Men's Life Today: Expert Q+A
I'd like to reduce my "friends" on Facebook to people I've actually talked to in the last few years. Is there any way to defriend without offending?
Something to bear in mind here is that ditching any friendship -- even one that exists primarily online -- can have hurtful consequences. So unless a swath of your Facebook friends have either turned stalker or are posting comments on your wall that leave you feeling embarrassed or angry, you might want to consider simply hiding their status updates from your news feed. Technically, you’re still “friends,” but you won’t be reminded of how annoying they are every time you read a post about the “scrumpdillyicious French toast” that Charlie from your Cub Scout days snarfed for breakfast.
But let’s say hiding these people from your feed is simply not enough; these lame friendships are doing nothing for you, and they’ve got to go. Unless you interact with any of these friends regularly on Facebook, they likely won’t realize for months -- if at all -- that you’re no longer friends. And by the time that happens, they may not care that much anyway. If any of them attempt to re-friend you, take it on a case-by-case basis, but don’t feel badly about ignoring a re-friend request. If someone really wants to be your friend, let him or her pick up the phone.
If you’re going to shed a mass of friends all at once, I would suggest posting a status update along these lines:
“Hey, guys. My Facebook friend list has gotten too huge for me to manage. Nothing personal here, but I’m going to start paring down. Going forward, best way to reach me -- especially if you need a quick answer -- will be email or cell.”
Chances are excellent that you’ll never hear a peep from your fringe acquaintances, in which case they’ll be off your radar for good. Mission accomplished!