spare yourself some drama.
Hit Unfollow. (Rex Godinez Ortega)