“Unfriend Day”, Harsh? Or healthy?

By Hannah Garrat, Clinical Intern

Does your friend from grade school who you haven’t spoken to in years really need to be your Facebook friend? Do you really want to see the snapchat stories of the person you met in a bar from college? What about that twitter account you follow of your favorite baseball player that is retired, do you really need to see how their retired life is going? All these questions are important to ask yourself in the digital age we live in. In 2009 Oxford dictionary’s word of the year was “unfriend” which is the “verb” to remove someone as a ‘friend’ on social media. On November 17th, 2010,Jimmy Kimmel Wenton air to coin “unfriend day”. Kimmel spoke on how in an age of internet connections we collect ‘friends’ like baseball cards. Getting rid of distant acquaintances can help us maintain the real definition of ‘friend’. After years of collecting friends, we have hit the number of connections we can sustain. So how can you celebrate today?

1.Find out who matters. Review your friends and figure out who really matters to you. It may be hard to cut people from your Facebook friends, but you will feel better over time. Quality is always more important than quantity. A simple way to go about this would be to delete everyone you haven’t talked to in a year.

2.Real life connections. Choose to set your phone to the side and engage in real life with your friends. By focusing on your real-life friends, you will gain more happiness than the temporary happiness you receive from a “like” on Instagram.

3.Put professional relationships on LinkedIn. Unfriending a business friend could seem harsh, but you can move those business relationships to a more professional platform.

What does “unfriending” people do for you? It can help relieve your life of drama. You will inevitably have a handful of your own problem, but don’t let everyone else’s drama consume you. Free yourself of that responsibility. You may also feel less anxiety. With the countless texts, emails, Facebook notifications, and Instagram likes you may feel like you always need to be on your phone. By unfriending people on various platforms, you can lower the amount of time spent on your phone and you can focus on making memories in the current moment. Need help figuring out how to build meaningful friendships?

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