The Best of Unfriends

I unfriended you today. The reasons were complicated. We all carry reminders of the past. Childhood drawings, sports trophies, ticket stubs and faded t-shirts. We hold on to so much that is unnecessary. Now, we hold on to Facebook friends, too.

Today, I went through all 541 people on my Facebook friends list and started unfriending (which is an abomination of a verb) until there were just 470 left. Like all things that must be done, I let this chore go for far too long.

I had a lot of people on that list. Hundreds. The task of who to keep and who to let go of was daunting. First, there were my close friends, my coworkers and my girlfriend. Obviously, they all stayed.

Then it got tough.

There were high school acquaintances I hadn’t spoken to in five years. There were people I’d met during college orientation, before I discovered my real friends. There were people whom I’d drifted away from. There were people who had changed their name and photos to obscure their identity so much that I couldn’t remember who they were.

So, I clicked unfriend. I let go. It wasn’t out of anger or anything they did. But people go their separate ways and Facebook was trying to maintain an artificial connection between me and complete strangers. Where there was no longer a pressing need to see every second of their life documented in my timeline, I cut the tie.

Clearing out the people who were no longer my friends was difficult. And it shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t have to feel bad about moving on. That’s the nature of friendships. Some grow closer and some grow further away. But Facebook doesn’t let relationships come and go organically they way they do in real life.

So, I had to unfriend you. In reality, we hadn’t been friends in years and seeing photos of your life was starting to feel creepy. It was time for this. After all, I don’t need a social network to tell me who my friends are.

— 30 —

I’m a writer in Flagstaff, AZ and in addition to clearing out my Facebook friends to make room for the important people in my life to fill my newsfeed with pictures of their pets and children, this is my 100th blog post! Thank you for reading!

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