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The Delicate Etiquette of Unfriending

Posted by Justin Field on February 20, 2009


So, pop quiz: what’s the one notification that Facebook doesn’t send? Yes, it’s the action of unfriending that is never accompanied by an email to your new un-friend.

I was intrigued by this. I guess we are living in a brave new world, where we all have heaps of online friends, some of the near and dear, and some of them high school friends that one hardly recognises (esp. the women who have married and taken on new names).

The Sydney Morning Herald had a nice story about unfriending. I wondered if being unfriended on Facebook by an acquaintance is really that bad. It’s hard to keep up with the deluge of emails, status updates, blogs, tweets and such that now come streaming in all day (and all night) long. Perhaps I’m a Quality Guy (rather than a Quantity Guy.)

4 Responses to “The Delicate Etiquette of Unfriending”

  1. Ha! Good one, Justin. The first thing I did of course was check to see if you were still my friend on Facebook. No worries, though.

    The whole unfriend/unfollow thing is quite remarkable. Maybe there could be screens/filters by putting friends or followers/follow-ees into various buckets that limit what they or you see, but they don’t know they are there. Very handy if you don’t want to hurt people’s feelings!

  2. I checked, too. Justin is still my friend. Whew.

    I thought about periodically printing my list of friends and then doing an audit regularly to see who dropped me. (I’m sure a spreadsheet can be designed for this) But then I thought I might be taking things a bit to far….yes it’s definitely taking things too far.

  3. Meg Bear said

    There is a Twitter application that will tell you who decided to quit following you. Frankly I find the whole thing funny. I was unfriended once (that I know of). Complex stuff the whole cyber-friendships. Great discussion Justin!

  4. Rosario said

    People who rant and rave about politics, using the same rhetoric we hear from the media bore me and annoy me. Leave the political stuff out. Also people who post racy or obscene stuff. I have not sent one request and only answered the ones requested but more and more I am ignoring fringe “friends”

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