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April 28, 2014 8:12 AM   Subscribe

The impact of "unfriending" on Facebook.

The first study found that the top five kinds of people respondents unfriended were:

High School friends
Other
Friend of a friend
Work friends
Common interest friend
posted by Kitteh (269 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
A high school chum once unfriended me for posting fake The Walking Dead spoilers. I didn't notice until she told me she did it at our reunion, we are cool again.

If you have a high friend volume, you probably won't notice if you've been dumped.
posted by Renoroc at 8:16 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Can't believe "other" cracked the top 5.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 8:19 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


I got unfriended one time by a prolife friend because I mentioned some sciencing but my guess is that it was an IRL unfriending as well.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:21 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


I have people I'd like to unfriend, but I don't want to hurt their feelings. But I have a technical question. Would they know? Do they get an alert, or would they have to realize they just aren't seeing my posts any longer?

Plus, is there any browser extension that can stop all cat posts from appearing in my news feed?
posted by cccorlew at 8:21 AM on April 28


Facebook should let you go more negative and 'enemy' people. Think of the warm glow you'd get when someone unenemied you.
posted by Segundus at 8:22 AM on April 28 [28 favorites]


I don't unfriend for controversy, that's what the Unfollow button is for. I pretty much only unfriend when I can't figure out why we were ever "friends" in the first place- we went to school together years ago, we didn't really know each other then, and now we're not interacting on Facebook either sooooooo?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:23 AM on April 28 [16 favorites]


So how does one know they've been defriended? I've blocked a whole shitload of people from appearing in my feed, but I don't think I've ever bothered to defriend anyone so that drama has yet to be visited upon me. Do people pay attention to their friend counts dropping and then sift through their list every time it does? Are they using Facebook apps that track these things? I have 406 FB friends and fuck me if I know what that number was at any point in time previously.
posted by griphus at 8:23 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I usually just "hide" rather than unfriend. That way nobody's feelings get hurt and I don't see their stuff anymore.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:24 AM on April 28 [12 favorites]


Both studies were based on a survey of 1,077 people conducted on Twitter.

I can't even..
posted by Ahab at 8:25 AM on April 28 [38 favorites]


Yeah, the "unfollow" option has really improved Facebook. Now I can keep all my friends but never see anything from any of them. It's perfect.
posted by mullacc at 8:26 AM on April 28 [32 favorites]


I disabled my Facebook account last year, so in a sense my answer would be "all of the above".

I haven't missed it for a second.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:27 AM on April 28 [9 favorites]


I have a pretty low friend count on FB (a rarity amongst most people I know who use it, I'm finding) but the only time I deliberately unfriended someone was because they turned into this raving political loon. I'm not talking Republican; I'm talking like Alex Jones-conspiracy nutter-libertarian sort of stuff. When I found myself arguing with him, I was like, "Wait, why am I bothering? I can just not deal with him because I am an adult and I do not have to put up with some dude's shit because we used to hang out in high school."

Generally, if there are people I genuinely do like but get tired that their only posting are memes/some ecards or stuff like that, I just unfollow them.
posted by Kitteh at 8:27 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


The most common responses to being unfriended Metafilter were:

- I was surprised
- It bothered me
- I was amused
- I felt sad

posted by Fizz at 8:27 AM on April 28 [22 favorites]


When I was on FB the only people I unfriended were people I didn't know that well in real life and probably shouldn't have friended in the first place, and who were in the habit of loudly trumpeting what I considered abhorrent political beliefs.

The first time I left I sent an email to all of my contacts to let them know I was deleting my account. This created a certain amount of drama with a few people who thought the email's tone was smug and/or took it personally. So the second time I left (for good) I just deleted my account and didn't tell anyone, but this created drama with people who couldn't find me in their friends' list anymore and assumed I'd unfriended them. Sigh.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:28 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


- High School friends with reprehensible politics;
- Work friends overly-enamored with their own children;
- and relatives who you only accepted a Friend request out of a sense of obligation, and who behaved online as they always do in RL, which is to say they were just as immensely tedious online as in RL, and who you quietly unfriended in hopes they either wouldn't notice, or if they did they are computer-naive enough for you to pull off "Huh, that's so weird, the friend thing is broken? Who can figure these dang computers anyhow, why they do what they do?"
posted by aught at 8:29 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


My top five reasons for unfriending people:

1) You posted Boston Marathon bombing conspiracy theories and wrote "EVERYONE READ THIS NOW!"

2) I just generally decided you're a dick and I don't like you.

3) I guess I knew you from high school and that's the only reason I accepted your friend request in the first place but we haven't had any sort of interaction ever other than your requests that I play Candy Mafia Crushes so why are you still here?

4) I met you once, briefly, you friended me, and then after a month I got tired of your daily posts about how much you hate your life.

5) You only seem to express yourself through .gifs with out-of-context quotes of your political rivals and, even though I might share most of your liberal views, your Facebook wall is the equivalent of a VW bus with way too many bumper stickers and I have no time for that.
posted by bondcliff at 8:34 AM on April 28 [43 favorites]


The most common reason I unfriend is because someone started a home business and more than 70% of their posts are them trying to get more customers.

But then, I don't friend many people either. My metric is basically: would I enjoy having dinner with you in real life? Yes: Hello, Facebook friend! No: request denied.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:37 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


In my experience:

THE WAY TO GET ME TO DEFRIEND YOU: Blame the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin on the "fact" that liberals are pedophiles.

THE WAY TO GET ME TO GET YOU TO DEFRIEND ME: As soon as the networks call the election, write that although Obama "might" have won the Electoral College, it is "very important" to note that Romney won the popular vote by almost a million votes, thus prompting me to reply that the popular votes of many states -- California included -- haven't been included in the totals yet.
posted by Flunkie at 8:39 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


So how does one know they've been defriended?

There's no formal mechanism for this. You can tell you've been unfriended by paying attention to the total number of friends you have and seeing if it changes (although sometimes this can give a false result). Some Facebook enhancement tools like Social Fixer used to tell you when you had been unfriended and by whom specifically, but FB made him drop that feature.
posted by briank at 8:39 AM on April 28


Facebook sure is good at showing me how willing people are to post the same lovey dovey status about their SO every. single. day. of. their. lives.

I should probably go purge a lot of these people I plan to never see again, but what if you do run into them some day!
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:39 AM on April 28


You don't get any notice when someone unfriends you.

I just unfollow people and I really only do that if they're a one-note poster. I can ignore only so much glurge or so much wing nut...
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:39 AM on April 28


I didn't see where they mentioned babies in the article. I know that parents (especially female parents, amirite) are inherently lame and uninteresting but I was hoping for some science to back up my obnoxious stereotyping.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:41 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


I should probably go purge a lot of these people I plan to never see again, but what if you do run into them some day!

Feign technological ignorance!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:41 AM on April 28


Since we're sharing lists of reasons to unfriend/hide people, here's mine:
* Upworthy
* Buzzfeed
* Distractify
* WordsOnImages
* Business Insider

(Yes, I know I can (and have) blocked direct links to those sites, but when people re-share other peoples' links to them they still show up in my feed.)
posted by ook at 8:41 AM on April 28 [13 favorites]


I got unfriended during the 2012 election cycle by a cousin, for pointing out the shameless mendacity of Paul Ryan. It's not like our differing political views were news to either one of us, but it did still bum me out a bit. Now other family members mention stuff she posts on Facebook, and I get to say "oh, I didn't see that, she unfriended me for calling Paul Ryan a lying sack of shit." This is awesome, because 1) Paul Ryan is a lying sack of shit, and 2) she looks like the thin-skinned ideologue that she is.
posted by ambrosia at 8:42 AM on April 28 [38 favorites]


I've come to the conclusion that Facebook was just not made for insecure, worrisome, obsessive people like myself. I take every unfriending (or unaccepted friend request) as an affront and spend way more time than is healthy trying to determine what specific behavior of mine caused the person to hit the button on me.

Recently someone I knew, vaguely, when I was in high school (we were part of the same youth trip to Israel 25 years ago) defriended me. I couldn't possibly accept that this was just a general culling of her friend list to make her Facebook experience more manageable and someone she wasn't even particularly close with when she was actually in real life contact a couple decades ago wouldn't logically make the cut. Nope, I had to go over every post of mine from the past several months to try to determine exactly at which point I offended her (one too may pictures of my son? Of my dogs? My wife tagged me in too many photos and status updates? Too many 49ers related posts?).
posted by The Gooch at 8:44 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


In the interest of linking to the damn papers,
Unfriending on Facebook: Context Collapse and Unfriending Behaviors
Social network sites (SNS) like Facebook allow users to add friends from a variety of contexts to a single general-purpose social network. The variety of friend types that gather on the site can lead to context collapse where connections from a variety of context are grouped in a single collection. This research examines the friend types who are commonly unfriended and examines two particular friend types in detail to determine differences between these types of friends and the general population. The most common type of friend who is unfriended is the high school friend (18.6%), followed by other (uncategorized), friend of a friend, and work friend. These four friend types account for the majority (53.7%) of unfriending decisions. High school friends are unfriended for making online posts that are polarizing and for posting too frequently about unimportant topics. Work-related friends are commonly unfriended for engaging in disliked offline behavior and are not typically unfriended for their posting behavior.

Facebook Fallout: The Emotional Response to Being Unfriended on Facebook
Social networking sites allow users to form, maintain and dissolve relationships on the network. This investigation examines the factors that predict the emotional response a Facebook user may experience when they are unfriended. Facebook users who valued the peak of the relationship more highly were more negatively affected by the unfriending. Facebook users who displayed high levels of network vigilance were more negatively affected when unfriended. Users who discussed the unfriending with others after the relationship dissolved were less negatively affected by the dissolution. Facebook users who discussed the difficulty in the relationship prior to the friendship dissolution were less negatively affected by the dissolution. Common emotional responses to being unfriended include surprise, bothered, amusement and sadness, in this order by level of agreement.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:47 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


The most memorable time I was unfriended was when I was vocally skeptical about Kony 2012. I was right, and I don't think I was being a huge dick about it. But I still regret it, as the person in question is generally pretty cool, and is currently doing notable things.
posted by wotsac at 8:47 AM on April 28


I should probably go purge a lot of these people I plan to never see again, but what if you do run into them again!

A friend of mine at Facebook told me that the friend's list is the buggiest part of the system. Sometimes it will just lose a bunch of friends and you have to go add them back manually.


[the above isn't true but if everyone could get to work spreading it out of context I would be much obliged.]
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:47 AM on April 28 [29 favorites]


I once hid a former co-worker's posts from my newsfeed because she was posting daily updates about how wonderful her husband and her child were and how wonderful Jesus was for giving her such an amazing life. I kept wanting to ask her how the deaths of 35,000 of children happening daily worldwide from starvation affected her conception of Jesus, if at all. I did like her, so I didn't unfriend her. A few months later I noticed she had unfriended me, which was fine.

My reaction to being unfriended has run the gamut from "we didn't talk anyway, so whatever" to "that stings, but fine be that way" to "terribly hurt".
posted by orange swan at 8:49 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Can't believe "other" cracked the top 5.


Hey, it's easier than stabbing them with obsidian.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:49 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


What's "Facebook"?
posted by HuronBob at 8:49 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


My someecards purge of 2012 was joyous though it ended up only being 3 or 4 people. (They were the worst though)
posted by greasy_skillet at 8:49 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


This study brought to you by the MacArthur Foundation.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:49 AM on April 28


I don't unfriend and I don't unfollow. If you're doing something that makes me wish I didn't have to put up with seeing your bullshit, I block you. Done.

I explained to my father in law, when he asked why he could no longer find any trace of me on Facebook, that "you made Facebook not fun anymore".
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:50 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


If they built a tiny bit of entropy in, losing your least interacted friend every two to four months, we could all pretend unfriending was unintentional.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:51 AM on April 28 [18 favorites]


It's funny I purposefully keep some people I can't stand as Facebook friends precisely so I can keep track of them. One or two people I'll avoid at all costs (both insane exes of close friends who will jump at a chance for a confrontation) post their every movement on Facebook and frequent several bars and restaurants in my area. More than once I've been able to avoid walking myself and friends into awkward situations because I randomly saw on Facebook that so and so had just checked into the bar across the street from me for happy hour. Time to check out that new place on the other side of town everybody...
posted by whoaali at 8:51 AM on April 28 [25 favorites]


Some inspiring words on a yoga photo.
posted by furtive at 8:52 AM on April 28 [12 favorites]


I got Facebook right before I went to college, and it was still new and exciting (2006-ish). In my freshman year, it was totally normal to meet someone at a party, or work with them on a group project, and just add them on Facebook for the hell of it.

A year ago I sat down with some wine and went through my Facebook friends thinking "if I passed this person on the street, would I even recognize them?" I cut my list down from around 500 people to around 250 using that criteria.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:54 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


we went to school together years ago, we didn't really know each other then, and now we're not interacting on Facebook either sooooooo?

One of my high school classmates died recently, and it prompted a long-ish discussion thread amongst us about our class. I was glad to be part of that. For me, those occasional moments are worth keeping the e-connection. I don't friend people I don't know personally, but once we're linked I don't see much advantage to unlinking. We've already crossed paths twice in life. Who knows what's next, even if it's just reminiscence.

