Have you ever opened up your social media app of choice to discover that someone has unfriended you? I know I myself have had a few moments wherein I desperately wanted to know why someone unfriended me on Facebook, but didn't have the guts to ask them directly. But hey, maybe now we don't have to: Zach Kornfeld from BuzzFeed decided to do some field research for us to figure out exactly why people unfriend others. Inspired by the recent blockage of an app that had previously allowed you to see who unfriended you, Kornfeld used himself as the research subject, tracking down four people who had unfriended him on Facebook and asking them directly why they did it.
So how did he reach out to them? Facebook, of course! You can still communicate with people who have unfriended you, so Kornfeld took full advantage of the feature. He also asked a few of his BuzzFeed co-workers if they've ever unfriended someone on Facebook, and if so, why. Answers ranged from people having made racist comments or being to political to sending too many Candy Crush requests — so maybe we should all use this as reminder to keep our activities in these realms to a minimum (and, y'know, stop being racist entirely — not cool, guys). So: Would any of Korfeld's former friends cite these reasons for unfriending him specifically?
Kornfeld video chatted with the former Facebook friends who agreed to participate in his research. Here's why they disconnected from him:
1. It Was Part of a Facebook Cleanse
Kornfeld first talked to his ex-friend David, with whom he attended elementary, middle, and high school. David didn't have a direct reason that he unfriended Kornfeld, but said that he wasn't the only one who was unfriended; he was merely part of a spring cleaning of Facebook friends.
2. No Reason At All
Amanda and Kornfeld became friends during their freshman year of college and lost touch as time went on. These two were definitely close, though, as the reminisced about hanging out "a lot" during their university days. She said that she didn't remember why exactly she unfriended Kornfeld, making this another case of a non-deliberate unfriending.
3. A Hivemind Mentality
As Kornfeld and Amanda kept talking, he brought up the fact that she was still friends with their old college roommates, even though she said she had unfriended a lot of people from college. Amanda then revealed that one of their ex-roomates, Holly, thought Kornfeld had a crush on her — and didn't find it flattering! Soon, that attitude had crept into the minds of the rest of their old friend group, alienating him from them as a whole. It seems that sometimes a Facebook unfriending can be a part of a larger group mentality that you are unaware of.
4. They Were Feeling Impulsive
David said that when he unfriended Kornfeld, he was feeling impulsive and decided to just randomly unfriend people, "I was thinking in the instant, man," he recalled of the incident. He then said, "I can't be the only one who does that," and I agree — I know that I've done this a few times!
The biggest takeaway here? Those who are unfriending you may not actually hate you. Both friends agreed that they had simply started to lose touch; the decisions, therefore, came after a gradual disconnect had grown up between them anyway. So if you find someone has unfriended you, don't take it too personally.
Do you want to see why Kornfeld's other two Facebook friends decided to unfriend him? The answer probably isn't what you think — watch the full video below for more: