Erica is a writer, editor, wife, and mom. She has always found employment with an English degree and she excels at nurturing children and animals but struggles to keep houseplants alive. Erica currently writes at SidewaysQ.com

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Breaking Up with Facebook Friends

Maybe it’s the negative political climate leading up to our presidential race, or maybe it’s just people being obtuse about anything under the sun — either way, this week I decided to dump a bunch of Facebook friends.

My criteria for the dumping included:

  • Constant political anger or extremism with a lack of willingness to honor any other viewpoint.
  • Updates that only document drinking, song lyrics, or workout logs.  Since that person isn’t being personal and I usually am, our contributions feel unbalanced.
  • Lots of cussing.  Cussing in writing is so heavy and permanent.
  • Woe is me complaining every day.
  • Lots of “if you agree, click Share” updates.  We all hate cancer.  We all hate forwards too.
  • Blaming tragedy on victims.
  • Use of the word “retarded.”
  • Misogyny, racism, or hatred of how cute my kid is.

For a really long time I thought it was ok to accept and keep any friendships, as long as there was a link for us from some point in history.  Sometimes I would hide an annoying update from my feed.  Not so now.  Usually the people that cause you to “hide” a story will be repeat offenders.

I enjoy Facebook as a way to keep in touch with friends from the many states we’ve lived in, and I don’t like tripping over negativity in my feed.  Because you know what?  It’s MY PAGE.  I get to decide what the tone of it is, because it’s a viral extension of who I am and what I represent via the type of company I choose to keep.

 

How do you manage your Facebook page and the many friends who conglomerate in that one place?

 

 

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Comments (11)

  1. Laura 09/06/2012 at 12:42 pm

    The thing that gets me are the people who post political opinions, but can’t handle other viewpoints and unfriend because of it. They claim to be from the “tolerant” party, but they aren’t…..they are just a bunch of hyprocrites. One friend literally told me she thought we MIGHT still be able to be friends despite our political differences. Gross. What is wrong with poeple? The author here is so right. If you can’t handle someone, unfriend or hide them. Both of you will be better off for it. I know I am.

  2. Cara 09/04/2012 at 12:56 pm

    I had to quit Facebook all together. I found myself just pretty much hiding everybody and so I thought I’d just get off of it all together. Sometimes I feel “out of the loop” as FB has unfortunately become the only source of communication between people-even close family members. But my life certainly is a little more meaningful and less negative without it!

  3. jani lebaron 08/29/2012 at 10:45 pm

    Amen to this post. I was just mentioning to HB tonight how mean and sarcastic some people can be when writing fb comments or tweets. I love this country of ours, but there’s one important part in our country’s name too many have forgotten… “United”!

  4. ~j. 08/28/2012 at 8:07 pm

    This is so timely. I like your approach of explaining why – I think it’s a clear and adult way to handle the situation, and will perhaps give those who are on the receiving end of your message food for thought (though I doubt they’d take it, evidenced by how aggressive they are, right?). I just realized today that I’ve been ‘let go’ by someone on fb, presumably because of my friendship with (and support of) a dear friend who wrote a strongly-worded, well-supported, brilliant article about vaccinations. I wonder what it will be like the next time I see her (the one who let me go, not the author — I can’t WAIT to see the author).

  5. Sylvia 08/28/2012 at 6:30 pm

    I broke up with with a Facebook friend over constant political anger. Yes, you are entitled to your opinions about our current government but I’m getting sick seeing every political cartoon announcing how incompetent you think the President is. And to top it off the opinions and news updates are coming from sites and news outlets that are famously “incorrect”. I have many opinions on many controversial topics, and there is a time and place for then all, but constantly putting those opinions on Facebook is not my style. Unfriend!!

  6. Amy 08/28/2012 at 3:49 pm

    Reminds me of the telephone – Once heard that a phone is for your convenience, not the telemarketers. No one is making you answer it. FB should be your page. (and I realize my neighbors are probably sick of all my recipe shares) oh well.

  7. Rachel 08/28/2012 at 12:08 pm

    I think the majority of my facebook friends are blocked at this point. I felt guilty the first few times I blocked someone, but I unsubscribe from another friend’s updates just about every time I log onto facebook. Although I don’t often unfriend people, because I occasionally like to check in to read all their recent updates in one go, you know, so I can laugh at them.

  8. Melissa Choate 08/28/2012 at 11:37 am

    YES! Awesome post, Erica. You know what else I’m sick of on Facebook? An insane amount of photos with “inspirational” messages. (That’s what Tumblr is for, IMHO.) Some people post half a dozen of those a day. I didn’t like having to weed through those to get to important medical updates on a dear friend’s child. So, I unsubscribed from the updates of several FB friends but I haven’t yet worked my way up to un-friending them.

  9. Shanell 08/28/2012 at 9:29 am

    This article could have been written by me!! LOL. I feel the exact same way. At first I felt like I should keep this people as “friends” because we knew each other at one time or another but I get tired of all the cussing, constant song lyrics and negativity. Hey if they get tired of all the pics and updates about my daughter they can just as easily un-friend me 🙂

  10. La Yen 08/28/2012 at 9:15 am

    This year has been so frustrating for me on Facebook for many of the same reasons. I am very selective as to who I friend, for this reason. The only problem I have with unfriending is that the people who drive me the most crazy are related to me, and I do love them in real life. From afar. So hiding works the best for me!

  11. Shelly Knight 08/28/2012 at 9:13 am

    Funny, I’ve dumped people for the exact same reasons. I would also add the people who only want to engage me in political arguments-despite the fact we haven’t spoken in face-to-face in 20 years. I’ve vowed to keep my social media outlets free of politics. There are very strong viewpoints on both sides and I don’t want those to muddle my friendships or my work relationships.