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The "Unfriend" Button, Changing Relationships One Click at a Time

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Ending a friendship with someone you no longer feel chummy with used to mean having an awkward, embarrassing, or even downright heated conversation. Nowadays when a person no longer feels friendly toward another they can simply click a button and “unfriend” them on Facebook.

The unfriend option is appealing to many Facebook users because of how easy and non-confrontational it feels. The friend in question may not even realize it’s been done since they don’t receive any kind of alert or notification when they’ve been unfriended.

Mashable recently released Sara Mauer’s “how-to” on unfriending on Facebook. Though unfriending a distant acquaintance may not be a big deal if and when they find out, unfriending someone you know well or share mutual friends with can be a bit dicey. Mauer recommends that you first consider hiding your posts or their posts from your newsfeed rather than taking the drastic step of unfriending which may later result in hurt feelings.

Joyce Walder from the New York Times recently wrote an article about how different ending a friendship is now that we have social media at our fingertips. Today people are often left wondering why as opposed to a non-Facebook time when people knew exactly why someone no longer wanted to be friends. Walder writes, “I realized the other day that I had been quietly unfriended on Facebook and I could not help but think how much better things were 50 years ago, when a relationship went south and you knew why.”

What do you think of “unfriending” on Facebook?

How do you handle the situation when you no longer want to be friends on Facebook?
 

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  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    10.11.12  

    I think the unfriend button is taken too seriously by others. I have read in news papers where people actually KILL the other party because they were defriended. I can care less about that option because I only put people I keep in touch with and stay in touch with on my facebook. I don't accept friends with people who I meet in one day.

  • hb3908 By hb3908
    10.11.12  

    I quit Facebook three months ago because of issues like this - pettiness, hurt feelings, etc. I decided it was better to actually be present in my friends lives, as in really present. Has it hurt friendships to leave Facebook? Nope. The friends that I hold near and dear to my heart text me and email me each day - I'll never do Facebook again!

  • ChristieLight By ChristieLight
    10.12.12  

    They changed where the unfriend button was and for a while I couldn't find it. I think people get to bent out of shape about unfriending but seriously, people need to unfriend more because having a million friends is completely unnecessary.

  • mommy2459 By mommy2459
    10.12.12  

    I think the unfriend button should be right were u can see it. There are many people who deserve to be unfriend.. but befor you add people make sure u want them in your friend list that way you wont have to unfriend them..:)

  • devilv2 By devilv2
    10.12.12  

    What? They now have an unfriend button? " Runs to fb" dont see it ? where???

  • kwasta By kwasta
    10.13.12  

    I have 2 teenage daughters and facebook causes alot of drama with or without an unfriend button. I have blocked people without have to unfriend them.

  • GatheringRoses By GatheringRoses
    10.13.12  

    There is a point when even the closest friend over-steps. I've stopped showing one person's feeds and am *thisclose* to deleting now.

  • DulceBrandi By DulceBrandi
    10.13.12  

    Like the article said, people tend to take that pretty seriously. So, I typically don't unfriend people. But, if someone has been my "friend" for over a year and I talk to them on their posts but they NEVER talk to me, they don't need to have access to what's going on w/ me and my family anymore. So, I'll unfriend them but I"m sure they never notice. This doesn't happen much though b/c I only add relatives and people that I genuinely like.

  • sandysandmeyer By sandysandmeyer
    10.14.12  

    I rarely unfriend someone, but when I do it's because we don't have any contact on FB or in real life. I had a huge issue once with someone who was a big psycho and she brought my son into the argument. I ended up blocking her and having my family block her too. I didn't realize that she was doing this to many other people at church, including the pastor! When I finally told him what happened, he wasn't surprised and had had a similar situation. Sometimes you just have to unfriend people.

  • kinkihair By kinkihair
    10.14.12  

    I have no problem unfriending on FB. In fact I just quit Farmville (finally) and got rid of a bunch of folks. Honestly I think it's the term "friend". It's no different than when you stop following a blog that no longer interest you, For me it's nothing against the person, just that I am no longer interested in the content.

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