Being unfriended on Facebook is like being phased out of a friendship in real life – you rarely know it’s happened until a significant period of time has passed (Facebook, like your real life “friends”, doesn’t inform you when you’ve been let go), and your reaction when finding out is typically a face-saving: “Good riddance.”
Still, sometimes the friendship was meaningful and being rejected on Facebook stings. So, here’s the big question: why?
Christopher Sibona, a computer science PhD student at the University of Colorado, has been conducting a series of Facebook unfriending studies since 2010. His methodology is interesting: Sibona polls Twitter for users talking about unfriending others and then sends them a link to an online survey.
And the results of his latest study? Two-thirds (64 percent) of us unfriend people on Facebook because we deem what they post to be “unimportant”. Slightly less than half (44 percent) unfriend because of inappropriate content, 34 percent because someone is posting too frequently and 26 percent because they’re too political.
Also of note: Sibona’s research revealed that a person is far more likely to unfriend someone if they were the recipient of the original friend request between the pair, as opposed to the originator, at a ratio of two to one.