National Unfriend Day

November 18, 2014

Having just joined Facebook and, not knowing the rules of the social media site, I see that I must have been badly informed. I was under the impression that the purpose of Facebook was to keep in touch with the friends you have and to make new friends. Apparently, if Jimmy Kimmel is to be believed, I was misinformed.

It seems as though today is National Unfriend Day, started by Kimmel a few years ago as a way to “motivate us to clean out those annoying friends who we barely know and/or who take up our newsfeeds with worthless content we’d rather not see.”

Kimmel went on to say, “I was sharing tons of stuff about myself with them. They probably didn’t care about it, but it also feels weird to be telling people who are essentially strangers all about my life without any reciprocation.”

I must be missing the point of this whole social media experience. If meeting new people and making new friends isn’t the purpose of Facebook, why don’t people, like Kimmel, just exchange private emails with each other, sharing photos of themselves and telling each other the bits and pieces of their lives that are meaningful to them?

Why do they post private details of their life on a site that reaches billions of people if you want to have a closed group of friends? In fact, why don’t they just use the Facebook feature that allows you to share private information with your close friends and no one else?

Kimmel’s life may be a lot busier than mine but when I have news I want to share with one of my friends, I pick up the phone and call them. If they’re not there, I can at least listen to their voice and leave a message for them to call me back. I’m not into leaving personal information on someone’s voice mail but I will ask them to call me back when they get the chance. I don’t need Facebook to take the place of my telephone.

Someone should tell Kimmel if he really doesn’t want to make new friends on Facebook, he shouldn’t Friend them when they send a request to be his friend. The rest of us may want to make new friends, in an almost anonymous way, as a way of adding to the richness of our lives.

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