As for politics...I think it's an idiotic FPP (1,077 Twitter interviews, really?), but I'm also not surprised that politics wouldn't make a top 5. If you're unfriending people based on politics, then generally I think one of two things is true: either your Facebook behavior is outside the norm, accepting all kinds of "friends" you don't actually know; or your opinions are beyond-the-norm extreme. I think most people are capable of navigating political disagreements without reaching for a off switch.
posted by cribcage at 8:56 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Though every now and then I look at my relatively small, culled friend list of ~160 and then look at how everyone else has 500-1000+ friends and... I get "friend" envy, y'all.

Frienvy.

I want to cut it even further, but now that all my friends are getting married and such, I'm about to run into some people I'd have defriended a long time ago if I hadn't known the day would come!
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:56 AM on April 28


It's get really difficult when your mom and mother in law decide to comment on every. post. you. make.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:56 AM on April 28 [24 favorites]




I didn't see where they mentioned babies in the article. I know that parents (especially female parents, amirite) are inherently lame and uninteresting but I was hoping for some science to back up my obnoxious stereotyping.


Am a parent. Can confirm.
posted by ocschwar at 8:56 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


I have people I'd like to unfriend, but I don't want to hurt their feelings. But I have a technical question. Would they know? Do they get an alert, or would they have to realize they just aren't seeing my posts any longer?

I don't think there's an explicit notification, but they'd probably figure it out eventually.

Plus, is there any browser extension that can stop all cat posts from appearing in my news feed?

Facebook has settings for this, but they're all-or-nothing, IIRC. I miss the hide-everything-except-major-life-events option.

This is what I do instead of unfriending people: hide their posts from my newsfeed and hide my new posts from them using the visibility settings. Then it just looks like you stopped using facebook to them.

I also block shameless self-promoters (home business, music, politics) from sending me event invites. If you've invited all your Facebook friends and it's not your birthday party, I'm not going to go.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 8:57 AM on April 28


Also, I should never have dated the girl who had something silly like 3,000 Facebook friends. She was bonkers.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:57 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I didn't see where they mentioned babies in the article. I know that parents (especially female parents, amirite) are inherently lame and uninteresting but I was hoping for some science to back up my obnoxious stereotyping.

It seems to me that when many women become pregnant, their interesting Facebook feeds AUTOMATICALLY become full of belly shots and questions about cloth diapers. Unfollow.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:58 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


I unfriended everyone on my Friends list instantaneously by totally deleting my account without warning or explanation a few years back.

The impact has been that I still can't go more than a month or two without running into someone and during the course of conversation having them say, "Oh, yeah, you're not on Facebook any more ... right?" and you can almost hear the "... by which I mean you didn't just block me without explanation and this isn't totally awkward for me to be asking, right? I hope that's not what happened."
posted by komara at 8:59 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


I've only unfriended one person, mostly because his feed devolved into an archive of his crossfit workouts.
posted by jamincan at 9:01 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


I had the exact same thing happen consistently too, komara! So I turned it back on and just post ridiculous shit every now and then when it's me and vodka talking.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:01 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I unfriended every Facebook friend from a former place of employment when my previous employer scuttled a work opportunity and bad-talked me around Baltimore because, as it turned out, one of those people had been passing along my posts, none of which referenced my former workplace in anything but positive terms (because you just don't trash-talk, even when you've got reason, out of sheer professionalism), and somehow, that was the root of my being sabotaged. I'd kept people I didn't particularly care for on the list because I really don't write anything on Facebook that I wouldn't say in public (I very rarely post anything that's not shared: public) and I'd rather be able to ask, if challenged, for people to show me what I've said that was wrong. Plus, it's good to keep channels open, so you know what's going on in the world.

Afterward, though, I've been depressed, angry, and paranoid and I hate being any of those things, let alone all of them, and it makes me want to just unplug from the internet everywhere forever and disappear into the Wonka Factory of my own analogue existence, but I just cut every possible source loose instead, in the first unfriending I've ever done.

Sometimes, I wish I lived in a people world again, where I'd collect my friends in a beat-up old French sedan, aim it aimlessly into the last surviving wild places in Maryland, and drive and talk and laugh and conjecture and just be a person with people, but adulthood seems to be the end point of that kind of life. Without Facebook, without Metafilter, without Twitter or LJ (while it lasted) or various forums or other spurious digital open spaces, I suspect I'd just be lonesome, and my dogs would receive attention that even they would find excessive.

This is the world of the future, but sometimes it's not much fun.
posted by sonascope at 9:04 AM on April 28 [26 favorites]


It's get really difficult when your mom and mother in law decide to comment on every. post. you. make.

Among many other reasons, I told my mom (and mother-in-law and grandfather and older aunt) that we could not be friends on Facebook. I post things that are not appropriate for them and I think they were just too gobsmacked to say anything about it. Then again, I have been really, really clear about boundaries for the last 15 years or so.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:05 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I am extremely fortunate in that my parents (both sets) and my in-laws have no freakin' interest in Facebook.
posted by Kitteh at 9:06 AM on April 28


I unfriended someone before I quit Facebook because she kept posting creepy updates of her infant AS the infant which was so grotesquely twee it made me want to burn down the world.

Bad feminist winna!
posted by winna at 9:07 AM on April 28 [13 favorites]


So if someone is still your friend but never seems to post does that mean they just aren't posting or they set it so you couldn't see their posts?

Unless there's some kind of setting like that, I think most of my no-longer-politically-agreed FB friends/family just don't get on FB much.

And if there is a setting like that, well, that's very diplomatic of them.
posted by emjaybee at 9:08 AM on April 28


"I had the exact same thing happen consistently too, komara! So I turned it back on and just post ridiculous shit every now and then when it's me and vodka talking."

I might have been tempted to do this but I made it a point to delete, not deactivate, so it's gone gone. At times I miss the updates from my real friends but then I just write them emails instead and everything is fine.
posted by komara at 9:08 AM on April 28


Oh, but I meant to mention, many of my co-workers are FB friends and I flat-out said, look, I post about politics and religion and all kinds of stuff on FB that I don't talk to co-workers about, so I can't. I will be happy to friend you if I ever change jobs/companies.

Joining a church full of FB-loving members will also up your friend count for better or for worse.
posted by emjaybee at 9:10 AM on April 28


So I got unfriended recently by a "common interest" friend over something my husband did. They got into something of a silly "argument" about Record Store Day and afterwards my husband was all "I should message him and say 'hey sorry if my smartassery was upsetting you'" and the guy had unfriended him and apparently, as I discovered when I went to look at what the hell they'd said, me to boot.

I was surprised (wtf?), amused (really?), and when I thought about it for a moment, hit a response that I suspect is really common but that most people won't admit on twitter: relieved. That experience informs my read on the OP link: the second study answers the question "what are socially expected responses to unfriendings on facebook?" and not any question about how people really feel.
posted by immlass at 9:11 AM on April 28


I disabled my Facebook account last year, so in a sense my answer would be "all of the above".

Is this something I would need a TV to understand ?

Anyway, I use FB to post pictures so my mother and my MIL can keep track of what we are up to without our having to actually talk on the phone. This has improved our relationships considerably.

But it's funny - every time I unfollow one of my racist uncles or tea party former HS friends, Facebook finds another one to replace them with on my feed. I don't get it - I have lots of friends whos feeds I am actively interested in, and I search them out and participate in them - but the FB feed algorithm keeps insisting that I want to see "Obunghole sold us to the UN" FB posts.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:12 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Unfollow is great, but I also love Important Only. I want to hear the big stuff but not the day to day rants or saccharin posts.
posted by soelo at 9:12 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


MY Top 10 reasons for unfriending:

1. Anti-vax crap
2. Objectivism
3. Caprice
4. Top 10 Lists
posted by blue_beetle at 9:13 AM on April 28 [12 favorites]


After one too many incident with relatives - every single incident being completely unnecessary - I have a simple "no family" policy. Each to their own; some people have good families, and I drew the short straw.

If you haven't done it for a while, it's probably a good idea to go through each of the options in the settings menu on the left. There always seems to be some privacy to tighten up, an app I've forgotten about, or other stuff to edit, delete or close, when I go through them.
posted by Wordshore at 9:14 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


There should be an "original content only" filter, that you could combine with the other settings. I.e. no reposts of news links that everyone read last week, no image macros, etc. That's what Reddit is for. I guess you could accomplish that by blocking every source of reposted links (like everyone I know has already done to Upworthy and its ilk), but that's pretty tedious.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:16 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


My ex and I were having what I thought to be a mellow, slightly friendly break up. Although as time progressed, I realized more and more how little I liked him as a person, we were keeping things civil and still interacting because his dog was living with me.

Half a year later, when I started dating again, I asked him to watch the dogs one weekend (mine and his) and got this epic saga of an email as to why it was so hurtful to be asked such things and how dare I and so on.

Puzzled, I asked him what changed from the last time he watched the dogs to now. His reply was that I hadn't accepted his friend request on Facebook.

I knew I had really good reasons for ending it and I was pretty comfortable and happy moving on, but discovering that he was the type of person to lose his shit over whether or not we were Facebook friends demonstrated why I was right.
posted by teleri025 at 9:17 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


creepy updates of her infant AS the infant

if she did it in horrible baby talk then i am pretty sure you can prosecute her in the hague
posted by elizardbits at 9:20 AM on April 28 [29 favorites]


I've unfriended a couple of shirttail relatives who went full wingnut, and came close to unfollowing much closer relatives who just went a little apeshit with forwarding all the "motivational" glurge.

AFAIK, the only person who has unfriended me is an ex-girlfriend whose every other post pre-unfriending was about her upcoming wedding, so maybe that was a mercy unfriending more than anything else. (Or she thought I'd crash it, which, hell nah.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:22 AM on April 28


I deactivated FB three years ago and I haven't looked back.

And for those who say that they have family they want to keep in touch with and would otherwise miss out on photos of their nieces or nephews or whatever.

E-mail still exists. You can still send an e-mail and attach a photo and write a short letter.

There are other options.
posted by Fizz at 9:22 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


It seems to me that when many women become pregnant, their interesting Facebook feeds AUTOMATICALLY become full of belly shots and questions about cloth diapers. Unfollow.

Hi, I had a kid about sixteen months ago, and I am now caught in this really weird place on social media because the received internet wisdom seems to be I FUCKING HATE KIDS STOP POSTING PICTURES OF YOUR KIDS YOU ARE RUINING THE INTERNET WHICH SHOULD HAVE NO KID PICTURES and at the same time my parents live two thousand miles away and are constantly asking that I post more pictures of my kid.

I decided I like my parents more than I like you, shitty internet people.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:23 AM on April 28 [125 favorites]


My worst Facebook experience was when an old friend from college who I once had been relatively close to and knew I was a big music person recommended to me that I go see a band that was coming to my city that she thought I'd be "really into".

I appreciated the suggestion and took it in good faith only to find out she was promoting the band and thus had a financial interest in it. Apparently, people think this kind of crap's okay but I never felt so used. I didn't unfriend her but I never talked to her again.
posted by Jess the Mess at 9:24 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


And for those who say that they have family they want to keep in touch with and would otherwise miss out on photos of their nieces or nephews or whatever.

E-mail still exists. You can still send an e-mail and attach a photo and write a short letter.

There are other options.


You are absolutely correct that there are other options, but for some family who don't care for writing or receiving emails (my sister, for example) they will only use Facebook. Does that mean I pout and stamp my feet and demand that she use email for my sake because I don't like Facebook? No. It means it is a small annoyance to put up with so I can see pics of my nieces.

If anything, I am learning more and more that a lot of folks can't even be arsed with simple email. It's social media or nothing if you want to interact with them.
posted by Kitteh at 9:25 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


shakes if you get your parents a 3D printer you can scan the baby and let them make their own
posted by elizardbits at 9:25 AM on April 28 [70 favorites]


You used to be able to see who unfriended you with Social Fixer, but Facebook threatened to suspend the author's personal account from Facebook permanently unless he shut it down. There are apps that will track this for you, but I've decided I'm better off not knowing until months later. I still use Qwitter, though. (Why?)
posted by mkb at 9:26 AM on April 28


So if someone is still your friend but never seems to post does that mean they just aren't posting or they set it so you couldn't see their posts

There is a way to set up your default posting status to hide all your posts from certain "friends". I hide almost everything from a person I know who likes to use posts against people (nobody here, it's someone from, barf, "real life"); works out very well!

I decided I like my parents more than I like you, shitty internet people.

My mother, great Facebook avoider of the world, was very tempted to join after the birth of her 2nd grandson. I convinced her to join Instagram instead, since all we (her children) do there is post kid pictures. I think this was a good plan. She's getting her fix without having to deal with all the drama Facebook would bring. Plus, she can still check Facebook whenever she wants through my Grammy's account.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:27 AM on April 28


If anything, I am learning more and more that a lot of folks can't even be arsed with simple email. It's social media or nothing if you want to interact with them.

Fair point.

