Saturday, October 09, 2010

An Unfriend in Deed

A University of Colorado business school student, Christopher Sibona, announced the results of a study of over 1,500 Facebook about why they choose to "unfriend" others and delete them from their roster of friends on the popular social network site. According to Sibona, who conducted his research on Twitter with methods that might not merit as much attention as the study is receiving, "the number-one reason for unfriending is frequent, unimportant posts," which was followed by "posting about polarizing topics like religion and politics." Crude and racially offensive postings were ranked third as a reason to unfriend.

Perhaps the most interesting finding in Sibona's study was the fact that "57 percent of those surveyed unfriended for online reasons, while 26.9 percent did so for offline behavior." Although researchers on social network sites emphasize that it is not a purely virtual world and that face-to-face contacts and offline social relationships often shape how people choose friends and initiate social interactions on the site, online conduct seems to be what is judged when unfriending.



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