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

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Oct 11, 2012

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?

Make a Comment

boundlesslives by boundlesslives | S OZONE PARK, NY
Jan 28, 2013

The unfriend button on Facebook can still cause a lot of drama. It's true, it is less confrontational but people usually realize you've unfriend them when they don't see your news feeds. I've been unfriended by my brother in law's ex. I wasn't mad but I do miss out on seeing pictures of their daughter whose my daughter's only cousin. It's pretty sad.

princesa4778 by princesa4778 | Wake Forest, NC
Nov 25, 2012

I have not had this happen to me but how petty. If you get upset at someone or do not agree with their ideas/views speak to them like an adult you do not need to unfriend. Thats like breaking up with someone in an email or text... grow up

im26e4u04 by im26e4u04 | Clarksville, TN
Nov 09, 2012

i just had this happen to me..its all a long story but i was upset when she did it coz she always told me we were best frrinds all the time! then one day she up unfriended me and blocked me.i have no idea why she did it

ivirginl by ivirginl | Georgetown, TX
Oct 22, 2012

I unfriend all of the time, most time sto make my friends list smaller and other times because I can't stand the person and they can't stand me, so why allow you to be updated on my information. I even BLOCK the person.. WHOA!

felicia1960 by felicia1960 | WELLINGTON, FL
Oct 17, 2012

I tell my son don't say anything nasty to someone that treats you badly. Unfriend them. It drives people crazy and you still have your dignity.

Evelyn101 by Evelyn101 | Woodside, NY
Oct 17, 2012

I think it is a good thing to have, because some people have endless people added on. You never know otherwise how to deal with an uncomfortable situation. If you have a lot of computer knowledge, then perhaps there are other ways. But I am one who would like to have access to it. I heard of a woman recently, who uses it as a way to manipulate people in a very negative way. A power trip of sorts.

concon1980 by concon1980 | TACOMA, WA
Oct 16, 2012

I think employing the "hide" button is an easy way to avoid having to see a person's updates, without having to face any sort of confrontation or hurt feelings.

kinkihair by kinkihair | PHILADELPHIA, PA
Oct 14, 2012

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.

sandysandmeyer by sandysandmeyer | unsubscribe, FL
Oct 14, 2012

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.

DulceBrandi by DulceBrandi | Greenville, NC
Oct 13, 2012

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.

Terri_SAV by Terri_SAV | SAVANNAH, GA
Oct 13, 2012

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.

kwasta by kwasta | MUSKEGON, MI
Oct 13, 2012

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.

devilv2 by devilv2 | LOS ANGELES, CA
Oct 12, 2012

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

mommy2459 by mommy2459 | tustin, CA
Oct 12, 2012

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..:)

ChristieLight by ChristieLight | Canton, OH
Oct 12, 2012

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.