Today is National UnFriend Day — a holiday created by Jimmy Kimmel that encourages people to “free themselves” from “friends they no longer want in their life.”
A popular adage reminds us, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver; the other gold.” I’m of the mind that this isn’t always true when it comes to “friends” on social media.
It seems a lot of people may agree with me — and so today is National UnFriend Day on Facebook. This holiday, created by Jimmy Kimmel, encourages participants to “free themselves” from “friends they no longer want in their life.”
Kimmel’s criteria says you should cut:
- Friends who post too often,
- Friends don’t use correct grammar often enough, and
- Friends who post too frequently about the weather, their kids, politics or working out.
The point is not to create a homogenous list of friends who are carbon copies of you, but to create a space that doesn’t annoy or potentially anger you every time you log on to the service. As I’ve found to be true in real life, it isn’t reasonable to believe you’ll be friends with everyone.
If you decide to evaluate who can be cut and who will remain in the fold, I recommend proceeding with caution. Cutting a family member or colleague may lead to some awkward conversations around the dinner table or in the break room in the coming weeks. But give serious thought to whether people in general need such a close, personal look into your daily life, and vice versa. Perhaps we’re all guilty of over-sharing from time to time or falling into one of the categories Jimmy says should be cut, and would do well to evaluate how we can better engage with our friends and family online.
Whether I actually unfriend anyone or not, I’ll use the “holiday” as a reminder to look over my privacy settings and photos, to remove myself from groups that are no longer a good fit and to follow the pages that interest me (ahem, like this one). I’ll use it to shape my social media use into a habit I enjoy, rather than one which creates stress. Since social media is part of my job, I can’t escape it completely. But I can make it more user friendly.
And maybe you can, too.