In 2010, 1500 users of Facebook were polled in a University of Colorado study, and were asked how they took it when someone unfriended them on Facebook. The study organizers stated that about 40% of those polled said that they would view being unfriended as a personal insult, and would express that displeasure by ignoring the person in real life.
Half of poll respondents stated that they would not make an extra effort to avoid someone who had unfriended them, and about 10% said they were not sure what they would do. Women were more likely to avoid someone who had unfriended them, indicating that women tend to take such things more personally than men do.
The big reasons that people tend to unfriend others is that they post too many updates, post updates about politics or religion, make racist or sexist remarks, or just post too many uninteresting things about food, kids and so forth. Other people delete friends because of unwanted flirting, constant game requests, and sharing every single product purchase your friends make.
Since Facebook, which is getting some bad PR this week for its nonexistent tax bill, did not even exist until a few years back, it seems odd in a way that some people get so bent out of shape about why people delete them. Is Facebook really such an important part of people’s social existence these days? It appears so, and that will only increase with the new Graph Search coming online.
Other people, according to the survey, do not get as wrapped up in who unfriended them. Some people have so many friends on the social website that they do not even notice who unfriended them. Other people tend to just hide the person’s posts from their news feeds and stay friends.