Facebook is a serious addiction, so let’s not even pretend that quitting is an option. But when your mental health is at risk, you may need to cut a “friend” loose.
Here’s how to know when it’s time to un-friend an acquaintance, and re-friend your sanity. When every status update is:
This is not a status. Neither is “Beyond tired” or “So tired” (no matter how many “o”‘s you add). A repeated cop-out status makes us yawn just reading it, so why don’t you go have a little nap and come back when you have something interesting to contribute? Something you may want to consider is just leaving your status bar blank – such a safe, inoffensive option.
2. Seemingly endless misfortune.
We are very sorry to hear about your kidney stones, severed tendon, ulcer, sucky job, getting dumped and/or divorced… again. It seems as if nothing good every happens to you! Unfortunately, as a result of this bombardment of negativity, you have exhausted our capacity to empathize. Reading about your hard luck and never-ending bad times is really bringing us down. If we were true friends, these might be things we would talk about over the phone or in person, where we might have a chance of cheering you up – but listing your troubles via status updates leaves us helpless. We are on Facebook to spy on stranger’s pretty wedding photos, or see if our horrible ex is still ugly and single, but we are definitely not on Facebook to have our happy stalking parade rained on by Debbie Downer. Feel free to call if that raincloud over your head ever lifts though, fingers crossed!
3. A detailed list of what they eat every day and how fat they are.
“Leah just finished a HUGE plate of chocolate chip cookies… 100 grams of fat later 🙁“ or “Deb has eaten every carb in the cupboard, what’s the weight limit on a treadmill?“
Inevitably these overdisclosing self-loathers are skinny-minnies looking for reassurance. Do not enable them by commenting lovely, soothing compliments about their size 2 perfection. This will only encourage them to keep treating Facebook like a public food journal, activating your own guilt for skipping the gym and gobbling who-knows-how-many Double-Stuff Oreos while trying to decide what to have for dinner. Facebook is for snooping, not support-grouping.
Although this removal method can’t give you back any hours previously wasted on the “friend” types above, positive side-effects of editing your list are guaranteed to include a dramatically improved newsfeed, and faster access to the real gems of social networking: the Overdisclosers!
4. Over-sharing about their child’s potty training progress.
“Madison went pee pee on the potty and poopy on the big girl toilet!!!!”
Some of us non-breeders are more than a little uncomfortable with the incessant over-sharing of your children’s bathroom activities. We love the albums stuffed with photos of their first bite of this, their first taste of that – but we really don’t need to know what happens on the other end. Not to mention, the internet is forever, parents. When Madison grows up, she’ll be able to deal with the embarrassing photos, but an exhaustive public diary frozen eternally in cyberspace recounting her attempts to gain control of her bowels? That’s therapy territory.