A friend in need ?

The business of ‘unfriending’ on Facebook is a delicate one, if your not sure how to say ‘No’ politely, then read on.

I have 500 odd ‘friends’ on Facebook and as far as I can figure out, this is the rough breakdown:
1 spouse (he’s a special guy) + 2 divorced Parents + 1 not-so-evil Stepmother + 6 in-laws + 28 elderly relatives and an assortment of younger cousins (I love my Uncle but I don’t play Farmville with anyone, in fact I dislike being asked) + 30 family friends (who feel a pressing need to paw through all my online albums and leave doting remarks) + 16 relatives of aforementioned spouse + 10 school friends of spouse who are now stalking him + 160 people between the ages of 35 and 25 who knew me in school and university but I would have trouble recognizing on the street + 140 REAL friends I have known at different times and places, these are the kind I want to grow old knowing + 34 acquaintances, a.k.a people I met at a party once and liked + 19 friends of friends that I only know vaguely but are friends with at least a dozen of my other friends + 7 random people I mistook for other people + 10 people who I used to be friends with but have since drifted away from + 3 people who routinely post and tag horrible pictures of me which I must then rush to delete.

If you’re on Facebook, you have a breakdown of your own to share, your own shifting map of the relationships in your life. Maybe you’ll have some sympathy when I tell you that I would really like to lose at least half this lot and maybe even 2/3rd of them. Having grown old and weary, I don’t want to know what you ate for breakfast or be part of the collage on your wall – most of all, I don’t want to be one of your entourage. I don’t want to visit your farm or your restaurant or your flower kiosk, I don’t want to take a quiz or rate my friends according to how good looking they are. Ridiculously, I want meaning. I don’t want to worry about who is trawling through my pages, I don’t want to think about how Facebook has the kind of privacy issues that make it leak personal information like a sieve. Because I didn’t want all these things, I started deleting people I didn’t like. Unfortunately, many of them came back.

I’m nowhere near the limit that Facebook sets - they will cut you off after your 5,000th friend – but the site has some tools to help regulate the business of friending:


If you are on a friend’s profile page, then the ‘unfriend’ link is at the very bottom of the left sidebar.
If you are looking to unfriend several people at once, it probably best to unfriend through your friends list.

1. Click the Friends link in the left sidebar.
2. Click the Edit Friends button
3. Find the friend you wish to remove, and click the X beside his or her name. Then you will be asked to confirm the deletion.


Block a person if you don’t want them to see your profile. It’s a dramatic gesture and it means that they no longer have any access to your details, photographs or friend list. They’re not notified and so they remain blissfully ignorant. In fact, it will be as if you never existed – they can search for you and not find you, look through lists and not see you there, your profile is no longer accessible or even visible. It’s only fair that blocking is mutual, so you can’t see them as well.

If you want to make friends again though, you’ll have to take the long route and reapply. At which point they’ll know you dumped them. To block someone go to your privacy settings, select Block Lists and edit them to include your ex-friend. You can block someone using their email address.

Friend Lists:

If you’re reluctant to make the final break, adding your unwanted friends to a friend list is a good solution. The very helpful Facebook FAQ suggests you create and customise a list by going to the friends page, clicking the Account drop-down at the top of any page, and then clicking on "Edit Friends." You then click the Create New List button at the top of the page to create a new list, or type the name of a friend in the left-side search field to add a friend to an existing list. You can also click on an existing friend lists on the left-side of the page, and then click on the Edit List button.

I use my friend lists to prevent some friends from being able to access my photographs or stop others from posting on my wall. It’s possible to have different privacy levels for different groups of your friends, just go to ‘Customize’ under your privacy settings. Spend some time nosing around here, every committed facebook user should. Its surprisingly flexible, you can add friends to multiple lists or make exceptions for some.

Limited Profile:

You can create a list of friends who only have limited access to your profile.To add someone to your Limited Profile list first go to your Friends page and click on Limited Profile in the left sidebar or create one by clicking the Make a New List. Then edit the list by typing the ex-friends name into the Add to List field. Make sure the list is tailored to your requirements by going through the Profile Information Section under Privacy Settings and click on Customize.

Now just enter the name of your limited profile friend list in the Hide this from these people section to restrict these users from viewing the profile content you selected.

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