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If you’re looking for some peace of mind on Facebook, deleting certain people helps. Here are 6 ‘friends’ you absolutely don’t need!
I have a Facebook friends’ list of about 150 or so. Sad? No, not really. I think even 150 is excessive. Especially since in real life if I had to really count my friends, I would not need more than the fingers of one hand. Honestly.
Facebook friends are different from real friends. We gather, accumulate, pounce on, beg, hound, and stalk people until they become our Facebook friends. This is quite similar to the way we buy clothes, shoes, bags and whatnot. Like we buy ill-fitting and unsuitable clothes and shoes in sales thinking we’d wear them one day, we create a collection of Facebook friends.
Now that spring is here it’s time to clean my wardrobe, my house and my life. It’s time to get rid of stuff that has no role in my life, no purpose, hasn’t been used, never will be. Time to get rid of the stuff that is weighing me down, complicating my existence and making me feel low.
In short, it’s time to de-clutter and let go of all the unwanted things. Yes, that includes Facebook friends. A cleanup operation in a ruthless, detached way is the only way to detox our life of the people we have surrounded ourselves with. And for whom we put on a mask when we appear on Facebook.
Moving on, now that you have your anthem ready and your fingers are poised over the keyboard, here are the 6 ‘friends’ you need to let go of. Trust me, it will bring you peace of mind and help you understand who matters the most to you.
Who is this person? You don’t know their name or face. How did they get on your friends’ list? Sometimes a stranger will slip the net and get into your inner circle. Maybe you accepted their friend’s request when you were sleepy, depressed, wanted to increase the ‘numbers.’ Or maybe you have lots of friends in common.
But if you don’t know this person, have never met them in real life or are likely to, do you really want to give them access to your life? If they are on your friends’ list, they will have access to your private photos, thoughts. And even sensitive information like your birthday, hometown and things about your kids!
Would you part with such information if it were a stranger you met off the road? You wouldn’t. So what is this person doing here? It’s time to quickly hit the ‘Delete’ button. Absolutely no questions about this one.
This ‘friend’ is watching your every move. You feel their presence because they are always online, ‘liking’ other people’s stuff. Do they ever ‘like’ your stuff? Never. Comment? Never. No messages or birthday wishes. That is the last straw.
You ‘like’ their photos, quotes of the day and wish them on their birthday and other occasions. Still nothing. Blank.
Do you continue grovelling and begging them to be your friend? I think not. Time to hit the ‘Delete’ button. Whoosh! Feels better?
This ‘friend’ is your friend only on FB, but when you come face to face in real life, they just look through you. At first, you think they are myopic and have left the spectacles behind at home, therefore, cannot see you.
Maybe you look different in real life, maybe those dark circles are making you look like someone else today. Or maybe they are in a bad mood, the lighting is bad.
You try and give the benefit of the doubt to them. The truth is they did not leave the spectacles at home, they just left their manners at home. Before you subject yourself to a lifetime of humiliation from this ‘ignorer friend’ (or should we say ignoramus), it’s time to say Ta Ta. Yes bye-bye. Sorry no, thank you. Press delete. Done.
You and only you are to blame for this ‘friend.’ The only reason you’ve sent them a request is that they could grace your friend’s list and add numbers while making your list look attractive.
This person embellishes your friends’ list, decorates it. Maybe this person is really interesting, very popular, a mini-celebrity from your kindergarten days. But sadly they have no interest in you. They condescended to accept your friend’s request to not offend you.
This person makes your FB list look lovely, very pretty, ‘Oooh! You have such glamorous friends, friends in high places.’ Is what you want other people to think? Well, this showpiece adds that glam factor to your FB life.
You ‘ like ‘ their photos, fawn over everything they post. Sometimes they give you a little tidbit by ‘liking’ your complimentary comment, but mostly you get no acknowledgement for being their fan.
They are the celebrity and you are the follower. Is this your friend? C’mon! Out with the truth. It’s like having this really expensive outfit in your wardrobe that you will never wear because it is not you, not your style, and well out of your comfort zone. Wouldn’t you like to give it to charity? Why let it clutter your wardrobe?
