History of National Unfriend Day
On November 17, 2010, Jimmy Kimmel went on his nightly talk show to announce that it was National Unfriend Day. In this digital age, we’ve reached a threshold of social connections.
Does your friend from elementary school who you haven’t spoken to in twenty years really need to be your Facebook friend? Do you really want to see the Instagram posts of that guy you met in line for the bathroom at that party in college? How about even that center for your favorite basketball team that you follow on Twitter who retired three years ago – is it important to see how they’re handling being retired at 35?
These questions and more have been building slowly over the past twenty or so years since social media was created and we’ve been collecting friends online as if they were the latest trend in fashion. But after years of adding social networks and hoarding friends and follows, in 2010 we reached a cultural terminal velocity in how many connections we can sustain. Now it’s time to cleanse.
National Unfriend Day timeline
Livejournal launches, starting the trend of following and unfollowing friends online, along with emo ramblings and bad poetry about young love and teenage heartbreak.
Myspace is when social networks crawled out of the primordial soup of web 1.0 and became what it is today.
In a dorm room in Harvard, Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook, changing everything about the way we communicate online.
Jack Dorsey created Twitter for users to post whatever they want in 140 characters or less.
Instagram becomes a platform for users to follow each other and share pictures of what will eventually become their perfect lives.
Jimmy Kimmel declares National Unfriend Day.
National Unfriend Day FAQs
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National Unfriend Day Activities
Find what matters
Here is an exercise for you: review your friends one by one and figure out who really matters to you. Do you really need to stay in touch with your lab partner from 10th grade? It may be hard to cut them loose but you will feel better overtime. Remember what they say, quality over quantity.
Connect with your friends in real life
Unplug from your virtual world and invite your friends over for a cup of coffee or to watch a movie. Focus on the people that you make you happy in person, rather than those that only "like" your posts online. These are your true friends and these are the relationships that will last longer overtime.
Move them to LinkedIn
Most of us have blurred the lined between personal and business connections by befriending people on Instagram and Facebook. If you are not comfortable with completely deleting your business connections, then simply reestablish your friendship through a professional platform like, Linkedin.
Why We Love National Unfriend Day
How many friends do you currently have? Do you keep in touch with all of them? Do you really need to stay in contact with them? It is common for friend lists to grow out of control –– trust us, we all do it. So If the answer to the last question is no, then take a few moments to start from scratch by deleting anyone that you haven't talked to in the last year.
No more Drama
Do you have friends that over share? Or possibly air out their dirty laundry online? Think to yourself, do I really need to stay updated with this person's daily affairs? Life will naturally hand you a variety of your own problems, so don't let anyone else's issues consume you. Hit delete and free yourself!
Emails, texts, news alerts, Facebook notifications, Twitter mentions, Instagram likes. It's hard not to look at your phone without seeing a million little red numbers begging for your attention and competing with the actual world right in front of you. By unfriending on your platforms, you can reduce the amount of time you need to spend checking apps and more time spent being in the moment and clearing your own head with what (and who) you actually need to focus on.
National Unfriend Day dates