Thought Catalog

Questions To Ask Before Unfriending Someone On Facebook

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Too many people I know, myself included, have been plagued by inspired decisions to unfriend people on Facebook. Whether it’s to lower our friend count or to become more ‘exclusive,’ the unfriending ceremony is a phenomenon that everyone with a Facebook account must consider.

Have I ever met this person in real life?

If I’ve never met this person*, it’s easy to go through with clicking the “Remove from friends” link, promptly cutting all ties with the ‘friend’ in question – quite possibly, forever.

*Of course, this does not apply to celebrities, minor celebrities, or people I’ve never met but have a lot of mutual friends with, whom must be significant to some degree.

Is this person still relevant?

If I know this person from high school, I award them anywhere between 1-5 points based on the following criteria: Have we ever talked to one another? / Have we ever drank/smoked/chilled together? / Have we ever hooked up? If a person scores low in each category, they’re rounded up and sent on a permanent vacation to Unfriend Island. (Author’s note: If we’ve ever hooked up, we are unable to be friends on Facebook for a variety of reasons).

Are we still friends?

Listen up asshole; if you and I have not talked since graduation, you are most definitely not a friend anymore. You know who you are. I THOUGHT WE WERE COOL. (Call me back, bro.)

How close are you to my family?

If you’ve met my parents, you will never be unfriended. Unless we dated (and you surprise-introduced me to your parents thereupon forcing me to introduce you to my parents, stating that it was ‘only fair’) and you broke my goddamn heart for some douche with a faux-hawk and frosted tips.

How many friends do you have?

If you have more than 1000 friends, you are definitely a Facebook whore. I don’t talk to you; you don’t talk to me. I might have seen you at a frat party some time ago, maybe I hooked up with a friend of yours, but I’ve definitely never, ever talked to you.* You will not miss me when I unfriend you and I will not miss your TMI status updates. “omg i am not pregnent!!! 10 hours ago via Android for Facebook“**

*We may have talked while one of us was blacked out.

**If you are incredibly good-looking, I will have a hard time unfriending you because I am delusional and think I may have a chance with you.

Do we have anything in common?

Hey, if you like Liverpool FC, I’m your friend. If you’re a Manchester United fan, I’ll leave the unfriend button alone but I will write nasty posts on your wall. If you like Deerhoof, I’ll appreciate your musical sensibilities. However, spew some radical Right Wing or Christian or Jewish or Islamic propaganda and I will go Buddha on your ass. As stated in the Dhammapada,”Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” So if you’re someone who uses Facebook to pontificate radical beliefs (or an ‘unlit candle’) (what I mean to say here is, a dumbass) our time together as Facebook friends has come to an end. May your religious figurehead of choice have mercy on your soul. TC mark

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  • Alex Thayer

    remember that time when we saw deerhoof and you got my apple o’ vinyl signed by the whole band?

    • Michael Koh

      I do. I’m just a great friend.

      • Perfect Circles

        Sounds like A real life friend!

      • Alex Thayer


  • Sarah

    Is all that fuss really necessary? There’s only one question I ask “Would I wish this person happy birthday and actually give a toss?”

    • Max M

      Is anything on this website necessary?

    • Rob

      Heh, I was going to post the “birthday test” as my method as well … great minds. :)

    • zz

      Birthdays are for pussies.

    • Michael Koh

      You’re still asking yourself a question and therefore participating in the ‘ceremony’ of this now ‘social ritual’. 

  • Sueann Tan

    Good one. Unfriending someone is easy only if you hardly make a difference to that person’s life. It’s more difficult to unfriend female friends, though, because they get soooo sensitive and overreactive about it when they find out. (I think I can be included in that category.)

  • Max M

    I just unfriend people who are ugly.

  • Annie Highley-Smith

    I should let you loose on my FB friends list.

    Teach me, oh master of Facebook friend deletion.

    • Michael Koh

      Let me loose on you.

  • Dawn Croff Haltug

    I hate it when you unfriend someone and they somehow KNOW…and friend request you AGAIN…ummm it wasn’t an accident-but I’m weak and end up approving them for awhile (in case I run into them or something)
    I just don’t know how they KNOW I unfriended them in the first place it’s always those people you barely know and NEVER talk to or see…until you unfriend them. FUCK!

  • Tau Zaman

    I almost never delete Facebook friends, even if I haven’t seen them since a high school drama festival six years ago. To me, I consider people friends because at one point in my life they mattered to me, or I felt like it would be a good idea to get to know them. Even if I haven’t talked to them in years, my friend count is a way of reminding me of all the connections I’ve made with people in my life, and I appreciate them for that. Not only is there no guarantee that I won’t run into them again, but sometimes a person you never really talked to ends up posting something really cool on your News Feed, and you connect over a previously unknown common interest. 

    Now, I do have quite a few, so I bet some people have defriended me due to no contact (or it might be my polarizing personality), but I don’t have any hard feelings about that. They have a right to not wanna be friends with me. But it’s funny, because I always end up finding out who they are. I wonder if they think they’re only one out of thousands and I’d never know the difference if they were gone, but I always notice. =P

    And I know it sounds that way, but this really was NOT a veiled attempt at smugly plugging my friend count. I swear. D:

  • Anonymous

    “However, spew some radical Right Wing or Christian or Jewish or Islamic propaganda and I will go Buddha on your ass. ” Brilliant.

  • Sophia

    Are you implying that being “Right Wing” is equitable to being a dumbass? Though I understand the point you were trying to make, that still makes me sad and a little angry.

    • Guest

      I think the keyword was “radical”.

  • Belle

    Good job mentioning Liverpool FC. I’d totally friend you on that account.

    • Michael Koh

      I’m a LFC fan. I’d mention them anywhere. 

  • Michael Lynch

    For me it’s generally a split between ‘I shouldn’t burn any bridges’ and ‘we were never good friends to begin with.’ In most cases though, if we weren’t good friends at one point or another, or if we don’t have anything in common, I’ll just light the fire.

    • Shangrila

      To bad yur just an internet predator, n theyre probly better off withoutcha anyways. Lol fakey fake pager. Nobody likes u anyways

  • charissa

    liverpool fc!!!! LIKE.

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