Why do people unfriend me on Facebook?

Facebook is the dominant social media site of its age. With over 1 billion users, it has taken social media to a whole new level. Interestingly though, there is an emerging trend towards people having less friends on Facebook – a trend which runs in a direct inverse correlation with the number of active users on the site. ‘Unfriending’ is running rife, but why are people unfriending you?

Reason One: You friend people who you don’t know

In its infancy, Facebook was all about how many ‘friends’ you had. It wasn’t uncommon for some users to have a preposterous 1,000 friends. It’s not 2007 anymore though, and this is no longer the done thing. If you start adding people who you don’t know from your friends contact list, expect them to unfriend you. 15% of users admit that they unfriend people when they see this going on.

Reason Two: You don’t set any boundaries with what you share

respondents in a recent survey about Facebook unfriending admitted that they have blocked or even delete ed friends who share graphic information. People, it seems, just aren’t as interested in your sex life as you are.

Overly emotional and sentimental posting, especially over a long period of time is also a quick route to an unfriending. Your partner may truly be amazing and you may really love your significant other, but if you want to maintain your Facebook friends list, you’re probably better keeping that between the two of you. 

Reason Three: Macho posting

Another Facebook turnoff for many is overly macho posting, where users are constantly trying to out do each other. If it looks like you’re screaming ‘look at me’ then you’ll quickly learn that fewer people will be doing – because your friend list will be shorter.

“Many of us use Facebook to connect with all kinds of people – lots of whom
are mere acquaintances rather than true friends. Then we forget that and use
the updates feed to talk to our closest pals.

Reason four: You post too much

Excessive posting can be seen in many different lights, and none of them are positive ones. People perceive excessive posting as bragging, show boating, an inflated sense of your own worth or just plain old irritating. Research shows that this is more likely to get you blocked than unfriended, but either way, that’s surely a lesson for you?

Reason five: Your posts are too niche

Got an overbearing love of train spotting? Really keen biathlete? Cool, everybody has their hobbies, but people often forget that Facebook is now a very wide audience, consisting of friends, peers, colleagues, family, and perhaps still the odd stray randomer from the early days. Niche audiences are better found elsewhere, and Facebook posts are better left on more neutral ground.

Reason six: You polarise opinion

Everybody has strong views on certain things, that’s what makes us unique. However, if you find yourself posting often about polorising topics, with polarising viewpoints, then you may find that your so-called friends starting hitting the ‘delete friend’ button.

This gets all the worst if you ever drop a racist comment – 8.2% of people surveyed said that seeing a racist post led to an automatic unfriending.

Reason seven: Your boring people

This becomes a particularly large problem if its allied with over-posting, which it typically is. If your stuck in a traffic jam or your late for works, it sucks, but that doesn’t mean you should share the misery. Boring, mundane updates about stuff that people don;t care about leads to them losing interest in you. Think before you post.

Reason eight: You have done something off of Facebook to upset that person

surprisingly, 56% of the reasons for an unfriending are related to Facebook behaviour, but that still leaves a big pool of reasons why somebody may want to unfriend you for offline reasons. Could be fall outs within friend groups or the decay in certain friendships over time. There could be a divorce in the family, or a breakup. people could have left the area and started afresh. There are hundreds of reasons why somebody may have decided to end your Facebook friendship.

Reason nine: You update too little

This shows the need to strike a healthy balance on Facebook, as posting too little can also lead to people unfriending you. If your profile is a relic from 2009, than people may presume you’re no longer active and cut the tie. 32% of people expect their friends to make two updates a week (the accepted post volume for the majority). If you’re significantly over or under this, then you could be treading on thin ice.


Finally, its important to remember that an unfriending is not something to get uptight about. Typically, people look to do periodic friend list ‘tidy-ups’ and research shows that people who you haven’t seen face to face for over a year are most likely to get the cut. Facebook has matured a lot since the friend heavy days of 2006-2008, and people are using it differently now. The inclusion of more family members and other wider groups besides friends have led to different sharing patters, and these don;t have a lot in common with sharing with virtual strangers.