Should you unfriend toxic relatives from social media?
It depends entirely on your preference. But you shouldn’t feel guilty if you feel the need to unfriend relatives. It’s called self-care. Although social media is primarily a public space, it should still feel safe and comfortable.
On social media, unless you unfollow someone or block them, you’ll keep seeing their posts – a glimpse into their life. Something you may not want. So save yourself the mental stress by unfriending relatives on social media. But how do you do it politely?
Guide To Unfriending Relatives On Social Media
Why Do You Want To Unfriend Them?
First of all, know your why. Understanding why you want to unfriend someone will help you determine whether you should go through it. If you have doubts, it’s best not to.
Here are a few reasons for unfriending relatives on social media:
- Being nosy: Let’s face it. We all have that one relative who’s always on our case. In real life, it’s hard to avoid such people, especially during reunions. The unwanted comments, such as “why aren’t you married yet?” or “tumaba ka” becomes inescapable. But in the digital world, we don’t have to put up with that. One can simply unfriend them.
- Liking stuff you find annoying: Unfortunately, on social media like Facebook or Twitter, we end up seeing what other people “like”. So if a relative keeps liking offensive posts, it’s best to keep them out of your timeline.
- Their posts are irritating: Not everyone has the same opinion. For instance, you may not agree with a relative’s stand on political issues. If their posts become irritating, it’s best to remove them from your timeline by unfriending them. Let’s just agree to disagree and not read each other’s posts.
- Constant tagging: Do you have a relative who keeps tagging you on old photos? While you can filter tags and change your privacy settings, you also have the choice to simply hit the unfriend button.
Unfriending relatives doesn’t mean you’re cutting them off your life. It just means you need a break on certain social platforms.
Unfollow First Before Unfriending
Do you think unfriending a relative is taking it a bit too far? Then you can consider hitting the unfollow button first.
You can unfollow their social media feed or mute them. These two settings allow you to stay friends, but you won’t be able to see their posts on your timeline. Here are other options you can try:
- Change your settings. Make sure that the person’s updates don’t show up on your timeline
- Control who can see your posts. You can update your privacy settings and change a few options before you hit the “post” button.
Unfollowing or muting someone may be a kinder option. This is a good choice if you want to avoid the awkward question of, “Why did you unfriend me?” during a family gathering.
You may be unfriending a group of people because you’re “cleansing the timeline”. You have every right and freedom to do that. However, don’t go around making an announcement about it. Avoid unnecessary drama and simply unfriend without fanfare.
How do you unfriend relatives on social media politely? Do it quietly.
Make sure that you won’t regret or change your mind a few weeks after unfriending someone. It’s one thing to unfriend a person and another to send a friend request after a few days once again.
That said, if you’re unsure, give yourself some time.
Unfollow first and see how you feel. Make sure that you’re not unfriending someone in the heat of the moment. Take this step as a last resort. This is especially necessary when it comes to relatives and friends you’ll get in touch with in real life.
Consider The Consequences
Prepare for the inevitable confrontation. Relationships are full of emotion. And losing connection, even if it’s on social media, can have serious consequences.
The person who is unfriended may experience negative emotions. This is especially true if you were close with that said relative. If you really need to unfriend someone but are afraid of confrontation, you can always feign ignorance…. Or run!
Will Your Relative See If You Unfriended Them On Social Media?
There are levels to unfriending someone on social media.
- Unfollow or mute: The person will still be on your friend list. However, you won’t see their updates, “likes”, or shares. Best of all, they won’t know that you have unfollowed or muted them.
- Unfriend: The person will not get a notification that you’ve unfollowed them. However, they will be removed from your friend list. So the next time they visit your profile, they will see that you’re not friends anymore.
- Block: This is the extreme level of unfriending. The person will not be able to find you on Facebook at all.
For all three options, the person will not be notified. Whew!
That said, it’s best to find a good balance. In doing so, you can use social media platforms more effectively. Remember, your social media space must also feel safe and comfortable. Protect your mental health by staying away from toxicity online.