2 years ago, I wrote my first post on Facebook etiquette mentioning the action of unfriending in “The tale of Friends turning Fiends on a Facebook Wall invasion and tips to tackle it”. At the time, my suggestions included blocking fiendish friends from posting on your Wall.
My question to you, has someone, who is supposed to be a friend gotten your goat on Facebook with their comments or actions? Or made you angry or irritated enough to consider unfriending them?
Unfriending a person is an aggressive step that can precipitate hissy fights and offline conflicts. That may not be your goal. Fortunately, there are passive methods to achieve the same effect but that then comes down to how Facebook savvy you, the offended party are. You can Unfollow, Restrict Access or even just Hide the post from your news feed.
I’ve seen some instances personally that left me wondering if the individual in question was using Facebook as free therapy at the cost of others. There was this lady who raved and ranted about care giving for her octogenarian mother in one Group and initially got a lot of support and advice on how to cope until each of her posts were a rant and people started to ignore her.
I’m not sure how that one finally played out because I left that Group a few months later while sorting out my own Facebook activity to tighten my news feed.
I met up with her again in another Group about 3 years later and nothing had changed except that now she was bashing the moderator, criticizing, rabble rousing and generally complaining. This time she brought along a pal who encouraged her. She and pal were soon thrown out of the Group.
Then another time, someone flooded the news feed with tons of photos of themselves passing of sulking pouts as selfies with enigmatic comments that prompted everyone to ask if everything was okay and lots of comments from friends telling them that they were looking good. Tons of other examples, but I digress.
Reputation and professional management seems to go out of the window and sooner or later alienation of friends is bound to set in. Definitely these are cases for a discreet Unfollow or Hide on your newsfeed to maintain the status quo. But sometimes, there is a strong case for a cold cut Unfriend.
A penchant to rant for attention on Facebook
Some people not only rave and rant on their Facebook Wall posts but then go on to Group postings and then check and invade other walls to get traction by posting on completely unrelated updates. Some of these rants may be political in nature and some may become very personal or disrespectful for another person and an unfriending is imminent.
When something like this happens to me, I try personal messaging to get to the root of the matter but if the matter is not resolved then I ask myself 4 pertinent questions before taking action.
- Is the matter important to me?
- Is what I’m thinking and feeling appropriate?
- Is the situation modifiable?
- Is taking action worth it?
If an unfriending is in order, then so be it. If someone wants to behave in a manner that is not acceptable to me, then I bless and let go.
When we are upset or needing support, it is normal to reach out and get community support, but a constant barrage or turning nasty is a numero uno reason to be taken off the list.
Are you a candidate for an Unfriend action?
To flip the coin on the other side how well are you managing your image and reputation on Facebook?
I shared my take on 8 ways one can actually create the wrong impression while engaging on Facebook in my post How to alienate people & ruin your reputation on Facebook.
If you are or have unintentionally conducted yourself on Facebook in any of the ways in that post, then perhaps it is time to reflect and course correct.
9 more ways to get unfriended
In addition to the rant factor, there are some other very good reasons why someone may unfriend you. If you want to lose friends and alienate your online buddies then go ahead and apply one or all. The results are amazing. With a bit of luck, you might just get reported or blocked on Facebook.
This list is in no particular order – just wrote it as the thoughts came to my mind.
#1 If a friend deletes or un-tags himself from a photo or post, repost it and keep reposting.
#2 If you like a Group, then add a friend to it without their permission, not just once but in a whole spate of new Groups. If you are starting a Group, don’t bother asking, just add them and see how irritated they get. If the friendship is important to you, consider inviting them instead.
#3 Ignore offline social rules to your Facebook interactions and make them uncomfortable.
#4 Confront your friend using a public component of Facebook.
#5 Hijack a Wall post with some inane litany about world hunger or social evils so that you can keep your Wall and image clean and then do an open debate until one of you is exhausted.
#6 If someone does not respond to your message within a nano-second, then get hyper and go ballistic on their Wall. (It doesn’t matter that they have a life outside of the virtual world, are off-line and may not jump up every time their blackberry or smart phone says there is a post)
#7 Likewise, if you are ignoring a message on Facebook, then please do show evidence that you are otherwise active online!
#8 Throw common sense to the wind and post stuff that can hurt your friend’s image, relationships and even career. Hey it is virtual world, isn’t it? So what if your friends and friends and the whole public part of cyberspace is now onto it.
#9 Now that you are friends with your friends on Facebook, you can stop communicating with them using methods other than Facebook. A good example is wishing them on their birthday or anniversary. The offline relationship may wither but you have just saved yourself the cost of a phone call or even present.
So that is my list of ways to get the coveted unfriending which gives you permission to engage in more bad behavior because you have every right to upset your friends.
It might, however, be a better idea to make sure that you are not engaging in such actions in the first place. It takes years to cultivate a friendship or relationship but one misstep and it is all gone in a minute.
Have you noticed any other unfriend worthy behavior on Facebook? How did you tackle it? Please do share in the comments box below.
PS. Here is a list that you might find useful to learn more about Facebook etiquette
Official Facebook Etiquette – please visit their Help Center
Written By: Vatsala ShuklaFollow Me
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