Today is National Unfriend Day, according to Jimmy Kimmel. It’s day to rejoice in “[cutting] out some of the friend fat in your life.”
It’s a day where you don’t need to feel guilty about unfriending somebody on Facebook, the world’s largest social network.
But you should be unfriending people every so often. Not just on “Unfriend Day.”
The fact is, the amount of friends you have on Facebook is inversely proportional to the amount of relevancy any given News Feed story can have to you.
“Friend Clutter” makes Facebook less useful, and there’s no denying that. I don’t know anyone who has actually spent the time to engage Facebook’s useful Lists feature to organise important friends into a separate news feed.
People who like to complain about Facebook often cite annoying updates from people they don’t care about. You’re not doing these high school classmates a favour by keeping them as “friends.”
Sure, the act of unfriending (and that big red button, pictured here) seems sinister and malicious, but it’s not. Little do you know that those you’re considering unfriending might be thinking the same thing about you.
Companies like Path are built around the idea that it’s actually impossible to keep in touch with that many people. Path is a separate news feed of important friends. When Path, a social app for iPhone launched, it only let you have 50 friends.
Where Path is wrong is in assuming that the definition of “keeping in touch” isn’t changing all the time. People have Twitter friends they’ve never met in person, but have a deep online back and forth with. People have Facebook friends they get back in touch with after not speaking to for years.
It’s up to you to decide if someone has truly exited your life, or if they’re worth keeping around, as much as they may soil your news feed. But in today’s day and age, an “unfriend” isn’t as harmful as you might think. You’re just doing spring cleaning, but in a new kind of way.
If we’re Facebook friends and we don’t really know each other, unfriend me. I won’t hold it against you. And if we someday bump into each other again, we can become friends once again.