Deleting Facebook friends has real world consequences EVERYONE has that friend on Facebook, the one whose posts are so banal, and passive aggressive and just plain annoying.
And you don?t see them that much and every time you see one of their updates you hover your mouse over the ?unfriend? button, willing yourself to just remove them from your digital life.
But be warned.
A recent study shows you should probably think twice before unfriending someone, it may spell the end of your friendship.
Researchers from the University of Colorado found that 40 per cent of people said they would actively avoid someone who unfriended them on Facebook. The other 50 per cent on the other hand, said they wouldn?t.
Also, if you?re going to unfriend someone, do not bring it up with them.
The survey found there were several factors that could predict future avoidance, including talking about the unfriending after it has happened. Don?t do it. It just makes it awkward.
A common thread in the 583 responses gathered via Twitter was that discussing the great unfriending after the fact is awkward enough to make the person not want to see them anymore.
Also if you have been unfriended, you might need to suck it up. Extremely negative emotional responses to being unfriended was found to be a common reason for avoidance.
Obviously if you?re being a bit of a dick offline, it will affect how people react to you online. The researchers found that often people would cut off Facebook friends due to their behaviour in the ?real world?.
Other factors influencing whether to cut and run online was geographical difference and how strong people valued their friendships before unfriending.
?People think social networks are just for fun,? said one of the researchers, Christopher Sibona. ?But in fact what you do on those sites can have real-world consequences.?
The researchers found that though they may have considered reasons to unfriend someone online, they still don?t approach it the same way they would if they were face to face.
?In the real world, you have to talk to people, go see them to maintain face-to-face relationships. That?s not the case in online relationships,? he said.
?Since it?s done online there is an air of unreality to it but in fact there are real-life consequences. We are still trying to come to grips as a society on how to handle elements of social media. The etiquette is different and often quite stark.?
On the other hand, if it means never having to talk about it, and never seeing that person again, perhaps unfriending people on Facebook has its benefits.
Nonetheless, it?s probably best to give your online friendships some real thought before deciding whether to cut them loose.