Those of us who use Facebook likely have one or two friends or acquaintances who, well, drive us crazy with their online activity. Maybe it’s a FarmVille or Mafia Wars obsession, or a habit of posting inane comments or intimate details about their “private” lives. Day after day they show up in your news feed, working your nerves and forcing you to think: “Why am I ‘friends’ with this person?”
But before you hit the “remove from friends” button, think carefully. People take being deleted very seriously and you may not want to risk offending someone, especially when it can negatively impact your personal life or business.
Instead, consider simply hiding the person’s status reports from your news feed. To do this, go to your feed (on the home page) and find one of their updates. Roll the cursor to the right until you see “Hide.” By clicking this you will remove that person’s updates from your page, and they won’t be the wiser.
You may also want to limit the access certain people have to your content. For instance, do you really want work colleagues to be able to see every tagged photo (not all of them flattering) that’s ever been taken of you, or that you occasionally play Mafia Wars while you’re on the clock? No. I recommend going through your master Friends list and creating mini lists to split your contacts up—say, work, family, school, etc. You can then choose to limit your profile to whichever list you choose. That way when your work contacts (for example) visit your profile they only see your profile shot and basic info, but not your wall or countless photos. This is also great for thwarting pesky contacts who love to post nonsense or air their dirty laundry on your wall. With limited access, they can’t even see your wall!
If you really insist on deleting a friend, however, it’s best to delete them and then block them. Blocking removes your profile from their searches, so it’s less likely that they’ll notice that you’re MIA. Less likely… but not unlikely. If someone confronts you about being deleted, you have two choices: you can be honest (in the nicest way possible), or you can blame it on a technical glitch and re-add them.
If you notice that someone has deleted you, do your best to simply shrug it off. It can sting, but making a big issue or confronting them about it feels petty and pointless. Perhaps they simply wanted to limit their profile to close friends and family. I had an acquaintance who had apparently been deleted by someone. Instead of handling it with dignity she ranted about it in her status, which just compounded the situation and reflected badly on her.
It’s hard to not take Facebook personally, but you should really try. Remember — it’s supposed to be fun, not stressful!