Likewise, this showpiece friend, may have taken effort to acquire, but may be best to get rid of. OUT. Why continue to want to aspire to be in their social circle when you know it’s out of the question! Just let them go.
Seriously they will be grateful for it too. Make it easy for both of you. Breathe in, breathe out. Let it go, let it go. Au Revoir. This was a tough one, wasn’t it?
Okay, this one posts photos, videos, quotes that are offensive or disturbing. Every morning when you go on to FB (why you do that is another issue), there is a horrifying video ready to greet you. Or a weird photo screaming out at you with its warped sense of humour. Humour for them, not for you.
Why spoil your mornings and your time on FB if such stuff is going to haunt you through the day? Much as you may like this friend in real life, it may be time to get rid of them along with their baggage.
Yes, all the weird stuff that pollutes your FB wall with distasteful graffiti. Feels a little bad to do this if the person is nice in real life. Okay let’s just ‘Block’ them out of the timeline for now, shall we? Don’t hit ‘Delete’ yet.
This one is a ‘friend’ whose connection with is you is because they are some distant relative who made you their friend so they could spy on you. And hoped to report to your in-laws or they just want pure entertainment for free, at your expense.
You’ve been compelled to accept them, only because of social obligations. Don’t want to upset the in-laws, do you? Every time you update your status or spill your emotions all over your FB wall, you know so-and-so is spying.
Before you’ve logged out, your entire extended family and friends in real life know your exact state of mind, thanks to our very friendly friend! This friend is hard to get rid of.
Maybe declare that you are closing down your Facebook account and then slowly but surely let this friend off. How are they going to know you’ve deleted them? After you’ve let them go, quickly change your profile picture and to be doubly sure, block them off and make sure people can’t search you on FB.
Phew, that is hard work. But this ‘friend’ is the worst clutter in your list. There is an unexplainable joy in pressing the Delete button. If one single click doesn’t work, double or triple-click, but make sure you do it!
The only trouble with this is they might try to befriend you again, especially if they find you are active on FB (maybe they spotted your comment on a mutual friend’s page!).
Well, if you must, accept them again. If the block hasn’t worked or they persist, you have no choice. In two months time, declare your account closing again. Do a second spring clean. Let’s see who is more tenacious you or this obligatory friend.
This one wants and craves attention. So they will post on your wall, whether it concerns you or not. They will tag you in mindless photos, which do not even have you (or anyone) in them. And they will engage in discussions/arguments on your FB page with your other friends. All of this just to seek a little attention.
Feel a little sorry for this person. Don’t really want to get rid of them especially after the lovely comment they left on the wall last year? Hmmm, alright, let’s shortlist this one. Let’s not ‘Delete’ just yet. Maybe not.
This ‘friend’ got into your FB list, by default. Maybe this one is the mum of your child’s friend from nursery class. She wanted a recipe or some other information and tracked you on FB. Instead of sending you an email, she just contacted you on FB. That’s all. No other connections.
The recipe is exchanged, your child is now in high school and you haven’t contacted this ‘friend’ in years, actually close to a decade! Then why is this person still your ‘friend’?
Do yourself and this person a favour. Declutter for them as much for you. Delete yourself from this person’s life. No thinking involved in this. Hit Delete.
No, you will not need this person in future. If you do, just establish contact again. Sayonara darling, we were never friends! Phew! That was hard work.
There are other types of non-friends we all have, who are messing with our FB lives. Feel free to de-clutter as you see fit. Feel lighter and relieved. After this exercise, you will be left with a handful of friends.
Whether they are true or not is for you to see in the next year, so you can de-clutter again. Friends whether in real life or Facebook or wherever have to make you feel good, listen to you and respect you. The admiration has to be mutual. So before you go collecting more friends to rebuild your flagging statistics, think.
Don’t just send out friend requests to people or accept them from people because you are competing with someone who had 1500 friends. It’s not the end of the world if you have a few good friends who you cherish and who you cannot wait to meet on FB from time to time.
In fact, that way you will have more time to go out into the real world and make new real friends. Yes, saying good-bye is not easy. Just say it in different languages and have fun… go on! Now if you excuse me, I’m off to do some spring cleaning.
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Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Mujhse Fraaandhsip Karoge?
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