How to Unfriend Friends

It isn’t called “Remove from friends” anymore. It’s called “Unfriend”. It’s a real word now! It’s a verb meaning “remove from friends on the social networking site Facebook and, as a possible consequence, also from friends in real life.”

Yes, it’s just that easy. If you scroll down to the end of the left column of a friend’s profile on Facebook, this is one thing you see. It’s an option called “Unfriend” which, when clicked, brings up a little box asking you “Are you sure you want to remove So-And-So as your friend?” You simply select the blue box saying “Remove from Friends” and *click* it’s done. The person isn’t your friend anymore.

It’s true. It’s the new way to cut people off subtly. Just remove them from your Facebook friends. At some point they will notice, take offense and you two won’t be friends anymore. The person will probably not bring it up, because it seems just a little bit too silly to make an issue of, but not silly enough to not sever the friendship. Gone are the days of sitting down, talking, resolving issues and saving relationships.

Have you had a spat with someone in real life? Do you really want to hurt them? Do you really want to turn the knife in their guts? Just unfriend them on Facebook. That’s going to hurt. It’s going to cut real deep. The morning they wake up, try to look for your profile on Facebook and see that they need to “Add as Friend” again they’re going to feel really bad. That’ll show them. Man, did I really piss him off that bad? they’ll wonder.

This isn’t just between young adults, teenagers or the super-tech-savvy generation anymore. Even grown adults in their 50s and 60s do this. Husband and wife, after having been married for 30 years, quarrel and decide that they can’t be Facebook friends anymore. She looks for him on her friends list. Jack…Jake…Jim…John! There he is! *click* Scroll down…Unfriend. That’s right, you bastard! Take that! *click*click* Ha! Living under the same roof is fine. But to still be Facebook friends? Not a chance!


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  1. Sid Sharma

    Merriam-Webster defines “friend” as ‘one attached to another by affection or esteem’.

    Can you let go of an affection by the click of a mouse?
    Can the esteem for a person disappear because of a whim ?

    Like the plastic money we use, the everyday life and its connected emotions are also turning plastic.

    How nice it feels to handle a crisp dollar bill.
    How nice it feels to have a friend to whom you can “talk” without a thought of what that person will think about you or will start judging you by what you say. Can we actually and really confide in any of the “friends” we have on Facebook – and to a large extent in daily life?

    The essence and flavor of the meaning of a friend no longer exists in the world.

    ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’ is changed to ‘A friend in need is no friend of mine’.

    Is this the effect of the internet age and an overkill of ease of communication without emotions?

    Your thought, please.

    • Karishma

      The people you can “unfriend” by the mere click of a virtual button aren’t real friends. The word has been muddied by the growth of shallow “friendships” perpetuated by websites like Facebook, where anyone you are simply acquainted with, no matter how remotely, is added as a “friend”. The word is used loosely to describe these people you barely know. This certainly is, as you put it, the effect of the internet age. It has even carried over into real life with us thinking that anyone we see everyday is a friend no matter how callously they treat us. Perhaps some rewording is required: Maybe it should be “People I know” instead of “Friends”. That would be more accurate.

      Let’s put it this way: If you need a social networking website to be informed of big changes, or even minute ones, in some people’s lives, to find out that something is bothering them, to learn that they are ecstatic or to be explicitly told that it’s their birthday, then those aren’t your friends and you aren’t theirs.

  2. Archana

    Unfriend. Before I got married, in the courtship days, so full of love, I sent a small poem to my soon-to-be husband:
    You call me a friend,
    but do you realize,
    how much the word implies.
    It means that down the years
    through sunshine and through tears
    there’ll always be someone standing by your heart.

    Friends are those that are close to your heart; facebook friends are sometimes not even acquaintances, most are people that want to have a link, connection to you, and among could be embedded your real friends.

    • Karishma

      I have an ex-boyfriend I’m still “friends” with. We talk off and on, we still care for each other very, very much. We aren’t Facebook friends. In fact, he has me blocked. It was to make a clean break and move on. Totally understandable. When we started talking and still didn’t become “Facebook friends” it bothered me initially but I had to understand that Facebook is just a social networking platform where many people who mean nothing to us abound. It is possible to have people outside that little online world who are much more valuable, and how!


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