I have noticed that e-mail seems slightly more "personal" in the face of so much social media. Taking the time to actually write an e-mail addressed to one person instead of mass sharing a photo album.
posted by Fizz at 9:28 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


But I have a technical question. Would they know? Do they get an alert, or would they have to realize they just aren't seeing my posts any longer?

posted by cccorlew at 4:21 PM on April 28


I was going to say that Social Fixer shows this, but I see someone upthread says it no longer does, which is news to me. And there was me thinking I hadn't been unfriended for a while...

My FB friends fall into three broad categories:

1. Actual RL friends and family
2. People who know me from online interactions elsewhere
3. Friends of friends who have sent me friend requests together with a message telling me why they want to friend me.

Groups 1 and 2 know me, know that I am a rabidly atheist/socialist gobshite, and that I use Facebook to express that quite a lot. Those who remain are clearly okay with that, at least enough not to unfriend me. Most of the unfriendings occur in group 3, usually because these people have seen a few things by me that they liked, and not enough that they didn't like. So when they do see something like that (and they will), they tend to unfriend. Which is fair enough. Every now and then, usually when I've accepted a few new friends, I like to post a little reminder of what I do, and what my major hobby horses are, and to suggest that anyone who has a problem with that might want to block or unfriend me. All of this has led to a fairly stable friend count.

I have only unfriended three people, for the following reasons.

1. Calling me a bigot, and following it up by saying they always thought I was a bigot. Yeah? Well why the fuck did you friend me in the first place then? Bye.

2. Telling me, in all caps, to STOP IT, following a particularly satisfying anti-religion rant. Yeah no. You don't get to tell me what I can and can't post on my page, dude. Bye.

3. Contrary to my usually strict principle of keeping work colleagues completely away from my Facebook account, I accepted a friend request from one such as he wanted to buy some of my recording equipment. And then I started seeing the NWO/chemtrails conspiracy nutbaggery. Gone.

Facebook is fun for cutting loose, but you have to not care too much what people think of you. My reaction to FB unfriendings is basically "whatever". Mind you, same goes for RL too, so I'm hardly going to get concerned about it happening online.
posted by Decani at 9:29 AM on April 28


1) You posted Boston Marathon bombing conspiracy theories and wrote "EVERYONE READ THIS NOW!"

"Sometimes the tree of liberty must be pruned of clowns who can't wait an entire 48 hours to say that gun owners are the real victims of a terrorist attack."

Which is what I posted on Facebook shortly after my last major purge.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:30 AM on April 28 [22 favorites]


I miss writing emails to friends. I do. But with the exception of an ill friend in London who decided to purge her social media presence for a while, hardly anyone I know will respond to personal email unless it's to confirm things like visits. Most of the time, there is the tone of "we are friends on FB/Twitter, why didn't you just contact me there?" Not saying I agree with it, but it does seem to portend a growing disconnection even with people you really like!
posted by Kitteh at 9:31 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I'm on Twitter, and not on Facebook, and one reason is Twitter's asymetrical following. I have lots of people following me that I don't have to interact with unless they directly reply to me. I did block someone for Shakespeare denialism though. I will not tolerate that.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:32 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


1) You posted a status update saying its time to clean house, and anyone not wanting to be unfriended should comment.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:32 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


Why I Unfriended You:

1) You append "Thanks, Obama" to literally every post you make. I can't even tell if it is ironic and I don't like being confused about people's political affiliations.

2) I understand that it is your right to parent your child the way you want, but all of these photos of your toddler biting into the steaming guts of an antelope are unsettling enough without the "found footage" Instagram filter.

3) You broke kayfabe in our WWF role-playing community (incidentally you are now banned from Awesomest Champions of All Time.)

4) You keep writing posts in first person like "...is goin' to Applebees!" and "...is on trial before a jury of his peers" even though Facebook's layout hasn't supported that in years now.

5) The Throwback Thursday tag is for photos of you and your friends back in the day, not for posting group photos of Third Reich officers and constantly trying to tag me as Heinrich Himmler.
posted by griphus at 9:32 AM on April 28 [59 favorites]


Fbpurity is a nice tool for controlling what shows up on your feed. It allows you to block all sorts of content, and can filter based on keywords.

The most useful strategy I've found for limiting the noise factor has bee to create a custom "inner circle" list of folks I'm really interested in following. Whenever FB is open, that's what I look at. I only check the main news feed once every other week or so, and then only briefly.

I've had a few folks disappear from my friends list, most of which fall into the old H.S. classmates category, so my reaction has been pretty much "meh."
posted by calamari kid at 9:32 AM on April 28


The only people I've unfollowed are because:
A. They were being a huge bigot
B. Posting hackneyed cloying Dawkins-wannabe rants all the time
C.Being some rando I bought something from.
D. All of the above
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:34 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Griphus, will you be my friend.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:35 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


On of my friends posted a link with the title "Who to unfriend on FaceBook". It did a search for "friends who like Nickleback". I laughed and judged, but didn't unfriend.

I got both myself and my wife unfriended by a guy who couldn't stand that I said that there wasn't actually a technical basis for his opinion that vinyl sounds better than digital audio (despite my assertion that he should listen to what he liked regardless).

I unfriend my friends on Tumblr if they post surprise NSFW stuff which I don't want to have on my work computer. That's a "nothing personal, just none of that during work hours, please."
posted by Mad_Carew at 9:36 AM on April 28


Seriously though if you have a problem with people posting babies for their relatives & you're not a internationally recognized funny misanthrope like elizardbits you should quit the internet forever.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:37 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


I only use Facebook for 3 reasons

- to reach people if I lost their email and text #
- to see if someone I haven't heard from died
- to post semi-annually so people will know I'm still alive
posted by surplus at 9:40 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


On of my friends posted a link with the title "Who to unfriend on FaceBook". It did a search for "friends who like Nickleback". I laughed and judged, but didn't unfriend.

I clicked on that when it was going around and no one showed up so I proceeded to rule the internet.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:41 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Yes, I've had to "unfollow" (I think that is the term du jour on FB now for blocking people; I don't usually outright "unfriend" people unless they're being abusive) many, many high school friends. Usually out of boredom towards the mundane things that they post, more than anything. This is unsurprising, as I was bored with my high school friends in high school.
posted by medeine at 9:46 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Totally on board with keeping the people I dislike the most on my Friends list. I can't count the number of times it's allowed me to avoid gym creepers, bar creepers and other assorted nutjobs who conveniently self-disclose their movements in status updates.
posted by gohabsgo at 9:49 AM on April 28



I have an account. I rarely post anything and remember to look at it maybe once a week or so. I'm mostly on there for seeing family pics and for whatever reason it's become the default way my two sisters and I chat because it's easy to have more then on person in a message.

Even though I barely check my feeds I have unfollowed a lot of people, mostly for constant glurge of the same thing over and over. There was the women constantly posting different animals that need adopting, the women who post those 'post if you love...' chain things that make you seem like the worst person evah if you don't repost or comment it, a couple of wingnut talking point ofthe day reposters and the woman who filled up my feed with pictures of sunsets and flowers with motivational sayings, like at least dozen a day.
posted by Jalliah at 9:54 AM on April 28


Things I have learned from this thread, not exhaustive:

- Some people hate baby pictures
- Other people don't hate baby pictures, mainly those with babies
- What griphus hates is uncertain due to the satirical nature of his comment
- At least one person wants to be griphus's friend
- Mad_Carew and immlass have shockingly similar lives
- I am apparently fortunate to have a complete lack of creepy people in my life whose whereabouts I need to track
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:56 AM on April 28 [18 favorites]


The only way the Unfollow feature could get any better would be if it made those people shut up in real life too.
posted by invitapriore at 10:03 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


The only people I've unfriended:

1. An ex whom I though we were going to both try to stay actual friends, except he never posted anything anyway and then interacted with me less and then didn't even interact with me on Facebook and I realized "why bother" and then pulled the plug when he got married and had a kid.

2. Political stuff. (Not what you think - a Canadian guy who was the friend-of-a-friend and was being dickish about the whole health care controversy here.)

I actually don't really friend many people anyway - only people that a) I've met in the real world, and b) had more than the most cursory interaction with. So I've checked you out pretty much already and am reasonably certain you won't be a major dick that I'd want to unfriend anyway if you're on my friendslist in the first place. And the most common status post I make these days is "hey here's a link to the latest travel article I wrote" and so I don't really care what people's response is, just so long as they read the damn thing, so they don't say much I'd unfriend them for anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:04 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


It's been nice to reconnect with some people from high school and college. Somebody just posted a picture of the Cleny Mae, the only bar in the town where I went to college some years ago; that was fun. And it's made me be more reasonable and thoughtful about political posts. Instead of hey, Republicans are all stupid jerks, amirite? I try to post facts that tell the story for me. It won't change the mind of a single tea partier, but may influence a few folks in the middle. I like seeing baby pictures, graduation pictures, etc. So yeah, middle-aged person on fb.

Lately, I've subscribed to news and magazine feeds, so fb is more of a customized magazine.

I know I'm supposed to hate facebook, and I certainly have no love for facebook, inc., but it's kind of a useful tool.
posted by theora55 at 10:05 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I'm fighting a constant battle with Facebook - I want to follow my nephew's mother so I can see the pics and videos of him growing up and generally being a cute baby, but I don't want to see any of the dozens of random shared posts she sends out every day. I constantly use the option to not show anything from whichever random group or quiet often a radio station from 1000 miles away that she's sharing the post from, but she seems to have an infinite well of sources.

If there were some sort of setting that let me filter for only direct posts or photos from a certain user I would be so so happy.
posted by thecjm at 10:06 AM on April 28


I unfriended a H.S. classmate who grew up to become an angry, right-wing, Obama-hating veteran. Every couple of days a new inspirational poster about how they never leave a man behind. Every other day a post about the liberals ruining everything and omg O-(insert lame pun insult here) didn't have his hand over his heart.

Then I re-friended because I missed his crazy and also because of this:
posted by GrapeApiary at 10:07 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


I've had to block four of my closest friends because of constant, heart-rending posts from animal shelters that are quite literally thousands of miles away from me, offering animals for emergency adoption that I have no hope of ever being able to help.

Also block-worthy: Inspirational quotes about treating other people with kindness that are just passive-aggressive statements about how badly the poster feels the world has treated her/him.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:07 AM on April 28 [9 favorites]


thecjm: This question has a couple things to try that might help you filter her posts.
posted by soelo at 10:10 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I have unfriended for blatantly racist bullshit. I am considering doing so for blatantly anti-science bullshit too-- although in the second case the worst offender just doesnt seem to get the difference between anti-vax crap/homeopathy/"chemicals are bad" and actual science. So I keep thinking maybe she isnt a lost cause. It would be sad if she no longer gets exposed to actual science because all of us annoyed by the pseudoscience unfriend her.

(As for the high school buddy who seems to think he knows a lot about the sexual proclivities of Arab men, well.. yeah, I cant fight every battle).
posted by nat at 10:13 AM on April 28


As long as you have more pending friend requests than friends you're good.
posted by fullerine at 10:13 AM on April 28


I actually have a pretty good Facebook experience. Thankfully, I have hardly any relatives there. Just my wife, some inlaws with whom I share many political views, my really cool nieces and nephews, and a couple cousins I like. Neither brother is on Facebook. One is too paranoid* and the other probably just discovered MySpace. My mom and dad are both, thankfully, computer illiterate.

I'm also pretty choosy about who I friend. I have a limited list, about 150 friends currently. Generally I only friend someone if I've had some sort of meaningful non-Facebook interaction with them. I don't need to friend that one vendor I spoke to that one time that had to send me an .exe file so I gave him my personal email address to bypass the company virus filters.

Like most of these tools, it is what you make it. If it's annoying you, you can fix it.

*He actually has an account but he only uses it to check up on his enemies to make sure their lives are still going shittily.
posted by bondcliff at 10:15 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


If there were some sort of setting that let me filter for only direct posts or photos from a certain user I would be so so happy.

There used to be a setting where you could set for each friend what you wanted to see, and it was pretty finely grained, so you could set it to see status updates, but not likes or shares (for example). They did away with that some time ago, and now the only option is a sort of all-or-nothing.

As far as I can tell, Social Fixer still offers me the option of letting me know when someone has unfriended me, so, I dunno.
posted by rtha at 10:15 AM on April 28


There used to be a setting where you could set for each friend what you wanted to see, and it was pretty finely grained, so you could set it to see status updates, but not likes or shares (for example). They did away with that some time ago, and now the only option is a sort of all-or-nothing.

I think Facebook Purity will let you do that...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on April 28


Thanks, Empress. I used to have Purity installed, but then switched to Social Fixer at some point for a reason I no longer recall. I will go experiment.
posted by rtha at 10:20 AM on April 28


Speaking of stupid inspirational image macros, I've told this on MeFi before and in the spirit of I am lazy, I'm just going to paste it:

Okay, SO. There's this dude I am Facebook friends with -- an old friend from elementary school -- and he is really, really heavily into scams and MLM. I stay friends with him just to keep up on the latest scams. Anyway, he seems to have switched his Facebook into some sort of downtime mode where he posts absolutely nothing except inspirational quotes typed onto stock photos that, most of the time, have absolutely nothing to do with the quote. For instance, a photo of a duck with the phrase "In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary" on the bottom. I don't know either.

Anyway it's all saccharine, upbeat inspirational-poster material. Except for one. The image is that of a woman walking on a sandy beach at dusk. The text?

