Unfriend Day: Why Have YOU Unfriended/Been Unfriended?
Today is Unfriend Day. It’s a day to pare back your bloated friends list on social media. Unfriend Day was originally started as a bit on Jimmy Kimmel’s show but it’s been around for 10 years now. The first Unfriend Day was observed on this date in 2010. That predates a lot of the…how should we put this…”current political divide in this country” (I’m trying to cut down on using the “T” word).
I usually only unfriend in cases of extreme negativity or continued abusive behavior. I’ve expanded that, though, in the past couple of weeks to include repeated, malicious posting of conspiracy theory or fake news. These are the people that you can present 5 different debunkings to and they’re never going to admit they’re wrong. I don’t mind engaging people with different ideas and viewpoints…but if the ideas are completely divorced from reality and the “friends” clearly have no interest in being persuaded, it’s not worth the aggravation. Recently a real-world friend posted a link to a notoriously disreputable “news” source that claimed that “More People Voted for Biden in Michigan Than There are People in the State!!”. I pointed out to my friend that that’s impossible and sent a couple of fact-checks so he’d know what he’s saying isn’t true. He wrote back and told me I was being “divisive” and “trying to drive a wedge between democrats and republicans”. How are you supposed to reason with that? Maybe by unfriending on social media we can maintain some kind of friendship in the real world. Also, Facebook crams this kind of post RIGHT IN MY FACE so much that I can tell it starts to affect the way I think about people who have different opinions. I find myself starting to think that EVERYONE on the other side is as unreasonable and dishonest as the worst examples I see. I’d rather just unfriend ONE a-hole instead of being infected with their bitterness and delusion.
Here are some of the responses we got from people about why they’ve unfriended or BEEN unfriended recently.
- “Because I said the dead mouse guy isn’t real music”
- “Every single post with a kissy face…buh-bye!”
- “ Because I don’t like sore losers who create a dumbass Parler account”
- “ Because we don’t share the same beliefs, values and attitudes”
- “I don’t unfriend people for political reasons. But I will unfollow them”
- “ Because they turned out to be phishing”
- “ Barely message, far less talk. No point in keeping folks who don’t care”
- “ Being snitches at work”
- “I’ve been unfriended by wife’s family for talking smack about the Dallas Cowboys lol”