Minimalism

How to celebrate National UNfriend Day

Inspired by my new venture into Minimalism, I have started paring down all unnecessary things in my life whether it be books, bikes or clothes.

I have also recently “UNfriended” about 160 Facebook friends.  I know that sounds horribly rude and ungrateful, but let me tell you why it is a good idea and how to do it.

I used to always keep my friend list at 500 or below and felt good about that number.  However, when I would log on, my homepage would be full of posts and updates of “this person you weren’t really friends with is now friends with this person you dont know” or “look at pictures of this person that are slightly offensive to you.”  It took up time and it took away positive energy. I was tired of the obligation of skimming trough people’s posts that I didn’t really want to see, but felt bad about cutting them loose.  I chose to get over that feeling of obligation and guilt and chose to allow myself the freedom to be friends with who I really wanted to be friends with.  What a concept!

Check it out, this is professionally backed up too.  Robin Dunbar, an Evolutionary Anthropology professor at Oxford University said “The interesting thing is that you can have 1,500 friends [on facebook] but when you actually look at traffic on sites, you see people maintain the same inner circle of around 150 people that we observe in the real world…”

So in honor of Jimmy Kimmel’s holiday invention, National Unfriend Day, I want to encourage you all to do the same!  If I’m one of the ones to go, I wont hold it against you – I want you to be free to be friends with only those who you sincerely like.  (Sometimes you it’s okay to embrace being hated)

So here’s how to choose who to cut:

1. Most importantly, remove friends who, be honest, you were never really friends with them when you knew them back in the day.
2. Remove friends whose posts (statuses, photos, links) either really annoy you or offend you.  This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be friends with people who are different than you, but you are in control of what you want to see.  Like the girl who I kind of knew back in High School – now she likes to post her drawings of scantily clad anime characters.  Yeah, she had to go.
3. Ask yourself, “Am I only keeping them as a friend so I can look at their profile once every 5 years out of curiosity to see how weird their life turns out?”  Judging people is always bad karma, whether or not you believe in that kind of thing.
4. Have you already hidden them from your News Feed?  If you don’t care about them enough to see their posts, consider if you really need to be friends with them.  (To get to this list, scroll to the bottom of your home page and click “Edit Options”)

Those are just a few ways to get you started, but I think you’ll get the hang of it.  What are some other criteria you might have to “unfriend” someone?

And remember, you can always re-friend someone in the future if you reconnect and actually become real friends.  Chances are they probably wont remember you were friends with them in the first place.

*P.S. I wish I could just invent a holiday and have people celebrate it!  Nice work Jimmy.

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5 thoughts on “How to celebrate National UNfriend Day

  1. I’m glad to see I made the cut! 🙂 This is such a good idea. In the past, I’ve gone through my friends every few months and unfriended people that I didn’t care about keeping in touch with. But since Robert was born, I don’t think I’ve done this. I just looked and there are over 20 people blocked from my newsfeed! They are definitely unfriended. 🙂 Thanks for the idea!

  2. You should be a columnist. This blog really sounds like it was written by a pro. I felt like I was reading the newspaper. I haven’t checked yet to see if we’re still friends on Facebook, I’ll forgive you if we’re not. 😉 As long as I always have access to your interesting life on your blog then I’m good. I rarely update my facebook life so there’s not that many interesting things to follow. Kudos on choosing who you want to follow and reducing the clutter in your life.

  3. Hey Tam! I really enjoyed this post 🙂 (of course I haven’t looked to see if I was unfriended yet…) but you write terrifically. You have me convinced! Hope you’re good.

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