"SORRY DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN TO FIX WHAT YOU'VE DESTROYED."

I don't even
posted by griphus at 10:21 AM on April 28 [35 favorites]


That beach was never the same, friend.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:25 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


For instance, a photo of a duck with the phrase "In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary" on the bottom.

You're not looking at that duck in the right light or at the right time. Try looking at that picture during the next lunar eclipse.
posted by asperity at 10:28 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


You set your profile picture to that of your infant daughter and then made several salacious comments about the physique of a Hollywood actor. Both would have been fine individually, really.
posted by ODiV at 10:28 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Psychotic break?
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:29 AM on April 28


I don't think I've ever unfriended anyone. But then, I only have ~250 facebook friends, and only friend people I'd actually like to keep in contact with. Threads like this tend to give me the impression that most people have a lot more than that, so I think I just use it in an anomalous way.
posted by kyrademon at 10:31 AM on April 28


1) You posted a status update saying its time to clean house, and anyone not wanting to be unfriended should comment.

I had a Facebook friend who did this. I'm not sure what the point is; it's not LiveJournal, and you can be "friends" with people and still ignore them. In my mind, Facebook friends are people I have some sort of real-life connection to and don't hate.

I do hide people who post excessively, though. And then I wonder why I have nothing but tumbleweeds in my feed.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:34 AM on April 28


That duck is the gateway to Narnia.
posted by winna at 10:36 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


I've never unfriended someone over this, but a surprising number of times I have thought: OK, look, I understand that Corporal Whiskers wants to let me know that he is a good cat, and I'm sure that he is a good cat. And although honestly it seems a bit insecure of him, I'm OK with him letting me know that he thinks he's just as good -- better! -- a pet as any dumb ol' dog. But does Corporal Whiskers really have to let me know these things quite so often?

And why is Corporal Whiskers using your Facebook account to let me know these things? Corporal Whiskers seems like an exceptionally smart cat - can't he get a Facebook account of -- NO NO NO WAIT PRETEND I DIDN'T THINK THAT

You have received a friend request from Corporal Whiskers

... crap.
posted by Flunkie at 10:36 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


he seems to have switched his Facebook into some sort of downtime mode where he posts absolutely nothing except inspirational quotes typed onto stock photos that, most of the time, have absolutely nothing to do with the quote.

Your friend is a numbers station.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:37 AM on April 28 [35 favorites]


I've unfollowed one person (a friend-of-a-RL-friend) who seemed to be internet-stalking me and my family in a way that was probably supposed to be friendly but instead creeped me out, and I unfriended a guy I didn't know to begin with (I have a lot of friends I don't know, since I use FB to network with other SF writers/publishers) who invited me to "Like" an American MRA group whose first post when I went to see what they were all about used the word cunt. I think otherwise I just use the privacy settings to determine who sees my stuff and I don't worry about it.
posted by joannemerriam at 10:41 AM on April 28


I enjoy some baby pictures, occasionally. Ideally when the baby is doing something novel or wearing kitchen gadgets or looking especially adorable. One solid photo per baby, per week, is what people need to be thinking about in terms of output. Because I have a wall of babies to look at, and your three daily out-of-focus pics of baby sleeping under a blanket are competing with all the other babies giving really good face or wearing colanders, and guess who's going to win?
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:41 AM on April 28 [18 favorites]


I am generally more strict about friending in the first place these days, which gets me a lot of guff from, say, my husband. "That's rude!" No, it keeps me sane, because THAT GUY IS WEIRD.

But then we get into these issues where my husband keeps people on his FL for no reason, so I get this constant stream of "Did you see what [Friend's Google Glasshole Boyfriend] posted TODAY???" and I have to say no.

Normally that's as far as it goes, so it's pretty minor. But the other day, I got a comment from the male half of a couple I'd been trying to... quietly deaccession... for a few years now. I'd unfriended him (aside from being un-self-aware in general, it was his endless anti-Apple rants...) and unfollowed his wife.

The guy (G) is still friends with my husband, so when I tagged my husband in the post announcing my pregnancy, it appeared to all of his friends. Three months later, G commented at the very end of the thread, saying, "Whoa! I've been out of the loop, but congratulations, you guys!" And then he tried to friend me again. Which made me feel like an asshole for rejecting.

And then there's my mom, whom Facebook really wants me to friend, except that neither I nor my brother nor her own husband (our dad) are friends with her. She doesn't mind that so much, but she's obsessive about what she thinks I make visible to others in the family, which is just delightful. ("I heard that you made a cryptic comment about a medical procedure, so I went ahead and told everybody that you had a miscarriage because you can't just expect people to be OKAY with that level of coyness, you rude thing!")

I am very happy with my decision to keep that wall firmly in place, but it gets much more complicated when HER friends want to friend me.

And then there is my frantic Aunt Mary, who checks every category of Facebook no-nos, who pleaded desperately for me to friend her ("Please reconsider" when I rejected her request) and then blocked me several months later. Which makes my (requested) participation in Facebook Family Book Club much less useful; it's like a seance where I can't hear the spirit conversation.

Too bad; so sad.
posted by Madamina at 10:45 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


- Mad_Carew and immlass have shockingly similar lives

That may be because Mad_Carew and immlass are married.
posted by immlass at 10:45 AM on April 28 [28 favorites]


I'm thinking about unfollowing a college friend who is very upset about every instance of animal abuse that he reads about and feels the need to post every article, complete with graphic pictures. I get the outrage, but I don't want to look at that when I'm trying to eat breakfast.

I am clearly an outlier, because I love baby pictures. As far as I'm concerned, baby pictures are one of the reasons to be on Facebook.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:46 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Because I have a wall of babies to look at, and your three daily out-of-focus pics of a baby sleeping under a blanket are competing with all the other babies giving really good face or wearing colanders

This. Why the hell, in this day and age when you can take 1000 pictures of the same thing FOR FREE, do people still post bad pictures?

Maybe blurry pictures of Bigfoot and UFOs, sure, but surely you can find a clear picture of your friends all seated at the table at Five Guys or of your kid showing off his new neck tattoo. What the hell, people?

Also, when you take 1000 pictures of the same thing, you don't need to post all 1000 of them. Find the best one and post that.
posted by bondcliff at 10:49 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


I had to remind my wife the other day to be careful about what she mentions on facebook, because after she posted about are furnace not working for a bit, I got a worried phone call from my dad. My dad doesn't have facebook, but my brother does, and he told my parents, because, apparently, adulthood is just like childhood.
posted by drezdn at 10:50 AM on April 28 [17 favorites]


Why the hell, in this day and age when you can take 1000 pictures of the same thing FOR FREE, do people still post bad pictures? Maybe blurry pictures of Bigfoot and UFOs, sure, but surely you can find a clear picture of your friends all seated at the table at Five Guys or of your kid showing off his new neck tattoo.

Unless your kid or your friends are camera-shy and the crappy photo is the only one you have. This is my mother's defense for why she's kept some REALLY bad photos she's taken of me - blurry, faded, I have a really derpy look on my face, etc.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:51 AM on April 28


I had to remind my wife the other day to be careful about what she mentions on facebook, because after she posted about are furnace not working for a bit, I got a worried phone call from my dad. My dad doesn't have facebook, but my brother does, and he told my parents, because, apparently, adulthood is just like childhood.

My parents are not on Facebook. I have an aunt and uncle who are really active, though. And sometimes I used to post a status update on Facebook with some news, but then not get a chance to talk to my parents for a week or so - except then my mother would ask "so what's this your Uncle Peter tells us about [thing I posted on Facebook]?"

So now it's gotten to the point that if I post an exciting status update, I call my parents immediately after - "in case Uncle Peter calls, here's the deal."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:53 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


The image is that of a woman walking on a sandy beach at dusk. The text?
"SORRY DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN TO FIX WHAT YOU'VE DESTROYED."


Was this around the time of the BP disaster in the Gulf? Because that's the only possible way I can reconcile those two things being mashed together.
posted by komara at 10:55 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


I like FBPurity a lot, it really adds some customisation and removes clutter from Facebook. Also, I'm pretty sure it now will tell you when you've been unfriended, seeing as I've gotten that message a couple of times this week. The message makes sure to tell you the account could have been deactivated or there might even be an error, as well as just being unfriended - and a quick check in my case revealed there was a little spate of account deletions.

I miss the longer insights of LJ and have had a hard time using email for awhile now, but Facebook is at least more visual and easier for announcements, invites and general interest stuff. It's the rare person I unfriend, though there's people whose requests I've had sitting there untouched for months now. I have hidden a few people, though, and it's always because they post an awful lot about mostly the one thing, whether it be their baby or their meals or Dr. Who.
posted by gadge emeritus at 10:58 AM on April 28


I'll just point out that the FB Friends Organizer still exists. It suggests people you aren't interacting with much for the category of Acquaintances, meaning you will now see fewer of their posts. I've found I uncheck about 40% of their suggestions, but there are definitely people I have no need to defriend who conversely I have little need to see a lot of.

FB still has this thing where someone who recently friended you is seemingly right in your face every day. I have a few college friends whom I don't mind having on FB but I was never that close to in the first place.

There is one instance of defriending (of me, not by me) I regret -- I blasted a guy I've known as quasi-family (think cousin, but not actually related), because even though he's normally a Republican prick who kept it in his pants, so to speak, he wryly (he thought) posted something about the Easter day Google doodle that honored Cesar Chavez, when it was very clear that the Michelle Malkin intern who came across it had initially confused Cesar Chavez with Hugo Chavez, and then to cover their tracks, had to basically character assassinate a revered and selfless American labor leader (whose home is a National Landmark, and who has a US Navy ship named for him) as some kind of Bolivarian fifth columnist. So while I miss sharing the non-political parts of our lives, I really sort of feel justified, because $DUMB.
posted by dhartung at 11:09 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


A friend of mine instituted a "maximum FB friends number" a while back -- something like 40 or 50. Makes it easy for her to say, "Hey sorry, feeling overwhelmed and I was over my number."

Seriously though if you have a problem with people posting babies for their relatives & you're not a internationally recognized funny misanthrope like elizardbits you should quit the internet forever.

I have no problem with people posting babies for relatives. I just don't want to be made to participate in the incessant display if said tyke is not related to me. Even then.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:09 AM on April 28


"I deleted my Facebook page and I don't miss it" is the "I don't even own a tv" of 2014. I guess the golden age of tv took some of the fun out of the latter, so folks had to branch out.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:12 AM on April 28 [20 favorites]


So, I've been unfriended and noticed it in weird contexts. Usually, I noticed it when going to their page to see what they were up to and noticing the "Add friend" button, but sometimes when I got a friend request from them and thought we were already friends. I've said something, but usually in the "Hey, was this intentional?" I do this because two girlfriends of ex-boyfriends of mine have repeatedly snuck onto their facebooks and removed me as a friend, because I'm a lady with lady bits and it scares them somehow.
posted by corb at 11:13 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking about unfollowing a college friend who is very upset about every instance of animal abuse that he reads about and feels the need to post every article, complete with graphic pictures. I get the outrage, but I don't want to look at that when I'm trying to eat breakfast.

I haven't had that yet on FB, but it's happened several times on Twitter the last few months. Zoo killing a giraffe; big game hunting; person mistreating a pet. These pictures have been tweeted, or retweeted, by outraged people I follow. Sympathize with the sentiment in most cases, but am furious that there is zero warning before e.g. a graphic picture of a recently culled giraffe appears. That's now an instant unfriend / unfollow / block on all social media from me.

As a related issue, I kind of oscillate between Twitter and Facebook. The former, no matter who I follow, seems to eventually become a wall of outraged people. The latter, Candy Crush Saga requests :)
posted by Wordshore at 11:15 AM on April 28


"I deleted my Facebook page and I don't miss it" is the "I don't even own a tv" of 2014. I guess the golden age of tv took some of the fun out of the latter, so folks had to branch out."

Those of us who don't have TVs and who have deleted our Facebook accounts are slowly migrating towards "I don't even have a microwave." You'll probably see a lot of that in 2015. Tell your friends you saw it here first for a little extra cred.
posted by komara at 11:20 AM on April 28 [22 favorites]


The point about baby pictures and significant others is that previously interesting people suddenly and irreversibly turn into nattering on about only one topic.

It describes most of my exes I still have on FB. One lady posted the exact adjectives every single time about her husband and dropped him 2-3 times per sentence. Shudder.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:23 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I would probably unfriend more people on Facebook, but having made the mistake of not being picky enough earlier, it is quite time consuming. I have been unfollowing recently, but that doesn't really solve the problem. I not only don't want to see what some of these people post or say, I really don't want them to read what I say. So it is slow process.

With my 30th high school reunion coming up, and a Page set up for it, I have decided I will unfriend many of my classmates, unless we were close (not many of those), and use the Page as a way of keeping up on my own terms.
posted by terrapin at 11:24 AM on April 28


On the other hand most of the 'Likes' I get on the irritating pictures of my baby are from Metafilter people, so I guess that just means I picked the right ones to be friends with?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:25 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


So, I've been unfriended and noticed it in weird contexts. Usually, I noticed it when going to their page to see what they were up to and noticing the "Add friend" button, but sometimes when I got a friend request from them and thought we were already friends.

