#AskMargie: Unfriending (part 1)

Why do people click the unfriend button on Facebook?

MANILA, Philippines – Why do people click the unfriend button?

In this first ediition of a two part series of #AskMargie, clinical psychologist Dr. Margie Holmes talks about how real relationships and friendships are affected by the age of social media, specifically unfriending on Facebook. 


Script below: 

Today’s topic is all about the intricacies of friendship on Facebook – specifically, why people click that ‘unfriend’ button on Facebook.

For this episode we’ll focus on those who do the unfriending. Let’s begin.

I asked: Why would you unfriend someone? Here are some of your responses:

1. Crischellyn Abayon: Maybe if too annoying na yung posts or yung update nang update kahit na wala na talagang kwenta yung sinasabi or nakakasakit na ng ibang tao.

2. Mary Con: Madalas akong naiinis sa mga nonsense na post. Sa mga chain messages. Saka sa mga babaeng super vain… yung tipong araw araw basta makakita ng pic nya inuupload. And sa mga babaeng sinasabing maganda sila, dapat ang ibang tao ang maka-appreciate, there’s a thin line between confidence and yabang. It’s so annoying.

3. Blessy Weng Atip: Strangers on my list … Especially yung manliligaw na sa FB. Nakakahiya kasi nandun yung family ko. Buti kung hindi.

4. Kristine Anne Datoc: I did unfriend my ex and some of my friends because I don’t want them to still be informed about me. I had some trouble with them before.

5. Jasmine Uy: Why keep strangers on my list?

6. Josephine Andres Magbago: I unfriend yung kung makapag-post ng status sa FB parang pasan na ang daigdig, kapag may kaaway, sa FB inilalabas ang sama ng loob.

7. Ruth Soldevilla: Unfriend a person who always think he’s the most handsome guy in the universe. Conceited!

And from one of our sukis —and in time—your favourite and mine, Mei Magsino:

8. Mei Magsino: I unfriended a vegetarian friend who raised hell on my wall after I posted my favorite ham. He even had word wars with some of my friends who defended. But I still love vegetarians. When they’re around, that means more meat for me! Takaw!

9. Mei Magsino: A chemically imbalanced friend unfriended me after my comments on iodine deficiency. She thought I was referring to her below-sea-level IQ. Up to now some of our mutual friends tell me she still posts about her tampo on “how I humiliated her” on facebook. Duh!

10. Emjaye Dapapac: In-unfriend ko yung mga taong nangutang sakin na di nagbabayad sa totoong buhay.

12. Cecille Guanzon Jabier: I would unfriend someone who had nothing positive to say about anything I posted. It’s very disheartening to read someone’s negative post about something IN PUBLIC (instead of sending a PM), i.e. specifically for the purpose of putting someone down or to make oneself look/sound superior (and, yes, there are lots of those in FB).

Of course, bilib ako to those who believe in prevention rather than cure. Avoiding situations when you need to unfriend by being careful to begin with.

Kris Villiongco: I unfriend a person I am in a relationship with. Simply because I try to avoid all issues as much as possible. I’ve seen couples that ended their relationships because of Facebook. Unfriending is a surefire way to avoid that.

Desiree Sison: I rejected a friend request from my former schoolmate who bullied me in elementary. We were never friends to begin with.

namnama_project says: I haven’t (unfriended). My post is set to ‘close friends’ only. Those who are not in this category I set to be NOT shown in my feed.

To my mind, Wing Besillos: “My ex sent me a friend request. I sent him a message which said “At bakit?”. I never heard from him again.”

Here’s a question: Might there be any reason you don’t unfriend someone even if you want to?: I got 4 exceptonally good answers, the first from

1. Pat Demaclid: Unfriending someone will give him/her the idea that s/he affects you. Play deadma. At least you can still monitor his/her post if s/he post something offensive against you.

2. Giovanni Hugo: I only place people I don’t like anymore to a limited/restricted list. Big deal kasi sa ibang tao pag dinelete mo sila.

3. Squiggles: If I don’t like a person or if they have transgressed me, I just ignore them, not really unfriend(ing) them. Time will come when my heartache is gone, we will be friends again. I always express my anger in silence. I don’t usually speak up when I’m upset. I just leave things until my anger subsides.

4. Bayani Santos Jr.: So far I tolerated even the most bastos, the most intolerant, the most rabid, partisan, the worst of human kind. Problema nila yung sarili nila, hindi ko problema, hindi ba?

Aishah Alian:
I call it pruning the list. My rules are simple: if someone does not show the least bit of interest in my activities despite me making an effort, then I don’t care how long we’ve known each other, you’re unfriended. I don’t like collecting people in my list. I value my privacy and I didn’t make a profile to become popular either. I remember slashing almost 50% off my list, I felt an inner calm and lightness.

@CeejayLatosa13 says: Unfriending someone because it’s no longer worth to keep the relationship. Either it’s becoming a burden or being a burden.

Ren Yna Lavetoria warns: Think long and think hard before crossing the bridge of ‘unfriending’ people who are close to you because in this day and age, it is somewhat akin to burning bridges.

Emily Laurente makes a good distinction, sharing how unfriending and/or being unfriended may depend on certain things like—relationship status but not in the way FB uses it: Unfriending or being unfriended by someone who is not close to you on a personal level is okay.

Emily Laurente: But being unfriended, or unfriending someone close to you is a different story involving social and emotional undertones.


FB isn’t “Like real life” it is real life, life in the raw, in real time, so take just as much care,…no such thing as it doesn’t count (as much) “because it’s only FB.”

– Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.