Well, buck up my friends, because researchers at the University of Colorado Denver looked into the frenemy-inducing confusion surrounding Facebook "friend" dumping and have a friendly suggestion for us based on actual online survey results!
If this "friend" knew us in high school 25 years ago, then perhaps she's realizing that she hasn't seen us since high school and we have nothing in common (if we ever did). One wonders why it took so long to reach this e-piphany. Whatever the reason, our long-distance "friendship" is suddenly on the ropes and in dire need of introspective re-evaluation.
It's not personal, everyone! It's just time to narrow down my friends list, because I'm looking for real conversations over a social media news feed with people I haven't seen since high school. If I choose to drop you, it's been nice knowing you. Again, it's nothing personal!
This type of status update generally elicits a handful of frantic responses from "friends" along the line of, "Whaa!? Please don't dump me! I really enjoy your selfies! I know I'm usually too busy to comment, but I hope we're still friends!"
The rest of us, meanwhile, simply lurk confusedly in the background, just like we did in high school. What I don't understand is why one would bother telling everyone about an impending Facebook "friend" dump in the first place. Why not simply cull the "friend" list on the down low without the news feed fanfare and drama?
Anyway, back to the main topic since I know we need to check our social media pages. The University of Colorado Denver, which surveyed more than 1,000 people on Twitter, knows exactly why people dump us on Facebook. In case you're wondering, here are the five types of "friends" most likely to get "un-friended":
1. High school friendsWait a minute. "Other" ranks second? What does "other" mean? I'll assume the term refers to long-time-lurkers-first-time-commenters or something? Sorry to break it to you, Mr. or Ms. Other, but we're not Facebook Official anymore. You. Have. Now. Been. Culled.
3. Friend of a friend
4. Work friends
5. Common interest friend
Ouch. As you can see going down the list, our workplace "friends" rank fourth as Most Deleteable Person On Facebook. And what makes employees vulnerable to getting Facebook dumped by a co-worker? Well, it turns out that getting Facebook dumped isn't so much about what we say in our status updates; it has more to do with what we do, or say, IN PERSON during the work day! Let's go to the Facebook official UCD press release:
"We found that people often unfriend co-workers for their actions in the real world rather than anything they post on Facebook," [Computer Science and Information Systems doctoral student at the CU Denver Business School Christopher] Sibona said.So, there you have it. Crystal clear, in 140 characters or less, no hashtags necessary. We aren't dorks on Facebook so much as we're dorks in person on the job, and it changes our Facebook "friend"/co-worker's view of us enough to say "enough."
In a vaguely odd way, this finding restores my faith in humanity a little bit. Perhaps it indicates that our in-person interactions remain very important in this day and age, and, in fact, carry a lot more weight than anything we might say online via Facebook, Twitter or hastily-written workplace blogs that rely heavily on Someecards to break up the copy?
Sure, our co-worker standing nearby may seem lost in her smartphone, but she heard everything we just said sans proper self-editing (gasp!) and now she's thinking about including us in her next Facebook "friend" dump. Sigh. Can we still be common interest friends?