Ah, Facebook. All the social networking joys it brings can soon turn sour with the inane updates of your so-called friends. ‘Unfriending’ is on the rise and being boring is just one of the reasons for discarding your mates.
We’ve been asking you whether Facebook was your friend or foe, with most agreeing with Al Warman. He’s a little fed up with the social networking site and so far three quarters of you also think it’s a waste of time.
But that can’t be right can it? Facebook’s a global phenomenon with over 500m users worldwide. If it were a country it would be the world’s third largest, ahead of the United States. So what’s turning some of us off?
Our friends’ mindless updates for a start, and if they haven’t led us to completely delete our Facebook account, they’ve forced us to unfriend them.
I know what you’re thinking – “he just used the non-word ‘unfriend’ in a sentence without inverted commas”. Well, let me stop you there – the word unfriend was actually chosen by the New Oxford American Dictionary as its 2009 Word of the Year. Ha!
What makes us unfriend?
Computer scientist Christopher Sibona has been looking into the phenomenon of unfriending. In a survey of over 1,500 Facebook users, he found that the top reason to ditch your online friends is due to frequent and useless status updates.
Next up is writing about religion and politics, with crude or racist updates being the third. Thankfully, posting links to articles you’ve written isn’t one of the reasons – otherwise I’d have very few Facebook friends.
The naughty things you do in the real world also make an impact, with a quarter of those asked saying they discarded friends due to offline behaviour.
And then there’s your family. In an AOL study 30% of teenagers wanted to unfriend their own parents. However, many will accept them if they can fiddle with their privacy settings and put them on a limited profile. So then your mum can send you a little message without seeing your drunken photos and reading your X-Factor updates (please, when will they end!?)
How to delete your Facebook account
But what if it’s all so inane that you want to delete your account? This used to be problematic as you’d lose all your photos, updates and messages. Facebook had effectively locked you in.
However, today the site has launched a new tool called ‘Download Your Information’ that lets users copy everything they’ve ever posted on the site to their harddrive.
And then there’s the problem of deleting your account. Facebook makes it very easy to deactivate it, but all your data will remain – deleting yourself forever is just a little bit hidden. So if you do want to do that, follow this link to delete your Facebook account and don’t try to log in for 14 days. Then – boom – it’s gone, just like that. Relieved?