Has your Facebook friend count been consistent over the last few years even though you have been adding your new college and workplace friends? It could be because you are being deleted as quickly as accepting new requests.
According to Christopher Sibona, a doctoral student at the University of Colorado-Denver, your former high school friends could be un-friending you. Sibona has conducted a survey to find out why people are being unfriended on Facebook and the majority of them were high school connections. He has found that there are many reasons as to why someone would be unfriended and it can be as simple as drifting apart but also because of “polarizing” political and religious posts or shares that are made by you.
I can admit that I have had my fair share of posts that have either resulted in being “unfollowed” or blocked from news feeds, but rarely am I unfriended (I know this because I am OCD about checking my amount). I also have been one to stop following others and I have noticed that it is usually because of heated debates about politics, animal rights, and religion. I am not a heavy participant in any of the categories — but I do feel very passionate about my own beliefs.
We should all be aware of social media etiquette and remember that there is a diverse audience that can read what we share — even though Facebook is trying to optimize this. Going back to Sibona’s results, not everyone still feels the way they did about life as they did in high school. This is behind the unfriending. People are growing and changing and going off to college is a major factor in that change. You meet new people, take as many fun electives as possible and probably change your major one or two times. You grow. They grow.
It is completely OK to change viewpoints and fight for what you believe in, but as Sibona
found, Facebook posts that are trying to change someone else’s belief
and only being a one-way street can be unappealing. Post all you want
about politics and religion, but open-ended discussion will help gain
more friends instead of losing them all!
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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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