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Unfriending Facebook

Dear Harlan: I have a friend I’ve known for 20 years. We met in college and have stayed in touch over that time. We live in different cities and will get together at reunions and exchange messages and comment on family pictures we post on Facebook. She has different political beliefs and floods my newsfeed with videos and images asking people to share her messages. I have no interest in this. She will get into debates and start fights over other people’s posts. I had enough and unfriended her a few weeks ago. Well, she texted me saying she was confused why we weren’t friends anymore. I haven’t gotten back to her. I do enjoy her friendship, but I have no patience for her Facebook personality. How do you suggest I handle this?

— Caught Unfriending

Dear Caught Unfriending:  You need a quick Facebook tutorial. You probably don’t know this, but you can remove people from your newsfeed and still be friends. The best part — they never know. I’ve done it, and I bet people have done it to me. Here’s how you do it: Look for the three little dots on the top right corner of someone’s post on your newsfeed. Click on the three dots, and a bunch of options will drop down. One of the options is to snooze this person’s posts for 30 days. Another is to unfollow that person but remain friends. Now that you’re familiar with these setting, you can add your friend back and hide her posts. If she comments on your posts and starts a fight, you can remove the post and ask her not to comment on your friends’ posts. Tell her your page is only about love. All that said, your friend is probably not in a good place. People who pick fights tend to be fighting other battles. My guess, she could use a friend.

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