May be it started out a joke, but National UnFriend Day is really not a bad idea. On the Wednesday night episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel declared November 17 2010 as National UnFriend Day or “NUD.” The purpose of NUD is to give us the opportunity to unFriend our social networking contacts; “cutting out friend fat ” as Kimmel puts it. (you can view Kimmel’s monologue segment at abc.go.com/shows/jimmy-kimmel-live).
Kimmel makes the point that friends are supposed to be sacred relationships, and that many of our so-called FaceBook friends are not really our friends. He is right of course. Your “real” friends would never post nasty comments on your FaceBook page, upload embarrassing pictures or video clips of you, or announce to the world who your secret crush is. What friends should you cut on National UnFriends Day? As a parent of teens who are avid FaceBook users, here are my picks of “friend fat” that should make the cut.
1. Narcissists. Narcissists are people who are in love with themselves and post every excruciatingly boring detail of their lives. These people honestly think you are interested in their brand of shampoo or how yummy the Mocha Latte was at Starbucks this morning. Narcissists are also known for posting multiple pouty faced self portraits of themselves. These friends definitely can go away.
2. Bullies. Bullies are no longer are limited to monster sized thugs that prowl the school yard. Bullies can also be snotty teen girls who post nasty comments on your Facebook wall about your dating life (or lack of it), your appearance, your taste in clothes, or your acne flareup. If anyone has every dissed you on FaceBook, unFriend them now.
3. Braggers and Out-doers. Nothing is more boring than braggarts whose sole purpose in life is to outdo every one else. This people contribute nothing to a friendship and if anything, make you feel bad because you can’t possibly keep up. Who cares if their Dad is richer than yours, handsomer, has a bigger house or more expensive cars than anyone else at school? People who make themselves feel important at your expense are not friends. See that unFriend button? Click it now.
4. People you don’t know. Tens of thousands of teens “friend” people they don’t know, and why? You wouldn’t let a stalker eavesdrop on your cellphone, watch you through a web cam, or follow you around downtown, would you? By friending some one you don’t know (or one of your real friends doesn’t know personally), you are opening up your private life to the world, including criminals who seek out unsuspecting teens on Facebook. These “friends” should be UnFriended as quickly as possible.
Take it from a mom, Jimmy Kimmel is really on to something here because certain “friends” just are not worth having as friends. A National UnFriend Day is a great way to cut the friend fat in your life and make social networking fun again.