How do I unfriend a family member on Facebook without them getting mad at me?

Dear Liz,
I accepted Facebook friend invites from a few family members and now they won’t leave my wall alone. My mom and my boyfriend’s mom get into arguments over my posts that have nothing to do with them and my brother writes annoying comments on pictures of my girlfriends like, “Nice butt LOL.” I’ve had enough, so I tried to unfriend them but then everyone got mad and it just made things worse. How do I get my family off my Facebook without getting them mad at me?
– Hating Facebook

Dear Hating Facebook,

Oh, man. Family can be the worst sometimes. I once went on a Facebook purge and accidentally unfriended my sister, and holy smokes, you would have thought the sky was falling based on the reaction I got. Social media has permeated nearly every aspect of our lives, which is why people take it so personally when they get blocked or unfriended. But, there are a few things you can do to get some sanity back without riling up your family.

  1. Create groups. You can go through your friend list and assign each person to a group. I have my inner circle of friends, family, coworkers, etc. and every time I post something, I can select who sees it.
  2. Unfollow. Sometimes family can be truly aggravating, like during election season or when a big season finale is coming up and they sucker punch your news feed with spoilers. By hitting the ‘unfollow’ button you won’t see their status updates in your news feed anymore.
  3. Restricted List. You can add a person to your restricted list, which means that they can only see what the public sees on your wall but you are still friends. Meaning, you can create a situation in which any person you decide can no longer see any of your private updates without you having to unfriend them.
  4. Annoy them right back. I suppose that if all else fails you could start posting things with the intention of annoying the living heck out of them. I’m talking about kitten videos, chain post requests, annoying songs, share KimK nonsense, whatever it is you need to do to compel your family to unfollow or unfriend you.

Good luck!

~ Liz

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