I Unfriended Over 2,300 People on Facebook

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For as long as I have had a Facebook, people have classified me as a “social butterfly.” Even if I did not have too many friends in real life, online Helmi was a girl who got hundreds of likes on every post and whom everyone was friends with. People could count on my profile to find out the latest happenings on campus and for the latest news on my life as well. I have never been someone who cares about what other people think, but after a rough year full of judgment and betrayal for reasons I won’t explain in this article, I started thinking about whether I wanted to give just anyone the opportunity to judge me based on my posts. This summer, I decided to reduce my number of Facebook friends and I have not looked back since.

There were many questions I considered as I unfriended people: Do I want them reading my business? Do I want to read their business? Have we talked in the past year? Would it be awkward to post “Happy Birthday” on their timeline? I didn’t have any ill feelings toward many of the people I unfriended. In fact, many of them had consistently shown their support of me on social media. My exact reasons for unfriending each person is no one’s business but my own, and I have been chewed out for it by several people who did not make the cut. This does not offend me, however, because I know that many people take social media quite personally, and limiting my friends list was my way of making Facebook more personal for me too.

This experience has reminded me of the benefits to my mental health of keeping my social circles smaller. When I post something, I can feel more at ease knowing that the people who see that post are people whom I want to see it. Will I do another “friend flush” next year? Probably. Relationships are fluid, and college has taught me that someone whom I talk to every day right now might be a complete stranger by next fall. I recommend a friend flush to anyone wanting a fresh start. You’ll start to feel better immediately.

About The Author

Helmi is a senior at The University of Alabama from Menlo Park, California studying psychology and French. She has been to 78 countries on seven continents! Her favorites are Finland (since that's where her family lives), Myanmar and Antarctica. When she's not in class or traveling she loves reading, singing and songwriting, and hanging out with friends.