Facebook is a great place to keep in touch with friends and family—especially those for whom you’d like to do so at a distance. Unfortunately, your friends list is probably filled with people you can’t unfriend but would prefer not to hear from. Go ahead and unfollow them.
Facebook was more peaceful in its infancy. Grandma and Uncle Bob didn’t know about it, and the only friends you had were people you called friends in real life. But times change, and so has Facebook. Grandma and Uncle Bob are on Facebook now, and they expect to be your friend.
With greater numbers of people comes greater amounts of frustration. People you still have to deal with in real life post things that range from mildly annoying to downright offensive. Some of them fill their posts with half facts, wild lies, tired memes, and scathing criticisms on the stupidest of topics.
But you can’t unfriend Grandma and Uncle Bob. And you can’t unfriend your co-worker John. You have to face them occasionally in real life. And while it’s tempting to quit Facebook forever, that’s becoming harder and harder to do as Facebook invades our real lives. Messenger, group communication, and event planning are more and more often done on Facebook.
But it’s ok. You don’t have to unfriend your frustrating and annoying Facebook friends. You can unfollow them.
Unfollowing Is Like Not Inviting People to Your Home
You probably have a relative you can’t stand. They say the most grating and jarring things, and you don’t look forward to seeing them every year at the Christmas party. So what do you do the rest of the year? You don’t call them on the phone. You don’t go over their house. And you don’t invite them over to yours any more than you have to. Handled gracefully, they might never even notice.
Unfollowing a person on Facebook is essentially the same thing. When you unfollow a person, you won’t see their posts anymore. And they aren’t notified that you unfollowed them.
If the person does happen to ask if you’ve seen a particular post, you can either blame Facebook’s algorithms or say you haven’t looked closely at Facebook lately. Unfollowing is a quick and easy process to curate your feed only to see things you want to see. Because social networks should leave you feeling better, not feeling worse.