This happened to me last week, or so I thought- I had actually been friended by a duplicate profile. Same name, same picture. Huh? Turns out it was a scammer who had scrapped the original profile. I guess they picked a good target because a ton of her friends friended the 2nd duplicate profile without a second thought. People! Think before you friend!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:28 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Those of us who don't have TVs and who have deleted our Facebook accounts are slowly migrating towards "I don't even have a microwave."
Is this something I'd have to have a chair to understand?
posted by Flunkie at 11:29 AM on April 28 [25 favorites]


"Is this something I'd have to have a chair to understand?"

Corporeal forms are so 2013.
posted by komara at 11:34 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Weirdest one was when I was unfriended but still following the person in my feed for some reason. So I was seeing his posts, but only realized I was off his list when I went to comment on one and couldn't.

Then shortly after the same friend posted his self-drafted lawsuit about how a famous financial company had kept him prisoner in a mental ward as part of some MKULTRA sub-contracting for the CIA or some terribly sad schizoaffective thing like that and did anybody know a lawyer who might help him out and I went ahead and unfollowed. And then blocked. And then felt sad.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:35 AM on April 28


Anytime someone complains about seeing too many baby pictures or too many political posts they disagree with, I unfollow them for not knowing how to use the internet.
posted by straight at 11:36 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Those of us who don't have TVs and who have deleted our Facebook accounts are slowly migrating towards "I don't even have a microwave."

You kids and your crazy electromagnetic radiation wavelengths. Back in my day we had the visible spectrum and we were happy as clams to sit there and stare at colors. Now it's infra-this and ultra-that and no one has the time to even appreciate the classics.
posted by griphus at 11:38 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: not for posting group photos of Third Reich officers and constantly trying to tag me as Heinrich Himmler.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 11:38 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I am generally more strict about friending in the first place these days, which gets me a lot of guff from, say, my husband. "That's rude!" No, it keeps me sane, because THAT GUY IS WEIRD.

What *I* found weird about this comment was that it then segues into a series of anecdotes how your friending policy has created drama, heartache, and actual family stress in your life. You don't think it would have been easier if you just accepted these friend requests and unfollowed them? You have actually messed up your relationship with your Aunt Mary in a serious way, it sounds. I think you like the drama.
posted by norm at 11:41 AM on April 28


My criteria for unfriending seem to be atypical of the norm. For example, I am grudgingly tolerant of the following:

- baby picstravaganzas
- foodies who post their foods
- self-promoters who post their shitty personalities
- gym protein protein gym before and after (congrats, you lost 35 pounds and your originality)
- people who think their pets are people
- inspirational misattributed quotes
- political ignorance made very loud

That being said, I have no time for:

- adults with no kids who go on holidays to Disney (WTF???)
- At Christmastime, adult couples without kids who do Elf on the Shelf (double WTF)
- people who complain about the people in the first list.
posted by gohabsgo at 11:41 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I never unfriend either, just unfollow for all but major life events. I still want to know if my cousin gets engaged or something, but her updates are maddening clusters of inanity:

"I'm hungry!"
"I'm thinking about wings!"
"I want to go to Buffalo Wild Wings!"
"Anybody want to go to Buffalo Wild Wings?"
"I need someone to go to Buffalo Wild Wings with!"
"Going to Buffalo Wild Wings with my sister!"
"Made it to Buffalo Wild Wings!"
"Wings are good!"
"So full!"
"Wings make me sleepy!"
"Good night!"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:46 AM on April 28 [24 favorites]


New conclusion is that there are just a lot of grumpy shits on Metafilter who don't like any of their friends.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:47 AM on April 28 [16 favorites]


Ooh, ooh, what about the people to just post someone's name in the comments of someone else's post? Pinky in a hammer-vise stuff right there. I'm not even sure what's it's for.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:48 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Ooh, ooh, what about the people to just post someone's name in the comments of someone else's post? Pinky in a hammer-vise stuff right there. I'm not even sure what's it's for.


They're tagging them to make sure they see it. Possibly unsuccessfully, but that's the point of the exercise.
posted by KathrynT at 11:50 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


adult couples without kids who do Elf on the Shelf (double WTF) This is a thing some adults have done? That's so profoundly weird.
posted by theora55 at 11:53 AM on April 28


> Tell your friends you saw it here first for a little extra cred.

On a computer???? Pffft.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:55 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


New conclusion is that there are just a lot of grumpy shits on Metafilter who don't like any of their friends.
The thing about Facebook, though, is that it's not just (or even primarily) your current friends. I like my friends. I'm a little iffy on the person who lived two doors down from me in elementary school.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:55 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


adult couples without kids who do Elf on the Shelf (double WTF)

I have absolutely no idea what that is/means, but I've been caught out before on here by not knowing what goatse was and OMG my eyes and am not therefore looking up "Elf on the Shelf".
posted by Wordshore at 11:56 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


This is a thing some adults have done? That's so profoundly weird.

Yeah, I got 2 couples without kids (and who don't know each another) posting daily elf photos. Is this a thing for anyone else??
posted by gohabsgo at 11:57 AM on April 28


adults with no kids who go on holidays to Disney

Are you kidding? Disney is so much better when you don't have any miserable little shits in tow. My wife and I went when we were dating and every parent we saw with a young kid looked absolutely exhausted.

That said, once or twice is enough. I have a couple friends who go about four times a year and really get into the whole "most magical place on earth" thing. It's kind of scary.
posted by bondcliff at 11:57 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


The thing about Facebook, though, is that it's not just (or even primarily) your current friends. I like my friends. I'm a little iffy on the person who lived two doors down from me in elementary school.

You don't have to add everyone you've ever met.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:58 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Elf on the Shelf is very SFW, but a bit creepy. It's a thing for kids, to make them behave leading up to the holidays.
posted by gohabsgo at 11:58 AM on April 28


You don't have to add everyone you've ever met.
I have hardcore social anxiety, and I think I have literally never added anyone unless they added me first. But I would feel bad about turning down a friend request from someone with whom I was once friends, mostly because the idea of sending a friend request and not getting a positive response sorta gives me hives.

Elf on the Shelf, as far as I can tell, is kind of like panoptic surveillance for preschoolers.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:00 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


The one that creeps me out is the guy who sent me a friend request when he was engaged to a close friend from college. Okay, cool. He turned out to be pretty nice and we like each other's stuff. The thing is recently, his status update said he was engaged to someone else now. I don't even know how the fuck that happened. I can unfriend that guy, right?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:01 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


It seems to me that when many women become pregnant, their interesting Facebook feeds AUTOMATICALLY become full of belly shots and questions about cloth diapers. Unfollow.


One of my friends--who was the most party girl I have ever met--did this and started posting all this gloopy sanctimonious crap about motherhood and I'm like where was the girl who used to bang dudes in shady bar bathrooms and can I have her back, please?

I don't unfriend but my criteria for unsubscribing is:

-Posts endlessly about political crap
-Posts endlessly about political crap that I agree with but Jesus Christ shut the fuck up for once
-The Outrage of the Day crowd that seems to scan the news daily to find shit to be mad about
-The THIS IS IMPORTANT YOU MUST READ THIS ARTICLE crowd, no matter which side they are on
-Endless baby pictures unless you're good at taking them and your kid is cute
-The people who constantly post pictures of abused dogs and cats to when I don't live in your crummy town so can't adopt them and don't want to see graphic pictures of abused animals

I curate my feed like a bonsai tree of amusing content without regret.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:01 PM on April 28 [8 favorites]



Are you kidding? Disney is so much better when you don't have any miserable little shits in tow.


Maybe so, but grown-ass people spending substantial money to go to a theme park for children, gushing over meeting Mickey and Minnie and Goofy and Cinderella weirds me. It weirds me good.
posted by gohabsgo at 12:04 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


My current Facebook peeve is my sister and brother-in-law (but mostly the brother-in-law) tagging me in pictures of their new baby. I'm thrilled to death about having a nephew, but do not tag me in any pictures of babies I did not personally birth, tyvm.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:06 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


My current Facebook peeve is my sister and brother-in-law (but mostly the brother-in-law) tagging me in pictures of their new baby. I'm thrilled to death about having a nephew, but do not tag me in any pictures of babies I did not personally birth, tyvm.

They may be doing this because they know that fb's "method" for deciding what posts it will or will not show you is so opaque that they cannot know for certain that you will see them, or which ones of them, or what, and they want to make sure you see them. Or they're just being annoying.
posted by rtha at 12:09 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I just post photos of trains. If I go someplace I post a few photos. I try not to post anything else, although sometimes I complain about parking tickets or other minor annoyances.

Since I have such a wide and diverse Facebook friend group (people from my home town, people from my industry, coworkers, former coworkers, translators in Japan, Japanese friends, Japaneses family members, a bunch of American friends, lefty friends, libertarian friends, feminist friends, my Mom, my linear-thinking sisters) to avoid arguments and chaos, I avoid posting anything particularly controversial or even insightful on Facebook.

Instead, I post dumb links on Google Plus, since few people I know IRL are on it. There is a link in my MetaFilter account.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:10 PM on April 28


I feel like parents having their first kid ought to get a two to four week pass where posting too many baby pictures is concerned. They're exhausted and overloaded and clinging to tiny bits of joy in between being shrieked at and shat upon. Most of them ease up in short enough order. If they're still posting 6 or 8 boring pictures a week a few months in, sure, they suck.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:11 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


They may be doing this because they know that fb's "method" for deciding what posts it will or will not show you is so opaque that they cannot know for certain that you will see them, or which ones of them, or what, and they want to make sure you see them. Or they're just being annoying.

A, they should trust that I'll be keeping an eye out for pictures of my one and only nephew- I am, truly! B, my BIL tends to post 10,000 blurry, upside-down photos of the same scene, so if I did happen to miss one, I don't think I would be any worse off.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:12 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


- Mad_Carew and immlass have shockingly similar lives

That may be because Mad_Carew and immlass are married.

Note to self: always search-on-page for spouse's screen name to see if she already told that story...
posted by Mad_Carew at 12:13 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]


You used to be able to block only photos and/or shares from your pals who like to just re-share the latest THANKS OBUMMER image from the hate-meme generators, but damned if I can find that functionality again when I go look. I considered that act to be only partly passive-aggressive since I could still participate in non-political discussions with people whose glurge I could block.

It's gotten to the point where I just don't like looking through my friends feed too deeply because there are too many people all over the political spectrum who post nothing but examples why you should be MAD, NAY, OUTRAGED AT THIS HORRIBLE HORRIBLE THING THAT SOMEONE WHOSE IDEOLOGY I DON'T SHARE WENT AND DID. I don't need to be incited to hate so early in the morning or even so late in the afternoon.

I can scroll past the people who post nothing but baby pictures with anecdotes of how their kid is clearly the greatest thing since Nintendo, but man, every political rage-generating news story shared just further erodes any faith one has left in the human race.
posted by Spatch at 12:13 PM on April 28


adults with no kids who go on holidays to Disney (WTF???)

I just got back last night from a Disneyland trip with adult friends. We spent three full days at the park, we had an awesome time, strengthened our friendship, and made memories that we're going to share for the rest of our lives.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 12:13 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


If they're still posting 6 or 8 boring pictures a week a few months in, sure, they suck.

What the world needs is more pictures of toes looking out at a resort beach. Or pictures of one's artisanal, fair-trade soda at the local free-range, independent coffee shop. Stuff that singles like to post.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:14 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


I was introduced to Facebook by an old friend from a MUD I used to be on, years back. She set me up with a bunch of friends from that MUD, which turned out to be a problem, because I barely even remembered any of these people by their MUDnames - as their RL identities, every single one of them is a complete mystery to me.

And then I friended my SO's wonderful but incredibly neurotic extended family, which is another thing that seemed like a good idea at the time.

I haven't bothered logging into Facebook in months. Through my own actions I've made it a place where I feel like I can't be myself.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 12:22 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Henceforth I shall only post photos of space laser battles, since that is what people want maybe?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:25 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


The thing about Facebook, though, is that it's not just (or even primarily) your current friends.

Facebook, like any other social tool, is what you choose to make of it. It is silly to say that Facebook "is" more than just your current friends. That might be what your Facebook is, because that is what you've chosen to do with the tool. But now you complain about those choices as if they "are" Facebook.

This, in my experience, is typical of people who quit Facebook. When you listen carefully to their complaints, usually they think they're complaining about Facebook but actually they are complaining about either (1) how they've chosen to use the tool or (2) their own social circle. If these people want to quit Facebook, c'est la vie, but there's an alternate solution to both of those issues: make better choices.
posted by cribcage at 12:28 PM on April 28 [8 favorites]


The image is that of a woman walking on a sandy beach at dusk. The text?
"SORRY DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN TO FIX WHAT YOU'VE DESTROYED."



Wow- that shit is for real, and it is just as baffling as it sounds.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:37 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


> I just got back last night from a Disneyland trip with adult friends. We spent three full days at the park, we had an awesome time, strengthened our friendship, and made memories that we're going to share for the rest of our lives.

