With many areas still under quarantine due to COVID-19, people are spending so much time on social media just to stay connected and to keep abreast with what’s going on in the world. As expected, however, too much of good thing can turn bad, and soaking online noise can be counterproductive, especially if the people on your feed don’t deserve to be there at all.
As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, you shouldn’t feel bad about un-friending people on social media, as in reality, there are actually just a maximum of 150 relationships online that you can maintain at a time. While it’s fine to have several hundred more friends and work contacts on your accounts, it’s also important to curate your list the same way you’d curate your physical circles so that you can lessen noise and invest in those who actually matter, especially during these unprecedented times.
That being said, you don’t owe anyone space on your friends lists, so don’t be afraid to cull it. Here are a few people you may want to do without:
1. Those whose names don’t ring a bell
These could be people you only met once and who added because they added you first and you were forced to good to accept their invitation (peer pressure, anyone?). If you don’t really know them, why are they still on your friends list?
2. Those from your past you aren’t really close to
Did your high school classmate add you on Facebook? If you weren’t close a few decades ago and still aren’t now, then don’t feel pressured to keep him or her on your friends list. Chances are, your classmate won’t even notice being un-friended.
3. Those who are toxic
It’s important to stay informed these days: you have to read through positive and negative information so that you can make educated opinions and decisions. Toxicity, however, is a different story. A toxic friend does nothing but make you feel crappy by posting bad vibes, apart from being demanding, rude, or passive aggressive. Don’t think twice: delete.
4. Those who think they’re always right
These are friends, and often, family members whose lives only revolve around constructs they choose to believe in and who refuse to accept new ways of thinking. Opening discussions with them often results in heated arguments as they refuse to acknowledge that anyone other than them can be right.
Remember that you really can’t change their minds; they should, in their own, learn how to open up to new social developments and accept differences in opinions. If seeing them on your timeline makes you feel uncomfortable, delete them.
5. Those who continuously post unverified news
Funny and light-hearted memes are okay, but memes with unverified reports and fake quotes sow confusion, which benefits no one especially during a pandemic. You can opt to reach out to these people privately to correct them and to offer them facts—many of them would be gracious enough to retract their posts. There are those, however, who prefer to blatantly ignore facts, and these are people you don’t need in your life.
6. Those who bait others into arguments
Many times, people who post disinformation are also those who harangue others into online arguments the way trolls usually do. Unfortunately, there’s really no other way around this than to unfriend them, because they refuse to hold decent exchanges of opinion.
7. Those who cause you anxiety
Sometimes, you have to put space between you and a person who, even with the best of intentions, can be giving you anxiety through their online behaviors. Are they black holes of negativity? Do they keep on tagging you on things you don’t want to be tagged on? Do they often put you in a tight spot? You can choose to inform them that you’re temporarily leaving their circle, and then politely disengage.