Thursday, 24 April 2014

Why You're Unfriended on Facebook?

With over a billion users on Facebook,  the social media platform is getting crowded, and so are your friends' personal feeds. It's not personal when you get unfriended, except when it is.

But why do people do it? Two studies, one at the University of Colorado at Denver in the United States and one at the University of Birmingham in the UK, reveal some of the reasons that people click "Unfriend" on Facebook and give insight into how you can keep it from happening to you.

  1. Talking too much about religion or politics.The old advice to "never discuss religion or politics in polite company" still has implications in our modern era. The No. 1 reason survey respondents gave for unfriending people on Facebook was that someone posted way too much about religion or politics and/or picked fights about those controversial topics. Christopher Sibona, a PhD candidate from the University at Colorado at Denver who surveyed 1,100 people about their Facebook practices, called such comments "polarizing." He also pointed out that we may not know much about someone's beliefs when we first friend them, but the eventual realization that they're gung-ho about a specific issue might be too much to handle later on.
  2. Being a bad co-worker.Although real-life pals might get unfriended for the way they behave on Facebook, with co-workers it's exactly the opposite. "We found that people often unfriend co-workers for their actions in the real world rather than anything they post on Facebook," Sibona writes of the study. Considering how difficult it can be to draw lines between work and fun on social media, some users opt to keep colleagues off Facebook so they can't view personal photos or information.
  3. Sharing too many photos.Although it may seem fun to put those snapshots of a girls' night out online so you can relive the most hilarious moments, sharing photos can have the unintended side effect of upsetting your friends. According to David Houghton, who led the University of Birmingham's study, "Our research found those who frequently post photographs on Facebook risk damaging real-life relationships." Why? "It is worth remembering the information we post to our 'friends' on Facebook actually gets viewed by lots of different categories of people, partners, friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances and each group seems to take a different view of the information shared." In other words, your friends might love it if you emailed the photos to them to save for posterity, but they're not excited about family or work colleagues seeing them holding up drinks at a bar. One way to avoid making this well-intentioned faux pas is to get friends' permission before tagging them.
  4. Talking about nothing and doing it too often."Seinfeld" may have been a hit show for "talking about nothing," but such behavior is less amusing online. After religious and political postings, the least "likeworthy" thing you can do on Facebook is write "frequent, uninteresting posts" that clog up friends' newsfeeds. The University of Colorado study also found that the No. 1 group of people who got unfriended was high school classmates, since friendships often change over the years, and some people find that they have less in common over time.
  5. Not being up to date on the latest Facebook changes.This one has nothing to do with you and everything to do with Facebook HQ. The website recently changed its settings so that users don't necessarily see all of their friends' latest posts anymore. This selective sharing can make it lookas though people have unfriended you, even though they haven't. Luckily, this is fixable. Simply scroll to the bottom of your news feed and click "Edit options," then select "All of your friends and pages" and hit "Save." But you'll need to make sure your friends do the same in order to view all of your posts as well.


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