It’s been a good decade or so now with social media sites in our lives and along the way we’ve all accumulated plenty of friends. Sure, when your first joined these various networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it was great to be friends with everyone who sent you a friend request (hey, the more the merrier!). Flash forward to today, with so much noise in our lives, everyone’s feeds have become really, well, annoying. Perhaps the overload of daily selfies, baby photos or right-wing slanting articles, racist overtones or oversharing about the minor details their lives, is bringing you down? Sounds like you need a frenema, a purging of your friend list, and the ultimate spring cleaning of your cyber life. You’ll feel all the lighter.

Who should you unfriend? To begin with anyone you can’t remember meeting. Even if you went to junior high with this person, but you haven’t the foggiest idea who they are, delete theme. Then there’s that stranger who pops up on your page and comments on your posts and photos, sometimes a little too nicely, sometimes they’re downright creepy. Delete! Next, consider nixing your ex’s family members. As time goes on, and you all move on with your lives, eventually they’ll be forced to block you somehow, so you might as well beat them to the punch and spare your feelings. And don’t forget to delete those people you went on a date with once and disappeared afterwards, they don’t need to know about your life and you are better off not wasting your precious time rolling your eyes at theirs.

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Most importantly, delete those suspiciously bare-boned profiles of friends that aren’t actually people but scam artists, they can be out to steal your identity or security information.  In fact, cyberspace has become so “big brother” that banks can now judge you by how fiscally responsible your friends on Facebook appear, which could hurt you when you apply for a loan. “Facebook is taking the old adage ‘you can judge a man by the company he keeps’ to the next level. A patent updated by Facebook states that users could be denied a loan based on the credit-worthiness of their connections online,” said Hazel Sheffield in a feature in The Independent.


Convinced it might be time to purge your social media sites, but not sure you have the time to go searching name by name? The best strategy is doing it slowly on their birthdays. Every day when you log in and see whose birthday it is, take a moment to defriend someone. It’s simple: Go to that annoying friend’s Facebook profile for instance, and scroll down to the bottom left hand corner. There you will see three options: Suggest Friends; Remove from Friends; and Report/Block this Person. Simply click on the second line and bingo! You’ve purged yourself. Take out the old in your cyber life and bring in the new starting today. Or wait until November 17, National Unfriend Day, kick- started by television host, Jimmy Kimmel.