Free yourself from fake Facebook friends


This week our social media agony aunt looks at how to deal with awkward friendships on Facebook

Dear Cybersorter,

I am friends with an old classmate on Facebook. All through school he was short and weedy and a bit mean. I didn’t like him much. He wasn’t particularly talented at anything and would hang out with his bigger friends on the football pitch all the time. He would often make snide comments to me in class.

Now, I am tormented by pictures of him with his fabulous new life in Canada with a stunning girlfriend. His updates are about going yachting and having summer barbeques with beautiful people.

By comparison, my life is humdrum and grey around the edges. It’s eating me up but I know if I defriend him he’s going to know it’s because his life is better than mine; and it shouldn’t be.


Dear DC,

Defriend him and do it now. It’s not like he’s going to show up on your doorstep tearfully demanding how you could do this to him.

The only reason it’s on your mind is that he’s there in front of you on your newsfeed. And really, if he was such a little squit at school, why would you continue to stay in touch?

If he’s out of your newstream, he’s out out of that irritating spot in your psyche.

Is his life really that fabulous? You only know the small positive bits he puts on Facebook, nowhere near the full story of his life, which, if you are correct about him, is eternally marred by his miserable personality and his dwarf-like physical status. Just because he has a pretty girlfriend doesn’t mean that everything in his life is fabulous. It just means even pretty girls sometimes pick a dud.

Dear Cybersorter,

A while ago I accepted a Facebook friendship request from a business acquaintance. He is at a lower rung but very enthusiastic. That’s the problem. He is so enthusiastic he posts constant updates about his day.

It got so annoying I defriended him but he found out and re-requested friendship. I ignored his request and he sent another one. I bump into him every now and then in my professional capacity and I can’t bear to be rude so I accepted his friendship request again.

Is there any way I can avoid him online without having to face him offline?


Dear PR,

Your acquaintance is clogging up your newsfeed with spam. Any gratuitous, uncalled for material can be spam, even if we know the spammer and let them in through a crack in the digital door.

You could send him a message explaining you are moving all your professional contacts onto LinkedIn, but I’m guessing your tenacious friend might reject that course of action. He clearly hasn’t taken the defriending hint, twice.

The best course of action is to hide his updates (hover your mouse over the top right corner of one of his updates. Click on X and click “Hide all messages from . . .”). Then you can enjoy Facebook without updates on Mr Enthusiasm’s day of joy and hard work.