The last time my sister went she and her husband partied with some Americans and they all wound up doing ginegar shots together. That is not a typo.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:40 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


i accidentally unfriended my brother when all i was trying to do was stop him from excessively commenting on my pictures when he was drunk on the internet at 3am. i really DID want to block him from doing what he was doing, but i didn't want to totally unfriend him. i'd never blocked anyone before so i didn't know that's what it was going to do.

things are estranged with him anyway so i haven't tried to re-friend, i feel like that's a whole other mess of awkward :(
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 12:44 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Maybe that women just kicked over his sandcastle. I'd be pretty pissed off too.
posted by bondcliff at 12:45 PM on April 28


"SORRY DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN TO FIX WHAT YOU'VE DESTROYED."

Fifteen acres of broken glass?
posted by sparktinker at 12:50 PM on April 28


In order of severity: posted by escape from the potato planet at 12:52 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]


griphus: "he posts absolutely nothing except inspirational quotes typed onto stock photos that, most of the time, have absolutely nothing to do with the quote."

Maybe he's a fan/disciple/descendant of Horse_ebooks?
posted by hapax_legomenon at 12:52 PM on April 28


I really like how LJ let you see who was your friend or not. It let me clean up my list over the years. I do feel weird about all the ghost friends who never post anymore, but never deleted their accounts and have me friended, but I've unfriended them since they never post.

I've unfriended people over too much posting or too little posting. I've unfriended over sharp political disagreements, over someone doing victim-blaming of domestic abuse victims, over being called "evil" (the most tragic unfriending, I think, because before that point we seemed to get along and he was a sort of mentor with tech stuff)...

FB is such a different beast. The way it's intended to be real life contacts, professional, family, etc... IN a way that LJ, while technically a way for Brad to have kept in touch with his family, ended up being something so much more in how you found people and made friends.

When it comes to FB, I try not to unfriend someone, but...

1) Some people I only know via other friends. If the tier 1 friends have slipped out of my life, then I feel no fealty to their friends, IF those friends push boundaries... IOW, I give those people less slack than I do 1st tier friends, especially when those 1st tier friends have left my life...

2) Some people post baby shit. I honestly don't care too much, I kinda like it, actually. Kids are cool. I mean it can get annoying if that's ALL you post about. Most of my friends have a goofy sense of humor so they do post things beyond just that shit.

3) Drama Llama. Some people are just all about the Drama. I try to stay out of it, and just glaze over it. It's nothing really bothersome to me, so I usually let it slide. If i have a reason to stay friends (coworker, we get along besides the drama, we have friends in common, etc...)

Honestly, mostly when I defriend someone it's because we're not that close in general, they're tier 2 or something (tier 1 non-close would be like someone I knew from high school but I wasn't friends with them then, and they might be defriended if they violate my tolerance for shit).

Politics. Politics. Politics. I can disagree with liberals for the most part (I mean this in the "I am left-wing, and liberals are too moderate for me"...) But sometimes it gets a bit much. I see a lot of political image macros that seem just as stupid to me as right wing ones. Both sides trying to make some simple point with sound bites/talking points that may or may not actually have any solid facts behind them, and even the facts might be tilted a certain way. I want NUANCE. I want DISCUSSION. I want DEPTH. Image Macros don't have that. And when people comment, the debates tend to be just as lacking in depth as the macros they're replying to. Another reason I like LJ, since the form is BUILT for longer posts and threaded comments can lead to good debate (not always, of course... and some of that is due to the communal nature of like minded people). Anyways, I tend not to dump liberals, even if they annoy me.

Conservatives? You better have a damn good reason for me to keep you on my list. Either a friend of a friend (I tend not to be 1st tier friends w/them).... Or they have a sense of humor or interests in something other than politics that I can respect... I have a friend who thinks "Sherriff Joe" is the shiznitt. And ugh. I have to bite my tongue, and I get pissed when they comment on my shit. We're both hardheaded people, so... yeah. She's a tier 2 friend.

Hippies and their bullshit. I love my hippie friends, I do, but when they get into Libertarian Land La La shit and they start posting weird anti-vax bullshit or all the monsanto/gmo type stuff it gets a bit stale (just like liberals)...

I've unfriended anti-vaxxers before. My ex's sister in law, I just couldn't take it anymore. At least most people have a few weird topics, but when it's all "anti-vax" this and "chemicals" that (like seriously vague "chemicals" bullshit or taking chemistry out of context)... I had to just go, because all it would lead to is me being angry and trying to argue and I do not do any convincing arguments particularly well.
posted by symbioid at 12:53 PM on April 28


Am I the only one around here who likes being friends with Tea-Party/Anti-Vax/General Nutters because it's kind of of entertaining and because I like to, uh, "monitor the popular culture"?
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:54 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Those of us who don't have TVs and who have deleted our Facebook accounts are slowly migrating towards "I don't even have a microwave."

I haven't had a microwave for 10 years or more.

Crap, am I a kitchen appliance hipster?!
posted by madajb at 12:55 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Block: You and this person will be unable to see any evidence of the other on Facebook, period.

I tend to block extremely stupid friends-of-friends (or stupid members of some of the groups I belong to) in order to prevent myself from being a snarky dick to them. It's for their own protection.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:00 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


"Crap, am I a kitchen appliance hipster?!"

Depends: do you only cook using hand-collected free-range natural gas piped through an assortment of artisanal ceramic pipes up to a craft-forged steel grill plate?
posted by komara at 1:01 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


The image is that of a woman walking on a sandy beach at dusk. The text?
"SORRY DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN TO FIX WHAT YOU'VE DESTROYED."

Wow- that shit is for real, and it is just as baffling as it sounds.


It's a passive-aggressive reference to a bitter breakup, no?
posted by medusa at 1:02 PM on April 28


I have unfriended four people, one of whom I don't think even noticed. My reasons were:
1. Crotch shots (in tighty whities) are not what I want to see in my newsfeed.
2. Nothing but (usually sexist, racist, ignorant) regurgitated glurge, never any personal status updates, photos, comments.
3. Friend's boyfriend got drunk, belligerent and shouty at my parties one time too many.
4. Ex-sister-in-law finds me after 30some years. Lots of catching up in IM. Then things start getting repetitious. Then she starts posting public nastygrams on my timeline when I do not respond to her as quickly as she would like. She is now unfriended and blocked from my email, too. Bitch is crazy.
posted by caryatid at 1:02 PM on April 28


I was going to throw away my microwave this weekend because it is old enough to drive if microwaves had rights and I figure I never use it so why not.

But now I am going to go back on Facebook and post hundreds of upside down blurry pictures of it with inspirational quotes. Hurrah!
posted by winna at 1:05 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one around here who likes being friends with Tea-Party/Anti-Vax/General Nutters because it's kind of of entertaining and because I like to, uh, "monitor the popular culture"?

I've hidden all the anti-vaxxers from my News Feed, but I still get more than enough from my pro-science friends who are either posting things to debunk the anti-vax arguments, or linking to the anti-vax news as OutrageFilter.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:05 PM on April 28


I don't have a dog in this whole 'baby pics' fight, although if I did, I believe my dog would win, unless the babies were particularly ferocious. However, I do have a theory about it (note: this theory is some bullshit I thought of about 2 minutes ago).

My theory involves pictures of cats. Now, I know that I have to say that I'm not comparing babies to cats, because I understand that for some reason this sort of comparison tends to infuriate baby-havers. And as far as I know it probably also offends cat-owners. So anyways I'm not doing that.

However.. I had cats for a long time, and then I got a digital camera. So, being the sort of person with a few cats, a digital camera, and a whole bunch of time on my hands, I took, I don't know, probably several hundred pictures of my cats. Because, look how cute he's being! Aw, she looks all thoughtful, or noble, or puzzled or self-satisfied! Look at all that love in his eyes, aw, good widdle kitty, this will make a great picture!

You know what? Nope! They're all the same picture, which basically says 'look! A cat!' because cats have about, oh, one and a half facial expressions depending on whether their mouths are open or not. Why did I think otherwise? OH, I DON'T KNOW, MAYBE YOU'D HAVE TO BE A CAT OWNER TO UNDERSTAND.

So that's my theory- unless your picture shows your baby dressed up as another species, or about to fall hilariously off of some piece of furniture, or dragging one of its fresh kills in from the yard, it probably looks like every other picture of your baby, or indeed practically any other baby, so maybe you don't need to post it 800 times.

I hope that helps.
posted by hap_hazard at 1:21 PM on April 28 [18 favorites]


The anti-vax stuff is depressing when it comes from people from my social circle (fellow parents) or from long-time friends who, although they lean towards the woo-woo New Age side of things, really ought to know better.

The idiocy of the anti-vax crowd was brought home to me a month or so when our eldest son came home with the mumps.

We spent the winter in Japan, and our eldest son attended Japanese elementary school (we do this every year). Japan, despite having the lowest infant mortality and highest health outcomes for any age group in the entire world, has decided that kids do not need to be vaccinated for the mumps.

So there was a mumps outbreak in our small city, and our son came home with it.

It really freaked me out, because he should have got a mumps booster a couple of years ago. And if he did not get the booster, it would have meant that he did not get the measles booster that is administered at the same time.

So I felt like a bad parent; I was no different than those idiots who rail at Big Pharma's attempt to give us all autism and peanut allergies so they can sell more drugs... if we rub rocks and bark and dirt and shit on our kids, it's more natural, right?

So I was just the same as those morons.

Then the tests came back, and, thankfully our son *had* received the booster a couple of years ago, right on schedule.

The thing is, the mumps booster doesn't work 100% of the time in preventing mumps. Wait a minute, then isn't Big Pharma lying? They control the government, right? Why are we risking our kids' precious little brain sacks with a vaccine that doesn't work?

Well, it turns out that getting that slightly ineffective mumps shot spared my son one hell of a lot of pain.

The other kids at school were out for 3 weeks (my son was back in school after missing 3 days of classes). Three weeks of pain so bad often they can't swallow anything except maybe water.

In fact, one of the risks of catching the mumps is that you loose weight at a time when you are growing and cannot afford to lose weight.

So I really wonder about parents who have no problem with that sort of thing. The pain my son endured was bad enough (it hurt to move his head, and to swallow).

On top of that, my son nearly died shortly after birth from a viral infection that, since then can be prevented with a vaccine, but that is another story.

So anti-vaxers - stay out of my Facebook feed!
posted by KokuRyu at 1:24 PM on April 28 [8 favorites]


If you think unfriending someone on Facebook is a big deal, wait until you try unfriending someone on LinkedIn. Boom, you're fired!
posted by oceanjesse at 1:31 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


It's quite difficult to remove someone from you LinkedIn contacts. LinkedIn has to be the dumbest social network. It's meant for the reptilian a-types who have C-Suite aspirations. These folks are about as "social" as a cellphone belt holster.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:34 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Your friend is a numbers station.

This made my day.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:41 PM on April 28


What the world needs is more pictures of toes looking out at a resort beach. Or pictures of one's artisanal, fair-trade soda at the local free-range, independent coffee shop. Stuff that singles like to post.

Exactly, real accomplishments that hardworking single people achieve in their non-boring lives like: Oh hey look I'm at a bar! Here's me, at another bar. Me, bar. Me. Bar. MebarmebArmebarmebarmemememebarbarbarbar. Finally here's a blurry band video from 1800 rows back at Coachella. Whoohoo single person photography ruleZ!!!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:41 PM on April 28


Some ways to improve your fb experience:

* Who Deleted Me? tracks changes in your friends list.

* Social Fixer will allow you to filter out stuff you don't want to see.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:42 PM on April 28


Pissing off people that get mad I'm posting pictures of me drinking an overpriced cocktail in a too-fancy bar is exactly why I keep posting them.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:44 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Ugh, please stop posting your comments in my recent activity everyone.
posted by ODiV at 1:45 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


My point isn't that baby pictures (which I am currently spamming everyone with I know) are more noble than selfies and food porn, just that it's all vanity in the end and so what? Being strongly annoyed by people's minor flaws and misplaced enthusiasm is really sort of pathetic--like, don't you have something to be irrationally overjoyed about?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:46 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


For the record I like fancy cock tail pics and you can take that as a typo or not. *elaborate wink*
*top hat falls off*
*bird under hat flies off*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:48 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I don't mind the baby pics, or the dog pics, or the cat pics, or the resort pics, or the burger pics, or the craft beer pics. The two kinds of photo posts I hate are:

- Anything to do with ice hockey
- Cheesy professional wedding engagement and wedding photos

With the wedding photos (that always go for the "fairytale wedding day" effect), I always wonder what the poor bastard has gotten himself into.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:57 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Posts endlessly about political crap that I agree with but Jesus Christ shut the fuck up for once
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:58 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]


What's "Facebook"?

I'm sorry, the correct format is "Is this something I'd need a Face to know about?"
posted by FatherDagon at 1:59 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Conservatives? You better have a damn good reason for me to keep you on my list. Either a friend of a friend (I tend not to be 1st tier friends w/them)....

While I suppose there's something to be said for honesty, this is what I meant above by "beyond-the-norm extreme." I'm also not sure why anyone would announce this to a bunch of strangers in a public forum. Everybody screens their friends somehow, I suppose, and if side-of-the-aisle is what works for you then so be it. But it's an odd declaration to make and it comes off rather awkwardly, as if you think it will reflect well.
posted by cribcage at 2:04 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


It's get really difficult when your mom and mother in law decide to comment on every. post. you. make.

