Why your friends may want to UN-friend you on Facebook

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by Vanessa Coria

WVEC

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 6:54 PM

NORFOLK -- What gets under your skin when it comes to social networking? Do you have friends you simply want to unfriend because of what they post on Facebook? Which posts are the ones that really drive you nuts?

"Made breakfast this morning, uh... reading a book this morning," said social networker Tony Flores.

"I'm eating a donut, I'm going to get coffee. I don't need to know. I don't want to know all of that," said Emily Clark.

Some call it TMI, short for too much information. A lot of posts are mundane, some are inappropriate.

Tawanda Smallwood's solution to the problem is simple.

"If they use a lot of cursing words or whatever, I'll just unfriend them," she said.

Facebook user Meika Crable said social media is a valuable tool for business and staying in touch with friends and family, but she says there's a time and a place for some subjects.

"'I can't stand my job' -- and they go on and on and on as if nobody else will ever know that this person works for XYZ company," Crable said.

People we talked with say it's just the tip of the iceberg. They say that  type of content showing up over and over, day after day, in their newsfeeds is annoying.

Blogger and social networking expert Naoma Doriguzzi said when it comes to social media etiquette, not everybody 'gets it'. Doriguzzi describes one of the biggest social networking no-no's.

"I would say, first of all, posting way too much where people are just posting every five minutes or every couple of minutes and all-day-long," she said.

The social media folks at mashable.com compiled a list of the "20 things your most annoying friends do on Facebook".  Among them -- humblebragging, vaguebooking, TMI parents.

It's driving Facebookers to take extreme action.

"Ha, ha, unfriend, yeah," Crable said.

Clark went even further.  

"I, just a couple weeks ago, I went through my whole list and unfriended like 20 people."

She said it felt good.

However, Doriguzzi says you don't have to go that far.

"It's easy, you can just unsubscribe, unfriend them or you can create lists within Facebook so you're only following certain people," she said.

You can also pick and choose whose content shows up in your feed. For example, if a friend makes a post you don't like and you want to eliminate their posts from showing up in your newsfeed, just navigate your mouse to the right corner of that post and click on the downward arrow. There, you are given the option to 'follow post', 'hide...' or 'report story or spam'.  

Once a story is hidden, you're given even more options to choose exactly which updates you do or don't want to see from that particular friend. You can choose to see 'all updates', 'most updates', or 'only important' updates.

But, what drives all of these irritating posts in the first place?

"Nowadays, the more friends I have, the more validated I feel in real life, isn't that the way it is," asked Facbooker Ryker Jackson.

Clinical psychologist Doctor William Mulligan said there may be something to that way of thinking. Mulligan said the root of all of this sharing comes down to the simple human need for attention.

"The greater the need for attention, the more isolated people feel, um, the more likely they are to be sharing (too much). But, I think there's probably even more than that, some people just have difficulty knowing what's appropriate," he said.

That brings us back to the learning curve Doriguzzi mentioned. Because social media is still fairly new -- Facebook just celebrated its 9th birthday on February 4th -- people are still learning about the most effective ways to use the social networking site.

What type of social networking personality are you? Check out this unscientific info-graphic to find out. 

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