Mark your calendars, Facebook masses. November 17 is National Unfriend Day, as declared by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. "Friendship is a sacred thing, and I believe Facebook is cheapening it," he says. "I go on this Facebook and I see people with thousands of what they call friends, which is impossible--you can't have a thousand friends."
So Kimmel suggests examining your list of Facebook friends and only keeping the real friends (you know, as in people who've actually breathed the same air as you).
Good idea, Mr. Kimmel. According to Robin Dunbar, a professor of anthropology at Oxford University, our brains can't keep up with more than 150 friends anyhow. So, why not? Go ahead and use National Unfriend Day as an excuse to "clean up" your friends list guilt-free.
But before you go on an unfriending rampage, consider the following advice:
1. Keep watch on your frenemies. These days, it seems like the immediate response to being insulted or betrayed is, "OMG I'm going to delete them from Facebook." But don't forget this saying: Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. If life is a battlefield, then for some, Facebook is the front line. Take advantage of it. You don't have to interact with your enemies (er, frenemies?), but you can use the News Feed to keep tabs on them.
2. Value their information. Facebook isn't only about maintaining friendships. Consider other ways in which your potential unfriendees interact with Facebook. Do they post interesting or helpful links? Are they an expert in a field that's relevant to your work? Remember that most people have something valuable to offer, so consider a person's knowledge, skill set, and connections before unfriending.
3. Consider privacy settings. If you're inclined to unfriend someone to protect your privacy, there are other ways to hide your information without deleting someone. You can choose to hide your wall, photos, status updates, or other content from just a few people--or entire groups of people. Also very useful is the ability to control specific posts. Check out this Facebook privacy guide for a clear explanation. Thank you, Facebook. … Read more