When I was applying for a composers' competition I made the mistake of jokingly saying "ha ha, artists' statements are hard, will someone write mine for me" on Facebook, and my aunt wrote the longest and most perky and supportive and cute and rhyming and completely inaccurate description of the music I compose. And then I said .... thanks Aunt Marilyn .... and now I keep that kind of stuff to myself.
posted by daisystomper at 2:05 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


My point isn't that baby pictures (which I am currently spamming everyone with I know) are more noble than selfies and food porn, just that it's all vanity in the end and so what? Being strongly annoyed by people's minor flaws and misplaced enthusiasm is really sort of pathetic--like, don't you have something to be irrationally overjoyed about?

I love most of the shit people post - buffalo wing sagas, mouth-frothy opinions, Sunday waffles and prayers, your massive pint of Guinness - I'm just saying, parents, help me find your baby among the thousands my fecund fellowship has spawned. After you've calmed down from the birthing (I am happy about your happiness, and sure, will tolerate bad composition for a couple of months), share with us just a few clear, select images of your bundle, so we can know and love him/her too. Put a salad spinner on its head, if you want to, why not.
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:08 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Put a salad spinner on its head, if you want to, why not.

If the baby doesn't have a bowl of fruit on top of it, it's not worth my time.
posted by asperity at 2:11 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


Once a year or so I read over my Block list and savour the sweet, sweet disdain.
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:19 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Also, god I love unfriending people. It feels like when you take old stuff to the charity shop: cleansing. Like burning off dead wood.

Racism, sexism and body-shaming are all automatic unfriends with a comment telling the offender why. It gives me a glorious feeling of "Hurrah, I never liked you much anyway, and now I get to be rid of you and feel principled about it."

This one time, a guy I vaguely know came up to me at a bar and, without preamble, made a comment about my family. I asked how he knew about my family, since I'd never talked to him about them. He replied happily, without even acknowledging that a boundary might have been crossed: "On Facebook. I can find out anything on Facebook."

I wonder how long it took him to find out I'd blocked him.
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:28 PM on April 28


Actually, regarding Social Fixer, if you don't upgrade it to the latest version (which is done by literally clicking the icon!!), it'll stay stuck at whatever it was last. When the developer mentioned he had to remove that functionality I just simply left it as-is on Safari, but ended up upgrading on Chrome unintentionally (which is how I discovered the upgrade trick; the unfriend-monitoring hack is on version 7.701).
posted by northtwilight at 2:55 PM on April 28



Hi, I had a kid about sixteen months ago, and I am now caught in this really weird place on social media because the received internet wisdom seems to be I FUCKING HATE KIDS STOP POSTING PICTURES OF YOUR KIDS YOU ARE RUINING THE INTERNET WHICH SHOULD HAVE NO KID PICTURES and at the same time my parents live two thousand miles away and are constantly asking that I post more pictures of my kid.

I decided I like my parents more than I like you, shitty internet people.


This is not meant unkindly: you know you can set photos, and entire albums, to only be visible to certain lists (i.e. family + can't get enough baby photos), or invisible to other lists, right? That's how I manage albums when I know not all of contacts need/want access to, say, a dozen family trip photos. (Likewise, I block Republican family from my flamingly liberal/political status updates because if I want to fight with them about that I can just wait til I get ambushed at Thanksgiving again.)

Also, I don't hate seeing your kids pictures, but man.....law of diminishing returns, folks! Everyone should be like my favorite FB friends for this, who post (at least what I can see) just 2-4 pics a month....and they're awesome (more, "Susie dressed like Captain America," "Susie learns to ice skate with her dad" than, "Susie with jam on her face lol"--and they're single photos, not series of 5-10). I genuinely feel happy to see them because they're not popping up near daily.
posted by blue suede stockings at 2:55 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


This is not meant unkindly: you know you can set photos, and entire albums, to only be visible to certain lists

Well, it does come across as unkind. The easiest thing to do if you don't want to see baby pictures on a social network aimed these days at "middle aged people" with kids young and old, is to simply "unfollow."

I happen to like seeing pictures of my friends' kids, and my nieces and nephews.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:00 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


I culled my friend list several weeks ago. On a Saturday night. Mostly people I don't see or interact with anymore. One was the perfectly nice husband of an acquaintance I don't see anymore either.

The next morning he was struck by a car and wound up dying.

I don't have the heart to go on with the cull just yet.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:05 PM on April 28


Hey, we used to be able to set individual preferences for different friends, like, "no photos" but still keep status updates that have a much better chance of being interesting.

Now there's nothing more fine-grained than "follow" or "unfollow." That's not a good change.
posted by asperity at 3:07 PM on April 28


I want an "original content only" setting that someone was mentioning above. Status updates, actual pictures, no inspirational Pinterest photos or links. That would be so nice.
posted by gerstle at 3:18 PM on April 28


Elf on the Shelf is very SFW, but a bit creepy. It's a thing for kids, to make them behave leading up to the holidays.

A Christmas Tradition since 2005!
posted by cosmic.osmo at 3:38 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I just got back last night from a Disneyland trip with adult friends. We spent three full days at the park, we had an awesome time, strengthened our friendship, and made memories that we're going to share for the rest of our lives.

This is the creepiest part of the whole thread. Childless adults at Disney. That should be an arrestable offense.
posted by xmutex at 3:44 PM on April 28


This reminds me of conversations I had on LJ oh so many moons ago. A lot of human drama could have been avoided if we had come up with terms other than "friending", "unfriending", "defriending" and "friends". This applies to FB too - plus the added "Likes" complication.

Mankind does not make it easy for itself to have uncomplicated social interaction via computers.
posted by kariebookish at 3:44 PM on April 28


What about the anti-anti-sciencers who nonetheless post a bunch of stupid anti-GMO crap? What bucket do I put those people in because argh really.
posted by xmutex at 3:49 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


This is not meant unkindly: you know you can set photos, and entire albums, to only be visible to certain lists

If my friends are shitty enough that they don't want to see pictures of my kid, I'm plenty happy to keep tormenting them by having an awesome kid. I won't be making that decision for them.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:55 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


If my friends are shitty enough that they don't want to see pictures of my kid, I'm plenty happy to keep tormenting them by having an awesome kid. I won't be making that decision for them.

Your kids are boring the entire internet.
posted by xmutex at 3:59 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Anyone else see how Facebook uses the term and concept of 'friend' to suck people into their ecosystem, conflating online relationships with real world relationships?
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:06 PM on April 28


Your kids are boring the entire internet.

GO OUTSIDE

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY, JESUS
posted by shakespeherian at 4:10 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Your kids are boring the entire internet.

Oh, get over it. Use the unfollow function, roll your eyes and move on, etc. I don't have kids but a bunch of my friends do, and the photos are perfectly fine and are definitely preferable to the endless "what [character/city/inane thing] are you" quizzes from buzzfeed.
posted by rtha at 4:12 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I GOT JAR JAR/AKRON/RHINESTONE-COVERED CAN OPENER
posted by Flunkie at 4:16 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Wtf is Facebook even for if you think people shouldn't post pictures of their stupid dinners or whatever
posted by shakespeherian at 4:18 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I guess it's time for my biannual log-in-to-facebook-if-I-can-figure-out-the-constantly-changing-format

See if anybody I know is dead now
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:19 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Your kids are boring the entire internet.

GO OUTSIDE

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY, JESUS


Oh great, now we've got to listen to your religious rants AND look at your kids pictures.

(I actually am glad that people post pictures of kids on facebook, it's a great way to distract my daughter).
posted by Gygesringtone at 4:20 PM on April 28


'is the "I don't even own a tv" of 2014.'

is the new metafilter convo-turd.
posted by srboisvert at 4:21 PM on April 28


Wtf is Facebook even for if you think people shouldn't post pictures of their stupid dinners or whatever

Cats. Only cats. All the way down, cats.
posted by xmutex at 4:26 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Whoa. I guess the part where I said I genuinely enjoy looking at my friends' child photos, but if your friends object (like you seem to think they do by voicing them that strawman SHOUTY ALL CAPS THIS IS WHAT ALL YOU SELFISH BARREN CHILD HATERS WHO DON'T GET IT ARE THINKING ABOUT ME AND MY LOVED ONES) you can try selective settings. Further sharing that less is more for me is also not hating on parents or your photos.

There's no one on my friends list who fits this description but ragey, self-righteous parents who project the worst onto the currently childless? Also on the list of folks people often unfriend.

Gotta go--gonna leave a "like" and a genuinely nice comment (again) on a cousin's photo of her grandson's little league game 3 states away I couldn't get to.
posted by blue suede stockings at 4:28 PM on April 28


a message for everyone in the thread maybe
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:33 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


a message for everyone in the thread maybe

Well you're totes unfriended.
posted by xmutex at 4:44 PM on April 28


Whoa

I hope you don't think I am being serious in this thread
posted by shakespeherian at 4:46 PM on April 28


.....and just post ridiculous shit every now and then when it's me and vodka talking......

You've confused Facebook with Metafilter...
posted by HuronBob at 4:54 PM on April 28


I probably came across as arsier than I meant to in my last comment. I do get a bit melty with friends' kids; I am charmed. It's just, some selectivity would be nice.

(Similarly, I have a friend whose rants I enjoy, and who shares interesting political content, half the time. The other 50% of his feed is peen-related. Which is fine and all, but, you don't want a peen (or a clever representation of a peen) in your face every day. Or I don't, anyway, I'll just speak for myself.)

Those browser extensions would only really work well with the second instance, right?
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:20 PM on April 28


The proper term is wee-wee
posted by thelonius at 5:23 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]




This is not true. I mean, it's supposed to be. But there is this one picture that a Friend re-posts every year and it's tagged with Someone I have blocked. And BOOM! there is not only Someone's face and name in my feed, but every comment Someone makes on the picture every year is in my feed, too. And I get notified "Someone has Commented on Friend's picture".

So, it's supposed to work that way. We were told it works that way. But it don't work that way.

posted by crush-onastick at 5:23 PM on April 28


I am very selective about who I "friend"...only people I would let through my front door...having said that I have only relatives some 112 so far who are Tea party/Anti Vax/General Nutters with Total Libs/Obama does no wrongers/all men are evil....and on and on because my mother had the audacity to be from a family of 13 kids, I have been married 3 times with 4 kids who have been married more than once and have kids so I have grandkids some with their own with kids and "exes"....some of whom I still like and they are the parents of my grandkids that I just adore...and how the hell am I supposed to know what everyone is doing???? Only way to get baby pics, only way to track my kiddos when they are in the military and are limited but NOT for an intellectual discussion....thus, metafilter.

And where else could I post pics of my cats.
posted by OhSusannah at 5:44 PM on April 28


It's just, some selectivity would be nice.

Agreed, but this is true irrespective of subject: kid photos, pet photos, bathroom selfies, inspirational quotes, jokey JPGs, FarmVille updates, whatever. If you're objecting to constant dumping, I think most people agree with you. The trouble is, when you phrase it like you're objecting to kid photos per se...there really are people who object to kid photos because "breeders yuck," and you don't want to be confused with them for the same reason sane animal-rights activists are careful to keep distant from PETA.

So, it's supposed to work that way. We were told it works that way. But it don't work that way.

What you're describing sounds like a bug that I'd suggest troubleshooting. Obviously double-check you have the correct account blocked, and maybe others here can give you smarter tips, and failing that it's worth submitting a report to Facebook. Because I've seen blocking behavior work as it's intended, and if you're seeing the blocked person's comments that is definitely not as-intended. It should be something that can be fixed. (Not seeing the face in the photo, obviously. But the other stuff.)
posted by cribcage at 5:48 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I sometimes think of going through and unfriending people where our only interactions are mutual birthday greetings, but I actually like wishing most of them a happy birthday even if we don't have much else to talk about.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:09 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


i had not thought about submitting a bug report. i'll do that! thanks
posted by crush-onastick at 7:00 PM on April 28


I tend to block and not unfriend/unfollow. If I want to cease interaction with someone, its not just because I don't want to see their stuff (although that's a big factor) - I also don't want them to have access to MY posts. (although I know that they could have multiple accounts, etc and still be able to see my public posts).
posted by blaneyphoto at 7:16 PM on April 28


My 60something dad quit Facebook because he felt obliged to respond to everyone's status updates, a la answering email, and that just didn't seem like the right protocol for the site, even if it was for him personally. Which is kinda sweet.

