With more than 750 million active users, Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites on the Web, and the average user has more than 130 of those electronic connections dubbed “friends.” But on every friend list, there are undoubtedly some people who aren’t really friends at all.

Do I Know These People? 

While many people initially join Facebook with the idea of reconnecting with family members and friends whom they know outside the virtual world of the Internet, most Facebook users quickly join groups, share interests, and “like” stories, photos, games, and other things that connect them with strangers. A friend list that started with a few dozen classmates and your old college essay helper, neighbors, long lost relatives, and coworkers can rapidly swell to include the random friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, and soon those tentative contacts can outnumber the real relationships you have on Facebook. Shortly thereafter, you’ll start to notice these “nonfriends” more and more, and it’s time to look more closely at these people you shouldn’t be friends with at all. 

10 Friends You Don’t Need :

Everyone has the grouchy relative you can’t just ignore or the extra needy friend whom you really do like, but if you have these ten types of people clogging up your news feed with their own self-serving posts, you may miss the important announcements and greetings from the people who really matter in your life, virtual or otherwise. Look for these 10 friends to unfriend: 

The Self Promoter

This friend always posts sales pitches to their company, business, or website, without adding any personal commentary or reason for sharing. While it’s fine to share advice if you are asked for it, constant advertisements are no way to have a friendship, and unless you’re genuinely interested in every business venture this person has to offer, they’re no friend of yours.

The Whiner

This person’s life is apparently so bad that they never have a positive post. They’re always complaining, telling the world their woes, and bemoaning the fact that nothing ever goes their way. Compassion is important between friends, but it only goes so far and it’s better to let this person have their pity party to themselves.

The Braggart

Opposite of the Whiner, this person can’t stop exclaiming about how great they have it. Every post is about some wonderful thing in their lives or the fantastic accomplishments of themselves, their spouse, or their children. Life is not a competition and there are no prizes for showing off, and if this person is always upstaging what anyone else says or does, are they really a friend?

The Fantasy

This person isn’t a person at all, it’s the alter ego of someone else. It might be a fictional character, an infant or pet that has its own Facebook account, or not even something alive at all. If this “friend” can’t be friends with you under their real identity, how can you really call them a friend anyway? Honesty is a critical part of friendship that they don’t comprehend.

The Ghost

This is someone you did once know, and you may have been thrilled to connect with them on Facebook, but after reviewing their information and browsing their bare wall, you haven’t reconnected at all. They never post, never like, never comment, or may genuinely never be there. Friendships, even electronic ones, are two-way streets, and you can’t maintain it on your own.

The Stranger

This person seems to share a lot of interests with you and you may have dozens of mutual friends, but perhaps everyone is getting duped. You’ve never met this person, nor have you ever heard of them outside of Facebook, yet you’ve agreed to be their friend and allowed them to see your personal information, identity details, and contact information. With automatic settings changes and other internet security issues, this is too big a risk to take for an unknown “friend.”

The Firestarter

You may like this person and you may know them outside Facebook, but everything they say, post, share, and like online just sparks your temper or indignation. One misinterpreted comment can lead to grave misunderstandings and hurt feelings, and while opposites attract, you can limit your online stress if you keep this friendship offline instead.

The Professional Friend

This person may be someone you know, but what they don’t know is how to say no to any social connection. The updates on their connections to their other hundreds of friends (and some Facebook users have 1,000 friends or more) clogs up your wall and prevents you from seeing updates from anyone else. While you won’t miss their continual notifications, ask yourself this: will they even notice you’re gone?

The Coworker

If you are genuinely friends with your coworkers outside the professional sphere, then by all means connect online as well, but if you want to leave work at work and keep your home life at home, you need to unfriend the people you work with. A stray comment you make online might make it back to the water cooler and from there to the boss, and that’s not a chance to take lightly.

The Ex

Some people do have legitimate reasons to stay connected to their ex-spouses, ex-friends, or estranged relatives, but the more likely reasons to keep these connections aren’t pleasant: spying, clinging, and generally being vindictive top the list. If these are the reasons you’re connected to someone whom you no longer associate with outside the Internet, what’s the point of being connected online? Let the past be past, and let these no-longer-friends go.

Don’t Be “That” Friend

Once you’ve sorted through your friend list and dismissed those people who aren’t really friends after all, make sure you’re not becoming the same sort of person whom you’ve chosen not to associate with. While you know what to look for in others who aren’t really friends, look for that same behavior in yourself, and take steps to be a better friend to those whom you want to stay friendly with.

Being online “friends” with someone is always a gray area; it’s completely possible to connect with someone you’ve never met and hit it off well, or to enjoy connections online that you wouldn’t be able to stand face to face. No matter if your friends list is populated with genuine friends or with ghosts, fantasies, or firestarters, if you don’t feel like “friends” with someone, don’t be!


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