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My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

You should follow me on Twitter.

Contact me about whatever (like, say, your marketing questions) at

Thursday, June 12, 2008

HOW-TO Unfriend Someone

Find his or her name in your list of friends, and click the little “x”. That’s all there is to it.

The top referrals to my site come from people searching for something along the lines of “How to unfriend someone.” It’s really not that hard, it’s not something you should be taking tons of time to think about. It’s not serious. You’re not blacklisting them, (unless you are actually going to block them, which is recommended in some cases) you just don’t consider them really good friends. Like, real-life friends, not the bastardized term “friend” we use on the internet.

If you’re considering unfriending someone, it’s the right thing to do. You can always friend him again, later. “But,” you say, “won’t they be offended?” Maybe. But seriously, if you’re done having him on your friends list, why do you care? Someone who makes you feel obligated to friend them is far from a friend, he’s a leech.

Facebook for almost all people is a collection of names and nothing more. It’s not a network of trusting and trusted friends. It’s a phone book with pictures.

You don’t have to friend your boss, you don’t have to friend your coworkers. You don’t have to friend anyone you don’t want to. If you’re worried that your boss will be mad at you, then you have a pretty terrible job, and a much bigger problem than internet etiquette.

Imagine a world where your friends list is populated only by close, real-life friends. People you trust with your personal thoughts and feelings, people you can count on to help you out and who you want to help. You know, friends. Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to censor your thoughts about something because you’re worried the wrong person might see it?

Oh, and if you’re thinking, “But what if a real friend on my list sees something I’ve written and then passes it on to someone else?” Well, if you’re concerned about someone doing that, then he’s not your friend.

Unfriend him.


Ben said...

"It’s a phone book with pictures."

You're a genius

Joel Kelly said...

Haha, thanks Ben! I think ranting about Facebook might be my most favourite hobby...

Anonymous said...

Thanks, great page -- just the confirmation and advice I was hoping to find