Only instead, he uses his girlfriend's account to read up on my sister and me. This periodically results in comments beginning THIS IS YOUR FATHER, accompanied by the photo and name of a pretty middle aged woman. And then, we field polite and interesting questions from our friends.
posted by gnomeloaf at 7:30 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Is the Disneyland childless adult thing only creepy if it's Disneyland, or does it apply to other theme parks also? I DESERVE TO GO TO HARRY POTTER THEME PARK EVEN THOUGH I'M 26 JEEZ.
posted by liquorice at 7:54 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


It doesn't apply to anyone or anywhere. Fuck the haters.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:03 PM on April 28 [12 favorites]


One of the happiest moments of my recent years was what came to be known as "Bropocalypse 2012." Living in Japan, there is a preponderance of what is known as "LBH," meaning "loser back home." Without getting too pretentious, I'll give a quick description: "Bro" who speaks no Japanese despite having lived here for at least six years, teaches English even though he's terrible at it (his native language, teaching it, or both), has an oh-so-cliche fetish for asian girls, and has no plans for the future other than "drink cheap beers at standing bar/on the street and cheat on my girlfriend." Frenemies rather than enemies. I had just resolved to marry my girlfriend and decided that trolling these sorts of people and acting smug all the time was no longer a hobby I should indulge in (you can see how well the whole "smug" thing is going). I went from about 600 friends down to maybe 250, pruning people who were shamelessly manipulative/abusive to other people, people who obviously had no trajectory in their life, people who pretended to enjoy my company only because they lacked the balls to tell me how obnoxious I am, and people with obnoxious feeds (this was before unfollow was a thing, I think). Useless, despicable, annoying, and dishonest/cowardly were my targets.
Aside from that, I think I've only unfriended one person, this bizarre Swedish neo-con guy who's obsessed with the superiority of patriarchy (his words, seriously) and bitcoins. I doubt he's noticed my absence.
A nice way to avoid drama with family is to have two accounts, one for actual friends, with a nice saucy and vulgar fake name to go with it, and the other for my "obligation" friends/family.
posted by GoingToShopping at 8:11 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Still the best statement on facebook.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:42 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Maybe so, but grown-ass people spending substantial money to go to a theme park for children, gushing over meeting Mickey and Minnie and Goofy and Cinderella weirds me. It weirds me good.

Eh, it's no different than spending hundreds of dollars to go to Comic-Con or Anime Expo and getting a picture with Batman or Eren Jaeger. In fact, if you go to Disneyland on the weekends now you can meet Darth Vader or Captain America. And the whole process is basically like meeting Mickey or Cinderella. In fact, one guy in line I talked to glibly said "It's like meeting the Disney princesses, except it's a super hero."
posted by FJT at 8:45 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


The anti-vax stuff is about the only thing that makes me unfollow someone in my facebook feed. I can roll my eyes and deal with everything else, but that shit just makes me immediately hulk-out. A girl from my last job was ranting insane crap last week about how she will never ever allow any future children of hers to be vaccinated, and she's a fucking nurse. Jesus wept.
posted by supercrayon at 9:28 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


It doesn't apply to anyone or anywhere. Fuck the haters.

It absolutely applies to anyone jerking off on It's A Small World though
posted by elizardbits at 9:53 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I've only unfriended and blocked one person on FB, who was a rabid Tea Partier that I didn't know in person, and posted some 20 times a day. Did so the day after Obama got re-elected.

However, a couple of people I bounced down to Acquaintances, I unfollowed them, and I set my posting defaults to "Friends except for Acquaintances.". (I don't make public posts, generally). These are both people I know personally, but haven't seen in 10 years or so. One is sone guy who thinks that ADHD can be solved by broccoli - I don't need that crap. The other was much nastier, after the results of a local election, she basically just tore into me on a personal attack on LiveJournal, and then brought it over to Facebook. She got bounced down on FB, but outright defriended on LJ - that's where I write my more personal stuff, and she hasn't posted there since 2010. So, she's completely kicked out of that castle.

I didn't ban these folks because keep your friends close - keep your enemies closer.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:54 PM on April 28


I have a Satanist metalhead friend (both RL and FB) who threatens to curse those with Black Evil who dareth press the 'Unfriend' button on him.

I, OTOH, don't even notice. No Satanic curses needed.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:01 PM on April 28


My feed is so blissfully unfettered with many of the things everyone else is complaining about. I think a big part of it that my Facebook friends list has 1) no extended family beyond a few first cousins I get along with 2) almost no one from high school or earlier and 3) very few co-workers. Keeping your friends list limited to, ya know, your friends is a big help and cuts down on people you have absolutely nothing in common with.


I do have to say it's one thing to have a mom or aunt hop on to every one of your and your closest friends' posts to same something cute/clueless/supportive-ish, but it something else entirely when your dad is doing the same but randomly talking about Orwell and Kropotkin.
posted by thecjm at 10:10 PM on April 28


This one time, a guy I vaguely know came up to me at a bar and, without preamble, made a comment about my family. I asked how he knew about my family, since I'd never talked to him about them. He replied happily, without even acknowledging that a boundary might have been crossed: "On Facebook. I can find out anything on Facebook."

I wonder how long it took him to find out I'd blocked him.

I'm sorry to inform you that you can't actually block Mark Zuckerberg.
posted by benzenedream at 1:10 AM on April 29 [2 favorites]


Facebook has been a sad eye-opener for me in that, for years, I sort of believed the liberal/progressive party line that those of us in that direction were the educated, thoughtful ones in a discussion, whereas the other side were the knee-jerk, reactionary, histrionic ones.

Then, because I run in circles of artists, old hippies, young hippies, environmentalists, progressives, and other earth-lovers and society-improvers, I've had to read roughly eleven thousand reposts of pictures of rats with tumors, coupled with histrionic claims about GMOs and Monsanto. I've had to see that tiresome map of "radiation from Fukushima" (actually a wave height map) approximately one billion times, and I've had to roll my eyes at a million mercola.com "news articles." I've been stuck reading a thousand breathless posts about how the "Monsanto Protection Act" is going to sell our souls forever and ever, and I've had to view a million not-super-funny photos with text stuck on top about how religion is stupid, and Christians are stupid, and religious intolerance is stupid, and irony is . . . wait, what?

Of course, there's the infinite number of OHNOHONEYBEESWE'REALLGONNADIE posts.

As a pro-nuclear-power environmentalist who thinks GM has a place in our post plastic-fantastic agricultural future, and a thoroughly secular guy who doesn't mind if religion works for you, I do a lot of snopes-ing and gentle counterpoint, which is tiring, but important. It's just so frustrating that, yeah, we're all bozos on this bus, and I'm sure I've been unfriended for my debunking, but what can you do? It's bad enough people want to spout Helen Caldicott and David Suzuki data-free propaganda at me in real people-level life, but I'm a big fan of engagement, so I make my points, though I wonder if it would really be so bad to just unfollow people instead of establishing myself as the weird incomprehensible guy who believes evil Monsanto nuclear lies instead of understanding that we can all go solar tomorrow and feed ourselves from organic raised bed gardens in our backyards.

I do always engage on honeybees, though, because they're just not a part of nature in the Americas, never have been, and are, in fact, a part of that evil industrialized agriculture that people are railing about. I do this with some degree of insider info, as an occasional apiarist, but it's shocking how few people know that apis mellifera is not a canary in the coalmine in the Western world.

If Facebook excels at exposing right wing woo, it does at least as well at showing up how wooily wooful your most woonderful fellow progressive friends can be when they pitch their woo with the sense of authority that comes from seeing themselves as bulwarks against oppression, and oh my, it's a real bummer.

Then again, that's pretty much life in a nutshell. Takes all kinds.
posted by sonascope at 5:03 AM on April 29 [14 favorites]


So that's my theory- unless your picture shows your baby dressed up as another species, or about to fall hilariously off of some piece of furniture, or dragging one of its fresh kills in from the yard, it probably looks like every other picture of your baby, or indeed practically any other baby, so maybe you don't need to post it 800 times.

Ever gone to a neighborhood bar more than a few times? There are certain people who always talk about exactly the same shit. Facebook is everyone's neighborhood bar. Sometimes it's small, sometimes it's filled with college kids on game night, sometimes it's the regulars only, but 2-3 of them haven't been around so people tell the same story again, for their benefit, without noticing the bored glassy eyed look the people who've already heard it get.

It's their neighborhood bar too (Though your aunt's is apparently in a church). You can try and talk above the noise, or you can learn to carry on conversations with your table and ignore the ambient noise.
posted by DigDoug at 5:12 AM on April 29 [3 favorites]


"You may be more bothered and saddened if your best friend unfriends you."

That's some awesome research right there. That must have taken hundreds of man hours to record, collate and interpret the supporting evidence. It's up there with "When it's cold, people wear more clothes"

The anti-vax crowd really get my goat, and i'm a vociferous rebuttalist on FB whenever it comes up. One of my friends from uni had been posting MMR-vaccine-causes-autism stuff; it was personal for her as her son was diagnosed a few years ago. I gave her information about the scandal, and she was so grateful for the clarification. I was ready for a fight on the matter, and it totally didn't go like I expected. I guess i've been cynicised by too many YouTube comment threads.
posted by trif at 5:22 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


I just made a Facebook fan page for my cat. Folks who want to see kitty pictures can follow the fan page. They don't even need to friend me to do it, so they can be kitty-only if they prefer.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:46 AM on April 29 [3 favorites]


My friend did that with his kids. That way he doesn't need to stop being friends with all his suspect uncles.
posted by trif at 6:08 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: "It absolutely applies to anyone jerking off on It's A Small World though"

Look, I *said* I was sorry about that.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:33 AM on April 29


Well I'm not on FB and don't have a microwave but recently bought a TV. Have I just broken my cred or something?
posted by Megami at 8:47 AM on April 29


I'v found the quickest way to deal with an overbloated FB friend list is to just use Google+ and tighten up your Circles. It has better photo stuff anyway. It reminds me of FB from 2004-2007, before all this extra random broadcasting rubbish and cruft. And yeah, used SocialFixer since early days, still too much crap.
posted by meehawl at 11:02 AM on April 29


I was unfriended by three different people in my grad program, and I'm pretty sure it happened when I was pregnant. These are people I see in person regularly, and one I had ongoing Words With Friends ganes with too, so it was kind of weird when I noticed.

But most people love the pictures I post of my baby, and our families are 3000 miles away, so sorry, baby haters.
posted by apricot at 5:30 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


“7 things you told Facebook without even realizing it”, Dylan Matthews, Vox, 29 April 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 10:15 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


If you are talked out about things Facebook, there's an FPP about Twitter that's just gone up.

Please don't hurt me; I mostly like Twitter.
posted by Wordshore at 11:29 AM on April 30


The only time I've noticed that I was unfriended was after a high school classmate said his son was in the hospital, and I posted a sympathetic reply. I'm curious why that was defriendworthy, but not curious enough to ask him.

> A year ago I sat down with some wine and went through my Facebook friends thinking "if I passed this person on the street, would I even recognize them?"

I wouldn't recognize half the people on my list -- some of them I've never met face-to-face -- and I'm fine with that. My standard is "Would I go out for a cup of coffee with this person?" But I'm older than you.

One trick to make Facebook enjoyable: be sure you went to an interesting high school. I love hearing what my classmates are up to, as many of them are doing cool stuff.

Re photos of lunches: appreciate what you've got. I have one friend who went through a phase of posting photos of his plate after meals, to show what he and his kids were putting in the compost bin. I think he was trying to shame himself into wasting less food. It was disgusting.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:26 PM on April 30


You kids and your crazy electromagnetic radiation wavelengths. Back in my day we had the visible spectrum and we were happy as clams to sit there and stare at colors. Now it's infra-this and ultra-that and no one has the time to even appreciate the classics.

Color? Luxury!
posted by Evilspork at 3:10 PM on May 2


I post a lot of pictures of my cat, who has a few more than 1.5 facial expressions thankyouverymuch (although that comment did make me laugh right out loud, hap_hazard), but I also do not care if people unfriend me for that or any other reason. I like to put up pictures of my cat and my boyfriend's dog just cause I like to do it. They're cute little beasts and other people I know like pictures of goofy little critter-creatures just as much as I do. If other people want to see it that's fine by me, but sometimes I have thought about just locking it down so that I'm the only one that can see my posts.

I used to not know that you could unfollow and unfriended people who posted too much for me to deal with, which I know offended them. It really was just a volume thing. Some people post, like, 12 times a day! Now I just unfollow when stuff like that happens.
posted by k8lin at 10:25 PM on May 2


sometimes I have thought about just locking it down so that I'm the only one that can see my posts.

This sounds backward for social media—why would you post something you didn't want others to see?—but I've thought the same thing. I enjoy having Facebook map all the places I've visited, but I don't necessarily care about announcing each individual check-in.
posted by cribcage at 8:18 AM on May 5


Color? Luxury!

I thought for sure this was going to be a link to the Four Yorkshiremen sketch.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:19 AM on May 5


I signed up for Timehop, which is a "summary of things you did [x] years ago today" aggregator, pulling data from Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, and a bunch of services I don't really use, and it definitely makes me want to be able to easily post stuff that's only visible to myself. Because I know that in a year, it might be interesting to see it pop up as a reminder of what I did that day, but I kinda hate being that guy who's always posting to FB or Foursquare every time he goes to lunch.

What I decided to do is just use Foursquare checkins without the post-to-Facebook option enabled to record places I go and random events that I really only want for the "historical record", and if that irritates people who are friends with me on Foursquare ... well, tough. (Foursquare is set up pretty well and isn't terribly obnoxious about this anyway.) That keeps Facebook reasonably clean and limited only to stuff I want to share with others. It doesn't do much about Twitter though.

I could definitely see the draw of having two separate Twitter accounts, one that you use to post stuff to other people, and another that you use as a mobile personal journal of sorts. I've never really been the keep-a-journal type, but maybe I'd be better at it if I did it via Twitter.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:28 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]


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