Answer honestly–how often do the following things happen to you:
- You get a Facebook message from a girl you barely remember from high school asking if you’ll buy essential oils or nail polish strips from her?
- You see a family member post daily “news” clips with ridiculously outlandish claims about a political candidate?
- You feel insecure or self-conscious about your family/house/body/dinners because of someone else’s Instagram post?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, good news! November 17 is National Unfriend Day and you’re the perfect candidate to celebrate!
Despite my efforts to backtrack, I am still an avid social media user. I am a single mom and my family all lives on the other side of the country, so I use Facebook to stay in contact with them. Besides that, I am also nosy and like knowing what’s going on with my friends in San Antonio and back in Baltimore.
In the midst of my avid social media usage, I have gotten more and more scrupulous about the friends I keep active on my friends list. There are several reasons I’ve begun unfriending, which I’m sure many readers can relate to. Personally, I miss the times when you didn’t know everyone in your life’s political affiliation unless they put a sign out in their yard. Anytime I want to use social media as a break from my day, I can’t stand to be inundated with constant political posting, especially if the poster constantly posts from what I know to be disreputable websites. Yes, before you ask, I’ve tried “hiding” or “unfollowing,” but invariably the poster still finds their way into my timeline to add their unrequested political 5 cents. So the first round of “unfriends” I made were over-the-top political posters.
Secondly, I look at my social media through the lens of my own mental health. While I feel I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I’ve been in the past, I do struggle with some body image issues and overall insecurities in that area. I have people on my friends’ list who tend to trigger me no matter, and although it’s not necessarily anything they’ve done, I just don’t need to see booty and boob pics on my newsfeed every day. I am happy for where they are in their fitness/lifestyle/influencer journey, but it’s just not for me at this point in my life. I could just unfollow, but I know I always end up thinking I’m recovered enough to add them again (spoiler: I’m not).
Thirdly, as I get older and my sphere of relationships grows, I am becoming aware that there are groups of people who are friends with me only to try to sell me their multi-level marketing product. No, I’m not a hater of boss babes or mompreneurs or whatever they are calling themselves (okay, maybe just a little). But I am unwilling to be just another pawn or checkmark in someone’s plan to sell products. And honestly, no I don’t want to buy nail polish strips, colorful leggings or diet shakes (but I will buy Girl Scout cookies, so hit me up). If someone’s entire profile page consists of marketing attempts, and they are sneaking into my messages to “remind” me of a special, they are on my cut list.
Finally, a tip I think we can all use: unfriend your exes! Do I want to date any of my exes again? Absolutely not. Will I have one too many glasses of wine and leave a snarky comment on their current engagement pic? Probably. Maybe this is not very enlightened of me, but I am of the opinion that no good comes from being Facebook friends with your ex. If you can do this successfully, good for you, but I’m self-aware enough to know that it will either result in them knowing too much about my life, or me knowing too much about their life.
I hope National Unfriend Day gifts you with a healthier, happier, more productive Facebook newsfeed!